Four Pro-Life Bills Clear Louisiana Legislature

Bioethics Defense Fund commends the Louisiana legislature for passage of pro-life bills, including "Hear the Heartbeat Act," "Criminal Abortion Dismemberment," a "Defund Planned Parenthood Concurrent Resolution," and a Pain-Capable 20 week Ban.
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* Baton Rouge - Louisiana - US

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June 5, 2012 - PRLog -- Bioethics Defense Fund (BDF) commends the Louisiana Legislature for passage of four important life-protective bills.  BDF Senior Counsel Dorinda Bordlee provided strategic legal consultation and drafting assistance to Louisiana Right to Life on the bills that were adopted by Governor Bobby Jindal as part of his legislative package.  A summary of the bills follows:

SB 708:  Hear the Heartbeat Act

•   Author:  Senator Sharon Weston Broome (D, Baton Rouge)

•   Updates the 2010 Louisiana ultrasound law by requiring an ultrasound to be done 24 hours before an abortion (as opposed to the current 2 hours).  The bill requires the ultrasound screen to be placed in view of the woman, and requires that the heartbeat of the unborn child be made audible unless the woman signs an opt-opt form after being advised that she will hear "the heartbeat of the unborn child, if present."  

ULTRSOUND SAVES LIVES:  The BDF-drafted ultrasound law passed in 2010 required abortion providers to inform the woman that she had the right to ask for an ultrasound photograph of her unborn child.   Thanks to passage of that law, a woman recently walked into a pro-life pregnancy resource center carrying the printout that she had received at the abortion clinic which had helped her choose life and love for herself and her unborn child.

SB 330: Criminal Abortion Dismemberment Act

•   Author: Senator Rick Ward (D, Port Allen)

•   This BDF-drafted bill is a specific criminal statute that can be used to prosecute any person who performs an abortion without being licensed to practice medicine in Louisiana.  Abortions that result in the intentional dismemberment of the unborn child (including the common methods of suction curettage and D&C) subject the abortionist to increased penalties.

•   While current civil law limits the performance of abortions to Louisiana licensed physicians, this criminal law would provide a District Attorney with an express statute to prosecute abortions illegally performed by nurses, physicians assistants, unlicensed or out of state physicians, or lay people (as in the Pennsylvania Gosnell aukvi case).

•   Violators would face a penalty of one to five years imprisonment, a fine of $5,000 to $50,000, or a combination of both.

HCR 54: Resolution Encouraging Congress to Defund Planned Parenthood

•   Author:  Rep. Frank Hoffman (R, W. Monroe)

•   BDF's Dorinda Bordlee testified in committee in favor of this resolution, explaining that limited federal Medicaid dollars should be discontinued to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest provider of abortions.

SB 593: Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

•   Author: Senate President John Alario

•   This NRLC model bill was passed by La. Right to Life based on the documented ability of the unborn child to feel pain; the Act prohibits abortions at or after twenty (20) weeks post-fertilization.
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