Wyoming House Panel Votes Against Bill For Accurate Abortion Reporting
by Steven Ertelt
February 6, 2009
Cheyenne, WY (LifeNews.com) — The same Wyoming House committee that killed a measure earlier in the week to allow women to see an ultrasound of their unborn child prior to an abortion defeated another pro-life bill. On Friday, the House Labor Committee defeated a measure to require better reporting on abortions done statewide.
Wyoming is one of just a handful of states that doesn’t provide the public with an annual report on the number of abortions done in the state.
Most states provide an annual report along with other information and statistics to allow groups to work to reduce the number of abortions and provide women with more information.
HB 154 would have required the state health department to gather a more comprehensive report from abortion practitioners and to compile that report into an annual summary that would be provided to the House Labor Committee.
Rep. Bob Brechtel sponsored the bill and said that if members of the legislature wanted to help reduce abortions and be informed about complications from abortion than women face, they should support the bill.
Leading pro-life groups including Right to Life of Wyoming and the WyWatch Family Institute supported the legislation.
Right to Life representatives discussed how the information is apparently not being compiled diligently because the information the state health department is reporting to the CDC does not match the information compiled by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a former arm of Planned Parenthood.
Wyoming NARAL strongly opposed the measure and claimed it would put at risk the confidentiality of the abortion process and that members of the public would learn which women were having abortions.
However, current state law forbids any identifying information from appearing in abortion reports and HB 154 would have expanded the privacy protections found in state law.
Representatives of Wyoming NARAL were also seen brandishing copies of abortion reports and providing them to members of the committee — making their concerns appear disingenuous.
During the hearing on the bill, Rep. Sue Wallis of Gillette testified before the committee and claimed that women never experience negative aftereffects from an abortion and that no one has ever died from an abortion.
Later, the director of the state health department disabused Wallis and informed the panel that the CDC reported seven women died from abortion in 2005 alone, assuming all abortion deaths were accurately reported to the CDC initially.
Ultimately, the committee voted for a motion from pro-abortion Rep. Lisa Shepperson of Casper to table, or kill, the bill.
Rep. Dave Bonner of Powell seconded the motion and members of the committee joining them in defeating the pro-life bill included Reps. Jack Landon, Patrick Goggles, and Lori Millin.
Reps. Elaine Harvey and Kathy Davison opposed the Shepperson motion to kill the pro-life bill and Rep. Ken Esquibel, who voted to defeat the ultrasound measure, was not present for the vote.
Related web sites:
Right to Life of Wyoming – https://www.prolifewyoming.com
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