Pro-Life News Briefs: Kentucky Gov, Massachusetts and Virginia Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 27, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life News Briefs: Kentucky Gov, Massachusetts and Virginia Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 27,

Kentucky Governors Race Nears the Finish Line, Stark Contrast Involved
Frankfort, KY ( —
The Kentucky race for govern is hitting the final stretch and there is a stark contrast between pro-life incumbent Gov. Ernie Fletcher and Democratic challenger Steve Beshear, who backs abortion. Fletcher pounded away at Beshear on social issues this past week during a stop at a Christian center in Brandenburg in north central Kentucky. Fletcher told about 80 cheering supporters that there’s a "significant difference" between him and Beshear on abortion. Kentucky voters will decide on Nov. 6 which of them will lead the state for the next four years. Fletcher, who is seeking a second term, trailed Beshear by 15 percentage points in a poll released Thursday. Fletcher reminded the Christian center crowd earlier in the day that the first bill he signed into law was a measure that created a new crime for people who criminally cause the deaths of unborn babies. "The pro-abortion people were concerned because it recognized the unborn child as having some rights," said Fletcher. Beshear opposes abortions after the first trimester, but believes abortions before then are okay.

Massachusetts Senate Passes Bill to Expand Abortion Facility Buffer Zone
Boston, MA ( —
The Massachusetts Senate on Tuesday by voice vote passed a bill that would expand abortion center buffer zones from 18 feet to 35 feet. The current law, which was passed in 2000, requires protesters to stay at least six feet away from abortion business employees and patients and establishes an 18-foot zone within which individuals may not interact with anyone to counsel them or give them literature. There have been no successful prosecutions under the law because officials are not clear how to prove patient consent or refusal when pro-life advocates talk with them. Some supporters of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Harriette Chandler (D), claimed the measure is needed to protect women from intimidation from pro-life people. However, Marie Sturgis, executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, said that the legislation would "infring[e] on the pro-lifers’ ability to reach out to women in crisis who need vital information." Gov. Deval Patrick (D) in a statement said that he supports the measure. It now heads to the House, where at least 75 lawmakers have said they support it.

Manassas Virginia City Council Passes Resolution to Study Abortion Regs
Manassas, VA ( —
City councils don’t normally get involved in the abortion debate, especially when it concerns regulating abortion centers themselves, but that’s what the council in this Virginia city has done. Last week it passed a resolution that would create a committee to study what regulations and guidelines abortion centers there operate under and to determine if stricter guidelines are needed. Amethyst Health Center for Women appears to be the only abortion business in the city at this time. Virginia currently requires a 24-hour waiting period and parental consent before an abortion can be done the state Board of Medicine and the Department of Health Professions regulate abortion facilities and abortion practitioners. "The focus of this [resolution] is to look at the health and safety requirements being done" at Amethyst, City Council member Marc Aveni, the resolution’s author, said. Aveni added that he is concerned with issues such as cleanliness, after-care, inspections, hospital privileges and procedures performed on minors. The council’s options concerning guidelines and regulations for the abortion center include changing the definition of a hospital to include any medical facility that performs 25 abortions or more annually. It also could require Amethyst and future abortion centers to meet higher standards.