A Rundown on Pro-Life Legislation in the States

By Dave Andrusko

Tuesday is proving to be a busy and productive day in state legislatures, starting with Kansas. As explained in Part Three, pro-life Gov. Sam Brownback has already signed two bills into law.

HB 2218–The “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”–is modeled after Nebraska’s path-breaking 2010 legislation. It protects the lives of unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion, based on the scientifically documented fact that by this juncture the child can experience pain.

Gov. Brownback also signed HB 2035, the Accuracy in Abortion Reporting & Parental Rights Act.

In Minnesota there was movement on two bills. Minnesota’s Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act received approval from ‘the Senate Health and human Services Committee as did a ban of public funding of abortion. The public funding ban also cleared a House committee.

“As a society we need to recognize that these babies are human beings,” said state Sen. Gretchen Hoffman. “The act of performing an abortion on a baby that can feel pain is inhuman.”

In 2009, nearly 32 percent (3,933) of all abortions performed in Minnesota were paid for by taxpayers, at a cost of $1.58 million. “There appears to be no limit to the abortion industry’s marketing of abortion to poor women,” said Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). “It is time to end abortionists’ money grab at the expense of vulnerable women and their unborn children.”

In Texas, the back and forth between differing house and senate ultrasound bills took another twist today. The Senate’s State Affairs Committee approved a bill which will be sent along to the full Senate.

The proposal provides that an abortionist show the abortion-vulnerable woman a sonogram, allow her to hear the baby’s heartbeat, and provide a description of the child. There are exceptions, including for women living in rural counties who would not need to wait 24 hours between having the sonogram and having the abortion.

On Monday, further evidence of the impact of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who stands accused of eight counts of murder. The Pennsylvania House Health Committee passed a measure that would make a commonsensical change—require that abortion clinics in the state meet the same safety standards as outpatient surgery centers.

The measure by Rep. Matthew Baker, chairman of the Health Committee, specifies that the Health Department “shall apply the same fire and safety standards, personnel and equipment requirements; and quality-assurance procedures to abortion facilities” that regulate surgical centers. The AP reports that it “is aimed at ensuring that abortion clinics receive the same level of state oversight as other medical facilities.”

In a related move,  the Delaware state Senate was to take up a bill today which passed the House last month, “ giving public health officials authority to investigate and inspect sanitation and safety conditions in health care facilities where invasive medical procedures are performed,.” according to the Associated Press. “The legislation was prompted by the arrest of an abortion provider who is charged with murdering seven babies and one patient at a Philadelphia clinic, and who also saw patients in Delaware.”

Last week , the Idaho House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, 54-14. The measure had already passed the Senate on March 23. It has gone to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter who has said he would sign it. Also last week in Oklahoma the state Senate voted 38-8 to pass similar legislation (HB1888). It will return to the House, where it has been approved by a vote of 94-2, before moving on to the desk of pro-life Governor Mary Fallin.

All this and more was the source of encouragement to Mary Spaulding Balch, JD, NRLC director of State Legislation,

“We are excited by the progress pro-life legislation has made thus far in the states,” she said, “and look forward to more victories before the legislative session are over.”

I would very much appreciate your help by way of  feedback on National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments to daveandrusko@gmail.com. If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/daveha

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