Kathleen Gilbert


Pro-life state roundup: pro-life bills move forward in Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Iowa

Kathleen Gilbert

April 23, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The steady stream of legislation strengthening protections for unborn children and draining funds from the abortion industry has continued in recent weeks. Here are a few of the latest developments:

Tennessee: House lawmakers voted 80-18 to pass HB 3517, which would extend legal protections to unborn victims of violence to include embryos “at any state of gestation in utero.” Opponents argued that the extension was unnecessary because many children naturally miscarry before the eighth week of pregnancy, and called the measure “veiled support” to pro-life endeavors in the state, reports The Tennessean.

Louisiana: A bill requiring abortionists to allow women to hear their baby’s heartbeat prior to an abortion has passed a Senate committee in Louisiana. Although the state already has an ultrasound requirement, the new bill, SB 708, would require a 24-hour waiting period between the ultrasound and the abortion, in addition to the heartbeat provision. The measure is now under debate in the state Senate.

Oklahoma: A heartbeat measure similar to Louisiana’s headed to the governor’s desk in Oklahoma after it passed the state House 75-12, reports the Oklahoman. Gov. Mary Fallin, who took over for pro-abortion Gov. Brad Henry last year, has a strong record of support for pro-life legislation.

Meanwhile, lawmakers on Thursday announced that Oklahoma’s personhood measure had failed to reach the floor in the House of Representatives after strongly passing the Senate. State Representative Randy Terrill, a supporter of the measure, complained that House leaders “threw the caucus under the bus,” according to Reuters.

“There was no vote in the caucus,” said Terrill, but instead the bill was quietly killed in a “whip count” by party leaders polling their Republican colleagues.

Iowa: State lawmakers in Iowa’s House of Representatives passed a bill 57-37 that would both end taxpayer funding for abortion and shunt family planning funds away from the non-abortion services of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, reports the Des Moines Register. The state health and human services budget, which passed on a party-line vote in the House on Wednesday, removed an exception allowing Iowa’s Medicaid to pay for abortions in cases when the child was conceived in rape or incest.

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