NRL News

Legislative Action Fast and Furious in the States

by | Mar 1, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Action is, as they say, heating up in the state legislatures. I’ll be trying to do an update every other day or so, to keep you abreast.

A parental notification law is being heard in the New Hampshire House. New Hampshire had a parental notice law, passed in 2003,  which pro-abortionists challenged all the way to the Supreme Court.

In January 2006, writing for the justices in her last decision on abortion, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor sent the law back to a lower court for a rehearing. However before that could occur the legislature repealed their parental notice law in 2007, led by pro-abortion Gov. John Lynch.

Pro-lifers never give up, and according to NRLC Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch, there are “good votes” in both houses.

“Parental notice is the type of issue that fence straddlers can come down on our side,” she explained. “Making it possible for parents to be involved when their minor daughter is contemplating an abortion is neither a conservative or liberal issue. It’s a parent’s rights issue.”

As we talked about last week, an Oklahoma House committee passed a bill identical to Nebraska’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.  It should be on the floor of the House tomorrow. (Such a measure has already passed the House in Kansas.).  A similar law passed out of an Indiana House committee, but Democrats in the Senate left the state in a battle over another issue, thus leaving the law for the moment in legislative limbo.

Oklahoman for Life is also strongly backing SB 547, which would prohibit coverage for elective abortions under health-insurance plans in Oklahoma. A provision in ObamaCare  specifically authorizes states to exclude abortion coverage in the state-based insurance “exchanges” the law created. Nebraska is considering a law to accomplish the same goal, commonly referred to as an “opt out.”

In Arizona, on February 21 the House passed HB2443 which prohibits abortions performed because of the child’s race or gender. The measure goes to the Senate.

“The issue that I’m seeking here to address is an issue of equal protection,” said Rep. Steve Montenegro, in his closing comments. “I introduce this bill to put an end to offensive and abhorrent practices which have no place in an egalitarian, multi-cultural society.”

Balch was encouraged that there would be movement on New Mexico’s parental notice law which has been enjoined for decades. The law lacked a judicial bypass allowing a minor girl to go to court and bypass the requirement to inform her parents. Such a change is in the legislature works and “if it gets to pro-life Gov. Susana Martinez, the measure will become law,” Balch said.

There are a number of other laws that have passed one house and are awaiting action, such as Texas’ ultrasound law which passed the state Senate on February 17.

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