Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Michigan to Ban Partial-birth Abortion

The Michigan state House and Senate have passed bills to ban partial-birth abortion, except to save the mother's life, and the governor is expected to sign such a bill. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld such a ban at the federal level.

For background, read Pro-life Legislation Floods America

-- From "Michigan lawmakers advance abortion procedure ban" by The Associated Press 9/21/11

A proposal to put the ban in state law passed the Senate 29-8 Wednesday. A similar but separate bill passed the House 75-33. Lawmakers must pass the same bills before they can be sent to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

There's a similar federal ban on the procedure. Critics of the Michigan plan say that makes the state proposal redundant. Supporters say a state ban would make it easier to prosecute cases in Michigan.

Michigan lawmakers have tried to enact a state-level ban multiple times without success because of vetoes from then-Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm and court rulings.

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From "Michigan Senate passes abortion bill" by Karen Bouffard, The Detroit News Lansing Bureau 9/21/11

Most Democrats opposed the ban saying it is not necessary since the federal government banned the practice in 2003. Democratic Sens. Tupac Hunter of Detroit, Steve Bieda of Warren and John Gleason of Flushing broke with their caucus to support the ban.

Opponents unsuccessfully proposed amendments to provide exceptions in the case of rape, or possible damage to a woman's health.

The legislation bans an abortion in which a fetus is partially born, and then killed before completely emerging from the womb. The practice would become a felony punishable by up to two years in jail and a $50,000 fine.

Senate Republicans said this legislation will stand because it closely mirrors language upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007.

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From "Michigan Legislature Approves Partial-Birth Abortion Ban" by Steven Ertelt, 9/21/11

The legislature approved Senate Bills 160-161 and the bills would prohibit partial birth abortions (SB 160) and provide sentencing penalties for anyone convicted of violating the law (SB 161). Both measures received a 3-1 vote to move on to the next stage of the legislative process.

Senate Bill 160 passed the Senate 29-8 and House Bill 4109 passed the House 75-33. They now go to Republican Rick Snyder who plans to sign them into law.

[State Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart] said the state law is needed even though Congress banned the practice, because it “makes it easier to enforce the ban in Michigan.”

Those representing Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union voiced their opposition to a ban on partial birth abortion during the committee hearing.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.