by Steven Ertelt
June 13, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — The Louisiana Senate moved a bill further ahead that would ban partial-birth abortions in the state. Lawmakers there are hoping to put a new ban on the books after an April Supreme Court decision saying such bans are constitutional and that a federal ban on the gruesome abortion procedure is valid.
Senators voted 38-0 to approve a bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Ben Nevers that would ban the abortions in the state unless the life of he mother is in danger, even though the procedure is never necessary to protect a woman’s health.
According to an Associated Press report, during the debate Nevers called partial-birth abortions "the most gruesome practices ever performed in the United States."
“Many of us know that partial-birth abortion is one of the most gruesome procedures ever allowed in this country,” Nevers added. “It should be a crime in this state and every state.”
With the Senate vote, Nevers’ legislation now heads to the state House, which has approved its own version — a bill sponsored by Rep. Gary Beard, a Republican.
Both lawmakers wanted the state ban on the books to help local and state officials better enforce the federal measure. 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.
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.
During the House debate on his bill, Beard said there are 300 such abortions in Louisiana and he wants to make sure the abortions are prohibited.
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.
As she did on the House side, Julie Mickelberry of Planned Parenthood opposed the bill.