by Steven Ertelt
June 6, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — A Louisiana Senate committee has approved a bill that would ban partial-birth abortions in the state. A similar measure has already been approved by the state House and it would help local and state officials better enforce the national ban the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional in April.
Sen. Ben Nevers is the sponsor of the Senate version of the partial-birth abortion ban that the committee approved on a unanimous vote. It now heads to the full Senate.
“Many of us know that partial-birth abortion is one of the most gruesome procedures ever allowed in this country,” Never, a Democrat, told the committee, according to an AP report. “It should be a crime in this state and every state.”
As she did on the House side, Julie Mickelberry of Planned Parenthood opposed the bill.
Like the House version it only allows the gruesome abortion procedure if necessary to save the life of the mother, although doctors say they are never medically necessary.
Nevers’ bill includes crimes for abortion practitioners who do the partial-birth abortion procedure ranging from $1,000 and $10,000 and jail terms from one to 10 years. The House bill calls for the same fines and a year in prison.
Rep. Gary Beard, a Republican, is the sponsor of the House version and during the debate on his bill in that chamber he said there are 300 such abortions in Louisiana and he wants 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.
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.