by Steven Ertelt
June 27, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — The Louisiana state House put the final touches on a bill that would ban partial-birth abortions and sent it to Governor Kathleen Blanco after approving it unanimously. If Blanco signs the bill, it would prohibit more than 300 such abortions that are done in the state on an annual basis.
Lawmakers there hope 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.
The ban prohibits all such abortions unless necessary to save the life of the mother, although the three-day-long abortion procedure is not needed in such circumstances.
Rep. Gary Beard, a Republican, sponsored the bill and Democratic Sen. Ben Nevers was behind a Senate version that passed unanimously there.
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.
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.
The bill calls for crimes for abortion practitioners who do the partial-birth abortion procedure ranging from $1,000 and $10,000 and a one to ten year jail term.
Julie Mickelberry of Planned Parenthood opposed the bill but pro-life advocates supported it.
Meanwhile, the legislature also signed off on a bill sponsored by Republican Rep. A.G. Crowe that would give women considering an abortion information on the pain a baby feels during the procedure.