March 17, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life legislation is advancing in Illinois, New Hampshire and Idaho:
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Legislation designed to bring abortion facilities into full compliance with regulations in place for outpatient surgery centers made gains in the state House of Representatives this week, but through a very unlikely source: the House Agriculture Committee.
The Committee, which is staffed by socially conservative Democrats and Republicans, approved HB 3156 13-0.
“Surgical outpatient centers are built for surgery. That means if something goes wrong, they are equipped to deal with it. I’m just trying to make parity here for the safety for everyone,” said Rep. Darlene Senger (R-Naperville), the bill’s sponsor, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Tribune reports that Senger’s law would mean that abortion clinics would be required to have defibrillators and ventilators, and would have to bring the hallway and parking lot dimensions of their facilities into compliance with what is standard for other outpatient surgical clinics.
The amendment was crafted by Paul Linton, special counsel for the Thomas More Society.
Peter Breen, Executive Director and Legal Counsel of the Thomas More Society, testified on Tuesday before the committee that the regulations were necessary to avert the collapse of government oversight that allowed Dr. Kermit Gosnell to perform abortions in his “house of horrors” facility, to the detriment of so many patients.
While the venue of the House Agriculture Committee may seem odd, the committee’s strong mix of conservative lawmakers makes it the routine route for pro-life and other conservative legislation to actually make it to the floor of the Illinois House.
Another measure also passed, HB 2093, which would require medical personnel, as well as office staff and volunteers, at abortion facilities to receive training to identify suspected child abuse and to report it to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
CONCORD, New Hampshire – State House lawmakers voted Wednesday to restore a parental notification law that was repealed in 2007 by the legislature.
The New Hampshire House passed HB 329 by a vote of 256 to 102. The measure requires abortionists to notify a minor’s parents or guardians 48 hours in advance before performing an abortion, unless the minor can obtain a judicial bypass.
The bill allows an abortionist to perform an abortion without notification only if he can demonstrate a medical emergency. The bill specifies that a medical emergency entails averting the death or “irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
Democrat Gov. John Lynch in 2007 signed the bill repealing the parental notice law, which had never been enforced because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that it lacked a sufficient health exception to pass constitutional muster.
The bill has been praised by pro-life leaders and lawmakers for helping to re-engage parents in the lives of their minor children, who could also be in vulnerable situations.
“This legislation is critically important to protect the health and welfare of minors, who too often become victimized by sexual predators,” said Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of Americans United for Life. “This bill is constitutionally sound and desperately needed for the protection of minors and their unborn babies in the State of New Hampshire.”
BOISE, Idaho – A ban on abortion past 20 weeks is heading to the state Senate for consideration. The legislation is based on the fact that an unborn child definitely feels pain by the 20th week, and is modeled on a Nebraska law that has not been challenged in federal court.
The Spokane-Review reported that a Senate panel on Wednesday approved SB 1165 to head to the full Senate in a 7-2 vote, with the recommendation that the chamber approve the bill.