The legislation would punish doctors who fail to treat babies who are born as part of a failed abortion attempt. Critics of the measure say that it’s attempting to fix a nonexistent problem, and that there are already penalties for doctors who do not treat babies who are born alive. Abortion news comes out of North Dakota, Alabama, Ohio and Kansas, as well.
A bill requiring doctors and nurses to protect and care for children born alive during a failed late-term abortion cleared the North Carolina Senate on Monday, handing social conservatives a victory that could ultimately be undone by the Democratic governor. The Republican-drafted legislation specifies that health care practitioners should grant those children born alive the same protections as any other newborn patient. Those who don’t do so could face a felony and active prison time, along with potential $250,000 fines and other monetary damages. (4/15)
Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said Monday that he carefully considered all arguments before signing legislation that makes it a crime for a doctor performing a second-trimester abortion to use instruments such as clamps, scissors and forceps to remove the fetus from the womb. “I read every letter that came in,” the first-term governor told The Associated Press when pressed to expand on his approval. He had made no comment last week when he signed the bill into law. (MacPherson, 4/15)
Alabama lawmakers are set to hold a public hearing Wednesday on legislation before a House committee that seeks to outlaw almost all abortions in the state, what critics call one of the most extremely anti-abortion proposals in the country. The bill would make performing an abortion a felony, punishable between 10 and 99 years in prison, although a woman would not be charged for having the procedure under the proposal. (4/15)
In anticipation of a new anti-abortion tilt on the Supreme Court bench, some states are moving to further restrict the procedure during the first trimester of pregnancy or to outlaw abortion entirely if Roe v. Wade ever falls. But the rush to regulate has exposed division among groups and lawmakers who consider themselves staunch abortion opponents. On Thursday, Ohio became the latest state to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. (Farmer, 4/16)
Kansas has dropped its effort to terminate Planned Parenthood’s participation in Medicaid, ending a three-year-long court battle that the state lost at every turn. The change in policy wasn’t announced publicly but rather came in the form of a joint stipulation to dismiss Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit challenging the state’s move. The stipulation, which was filed in federal court on Friday, stated that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), which oversees the state Medicaid program, has notified Planned Parenthood of its decision to rescind the Medicaid terminations. (Margolies, 4/15)
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