Pro-Life News: South Dakota Abortion, Michigan, Alabama, Idaho, Malta

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 26, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life News: South Dakota Abortion, Michigan, Alabama, Idaho, Malta Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 26, 2006

South Dakota Abortion Advocates Make Abortion Ban Petition Drive Official
Pierre, SD ( —
South Dakota abortion advocates have officially launched their effort to gather enough petitions to put a ban on almost all abortions approved by the state legislature on the November ballot. Pro-abortion groups would need to collect almost 17,000 signatures by June 19th to place the ban on the ballot. Their hope is to defeat the ban outright without having to file a lawsuit that could eventually reach a changed Supreme Court willing to overturn Roe v. Wade. Abortion advocates formed a new coalition called South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families to collect enough signatures. Those who perform abortions would be fined $5,000 and be jailed for 5 years under the bill. One the life of the mother exception is included and attempts must be made to save the baby’s life as well in such circumstances. If abortion advocates lose at the ballot they could still file a lawsuit seeking to overturn the law. Only 45 abortion supporters showed up to a press conference to announce the petition drive.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm Signs Ultrasound-Abortion Bill
Lansing, MI ( —
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed a bill on Friday that would allow women considering an abortion to see a copy of their ultrasound if the abortion practitioner has ordered one. The move is somewhat of a surprise because Granholm has vetoed virtually every other piece of pro-life legislation state lawmakers have approved. The bill originally mandated that abortion practitioners should take an ultrasound image of the baby and provide it to women, but the bill was later changed to only require them to provide it if they have determined it’s necessary. Abortion facilities could decide an ultrasound would be helpful for determining the age of the unborn child before the abortion and, if they order one, they are obligated to show it to women considering an abortion.
Pro-life groups support the bill saying it is an improvement on current informed consent law that provides women only pictures of fetal development, and not images of their own child.
They point to statistics showing that women who see an ultrasound of their baby overwhelmingly opt against having an abortion.

Alabama Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Ban Virtually All Abortions
Montgomery, AL ( —
Following on the heels of South Dakota and Mississippi, lawmakers in the Alabama state legislature have introduced legislation that would ban virtually all abortions in the state. The only exception would be in extremely rare cases to prevent the death of the mother. "I thought if South Dakota can do it, Alabama ought to do it because we are a family friendly state," Republican state Sen. Hank Erwin told the Associated Press. "I don’t think you need to penalize the unborn child when something like that happens," Erwin said about why he did not add rape or incest exceptions to the abortion ban. Rep. Nick Williams, also a Republican, introduced a similar bill in the state House. Both bills have been assigned to committees and would make performing an abortion a felony crime. Only seven days remain in the legislative session and the bills may not get a hearing, but backers say they would file similar measures next session.

Kentucky Lawmakers Vote Against Abortion Ban Amendment
Frankfort, KY ( —
Kentucky lawmakers voted against an amendment to an informed consent bill that would have banned all abortions except those in rare cases to save the life of the mother. The state Senate voted against the amendment, which would have been attached to House Bill 585, that would strengthen the state’s Right to Know law. That law allows women to get information from an abortion center about abortion’s risks and alternatives that they might not ordinarily receive beforehand. The measure would make sure women thinking of having an abortion got the information in person beforehand and women who need to sign a form documenting they were given the information. The Senate approved the Right to Know changes on a 33-4 vote and Gov. Ernie Fletcher plans to sign the bill. Margie Montgomery, executive director of the Kentucky Right to Life Association, told the Louisville newspaper the bill could "cut down a large percentage of abortions."

Actress Patricia Heaton Tells Pepperdine University Students to Be Pro-Life
Malibu, CA ( —
Actress Patricia Heaton, who rose to national fame through the television series "Everybody Loves Raymond," spoke to a few hundred students at Pepperdine University in California and told them to support life. Instead of talking in terms of right or wrong, Heaton discussed ways both sides in the abortion debate could work together to reduce the number of abortions. She said students should focus on providing resources for pregnant students on campus so they don’t feel forced by career or finances to have an abortion. Heaton, a spokesomwan for Feminists for Life of America, used feminism’s history as a backdrop for relating her personal, present-day experiences with the audience. As a pro-life supporter, Heaton experiences numerous tensions with her colleagues in Hollywood. Yet the tension hasn’t fazed her yet. “I enjoy the controversy. I like to stir stuff up,” she said. Heaton closed by referring to a bumper sticker produced by FFL that reads, “Peace in the Womb.” “After all,” she said, “that should be the safest place to be.”

Michigan Abortion Practitioner to Reopen Abortion Business in Ypsilanti
Ypsilanti, MI ( —
A Michigan abortion practitioner is reopened his abortion business in downtown Ypsilanti on Friday after the building it is located in passed an inspection by city officials. Steve Gendregske told the Ann Arbor newspaper that pro-life advocates will continue to protest at Robert Alexander’s new abortion center. He said some of the people outside will provide women information about abortion alternatives and fetal development with the hope they will decide against the abortion. Alexander told the newspaper he strongly believes in performing abortions. "For anyone who has seen someone bleeding out or in sepsis (from a botched abortion), to be able to do this and not do it, that’s a sin,” he said. Alexander tried to open his new abortion business earlier this month but building and fire inspections uncovered problems and Alexander and building owner Hedger Breed have worked to bring the facility up to code. Alexander runs other abortion facilities as well and has run afoul of the state licensing board. Two lawsuits are pending against him. His license has been revoked three times since 1981.

Oregon Pro-Life Group Endorses Republican Kevin Mannix for Governor
Salem, OR ( —
As it has done in the past Oregon Right to Life announced its endorsement of pro-life Republican candidate Kevin Mannix for governor. The group’s political action committee made the decision to back Mannix on Thursday for May’s gubernatorial primary. "Kevin has been fighting for protective legislation for innocent unborn children and their mothers for many years," ORTL director Gayle Atteberry said. Mannix faces attorney Ron Saxton and state Sen. Jason Atkinson and several lesser-known candidates in the primary. He is an attorney and former state lawmaker and chairman of the Republican party who has received the group’s endorsement for governor before. Pro-life advocates have a difficult time winning election statewide in a state that is predominantly pro-abortion and tends to support Democratic candidates.

Idaho Lawmakers Want Attorney General to Review Two Abortion Bills
Boise, ID ( —
Idaho lawmakers have introduced two pieces of legislation to reduce abortions, but they want the state’s attorney general to review them before moving forward. The bills include one measure to require parental permission before a teenager can have an abortion and the other requires abortion practitioners to tell women about abortion’s risks and alternatives. Both were introduced Friday but because a previous parental consent measure is tied up in federal courts, they want to make sure both bills are constitutional. Representative Bill Sali, who is sponsoring this year’s consent bill, says he modeled it after Arizona’s, which has been upheld in court. “We believe that a parent’s right to be involved in the rearing of their children is a fundamental constitutional right and it ought to be protected in these situations," he said. Planned Parenthood indicates it opposes the bills and would probably challenge them in court.

Malta President Unveils National Pro-Life Monument in Island Nation
Floriana, Malta ( —
Eddie Fenech Adami, the president of Malta has unveiled a national pro-life monument commissioned by the national pro-life group Gift of Life. Malta, an overwhelmingly Catholic country, has long been considered one of the most pro-life nations in the world and abortion is illegal there. The ceremony marking the introduction of the memorial to unborn children took place on March 25, a symbolic date many Christians use to symbolize the day Mary conceived Jesus. In late 2004, the United Nations placed Malta on a "hit list" of pro-life nations to be pressured to change their laws. Maltese bishops criticized a document released by a UN committee urging the nation to consider allowing abortions in cases of rape or incest or to protect the health of the mother. In a statement, the bishops called the recommendation "objectionable" and "unacceptable" and urged Malta residents to continue protecting the right to life of unborn children from conception.