by Steven Ertelt
February 29, 2008
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a new partial-birth abortion ban, but the measure may not survive once it gets to the Senate. The Assembly voted 59-38 for the ban, but the state Senate may not take up the measure and it may die for this legislative session.
The bill is a second attempt to ban partial-birth abortions there after the first try was found unconstitutional.
With the Supreme Court ruling a national ban constitutional last year, Wisconsin pro-life groups say this ban would survive a court challenge because the language is similar.
Wisconsin approved a ban in 1998 only to see a federal appeals court declare it void because of a Supreme Court decision saying a similar Nebraska ban was unconstitutional.
In April 2007, the high court determined that a national ban was constitutional and didn’t need a health exception because the abortion procedure is never medically necessary to protect a woman’s health.
Sen. Scott Fitzgerald and Rep. Mark Gundrum, both Republicans, are behind the Wisconsin Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act (AB 710).
Abortion advocates have attacked the bill, saying it’s unnecessary, but Wisconsin Right to Life told LifeNews.com there are several reasons to have a state ban in place.
"Even though there is a federal ban on the gruesome late-term partial-birth abortion procedure, a state ban is necessary in order to permit local officials to become involved in violations of the ban," Armacost said.
"With only a federal ban on the procedure, prosecution of partial-birth abortion cases could only be handled by federal prosecutors," she added. "Prosecutions of partial-birth abortion cases would be best handled when state and local prosecutors also have the tools they need to ensure that the ban on partial-birth abortions is expeditiously enforced."
Even if the state legislature moves the ban through the process, Gov. Jim Doyle backs abortion and might veto it.
Related web sites:
Wisconsin Right to Life – https://www.wrtl.org