by Steven Ertelt
May 23, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — A Louisiana state House committee has signed off on a bill that would prohibit partial-birth abortions in the state. The measure is a reaction to the Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding a federal partial-birth abortion ban and a means to step up enforcement of the ban there.
The high court’s decision reaffirmed the ability of states to approve pro-life laws limiting abortion and lawmakers are eager to get started.
Baton Rouge Rep. Gary Beard, the sponsor of the pro-life bill HB 614, called the grisly three-day-long abortion procedure “a practice that crosses the line between abortion and feticide.”
Democratic Sen. Ben Nevers has joined the Republican as a co-sponsor of the bill.
They say that there are 300 such abortions in Louisiana and they want to make sure the abortions are prohibited. A state law would give the national ban better enforcement by guiding state and local officials.
Without a state partial-birth abortion ban, enforcement would be left only to federal authorities who may not have the time nor resources to uphold it in all fifty states.
However, abortion advocates lined up before the panel to side with the small percentage of state residents who want the abortions to remain legal.
Julie Mickelberry, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood, and Michael Malec of the American Civil Liberties Union testified against the bill.
Pro-life attorney Dorinda Bordlee of the Bioethics Defense Fund also testified before the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice and said the bill was well-written because it would hold abortion practitioners accountable for violating the law.
Under the measure, anyone who does the abortion could spent a year in prison and be fined $10,000 or both.