Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Louisiana Becomes First State to Outlaw Late Term Abortion


From "La. becomes first state to outlaw late-term abortion procedure" by Associated Press, posted 6/13/07 at

Louisiana became the first state to outlaw a late-term abortion procedure today, when Gov. Kathleen Blanco approved legislation allowing doctors to be prosecuted for performing the surgery.

The new law allows so-called "partial birth" abortions in only one situation: when failure to perform it would endanger the mother's life. The procedure would be a crime in all other cases, even if the pregnancy is expected to cause health problems for the mother.

The Democratic governor signed two bills - by Rep. Gary Beard, R-Baton Rouge, and Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa - that create criminal penalties for doctors who perform the surgery: fines of between $1,000 and $10,000, and jail terms of between one and 10 years. The statute is parallel to the federal ban that President Bush signed into law in 2003, upheld in April by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lawmakers in other states are expected to consider similar bans. Louisiana is the first to enact one.

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