State Legislative Action: An Update

The legislative battles over abortion continue unabated, with pro-lifers working the halls in states around the nation.

Utah State Rep. Carl Wimmer

With action this week, the Texas House and Senate have each passed an ultrasound [sonogram] bill. The House measure, passed Monday on a 107-42 vote, is more comprehensive than the Senate version which passed in February.

“I commend the Texas House for passing this legislation, which bolsters our efforts to protect life by ensuring Texans are fully informed when considering such an important decision,” said pro-life Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement. “The decision to choose life becomes clear when someone has access to all the information and I look forward to this important legislation reaching my desk very soon.”

According to Texas RTL, the main tenets of the bill are:

  • 24-hour waiting period between the sonogram and the abortion [in the Senate version it is two hours]
  • Sonogram must be provided by a physician or licensed, certified sonographer
  • Sonogram image must be presented to the woman along with the heartbeat and the accompanying verbal explanation of the image
  • Woman certifies in writing that she was given the sonogram
  • Woman can choose not to receive the information.

Good news in Utah as well. In light of the scandal over abortionist Kermit Gosnell, the House on Monday passed HB 71 to require abortion clinics to be inspected twice a year. Currently, they are inspected only every two or three years or when they receive a complaint.

The House also passed HB 353 which would ensure that doctors can refuse to do abortions as a matter of conscience. Doctors would be immune from civil liability for refusing to perform abortions. Under the third bill, HB 354, state insurance exchanges mandated by the new Obama Health Care Law would not be permitted to cover elective abortions

All three bills, sponsored by pro-life state Rep. Carl Wimmer (R), now head to the   state Senate.

On Monday Minnesota became the latest state to introduce a version of a bill to ban abortions of babies capable of feeling pain, demonstrated by medical evidence to be at 20 weeks post-fertilization.

“For far too long, Minnesota’s abortionists have been inflicting unconscionable suffering on unborn babies by killing them when they are already extraordinarily developed and pain-sensitive,” explained Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). “It is illegal to treat animals in such a brutal way; this bill will finally protect unborn children at 20 weeks and older from the torturous pain of abortion.”

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, S.F. 649 and H.F. 936, is authored by Sen. Gretchen Hoffman (R) and House Ways and Means Chairwoman Mary Liz Holberg  (R).

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