by Steven Ertelt
July 16, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — Louisiana is the first state to ban partial-birth abortions following a ruling from the Supreme Court saying a national ban on the gruesome abortion procedure is constitutional. The high court ruled such bans don’t need a health exception because the three-day-long abortion procedure doesn’t protect women’s health.
Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, signed into law two companion bills sponsored by Rep. Gary Beard, a Republican, and Sen. Ben Nevers, a Democrat.
Under the measures, anyone who does a partial-birth abortion could be fined between $1,000 and $10,000 and go to prison for anywhere from one to 10 years.
The bill would prohibit more than 300 such abortions that are done in the state on an annual basis.
The language of the ban is similar to the federal prohibition but state lawmakers said Louisiana needed it because it would help guide state officials and prosecutors in enforcing it there.
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.
Blanco’s signing of the bill will likely prompt other state legislatures to follow suit.
Dorinda Bordlee, a top pro-life attorney in the state and the senior counsel of the Bioethics Defense Fund, applauded Blanco for signing the bill.
"Louisianans should be proud of their consistent record of leading the nation in life-protective measures," Bordlee told LifeNews.com.
Louisiana’s governor also signed an ultrasound-fetal pain information measure sponsored by Rep. A.G. Crowe. It ensures that women considering an abortion are told about the pain a baby would feel during the abortion and gives them an opportunity to see an ultrasound picture of their baby beforehand.
Used in pregnancy centers across the country, ultrasounds have proven effective in persuading women to keep the baby.
Bordlee has offered to help pro-life lawmakers and groups in other states pass these measures.