‘Partial birth’ ban passed by House

Published 2:40 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Louisiana State Legislature has taken steps to ban one controversial form of late term abortions in the state.

House Bill 614, which passed the House with a vote of 100-0 Thursday, aims to criminalize the abortion procedure anti-abortion activists have dubbed “partial-birth abortion.”

Authored by Gary Beard of Baton Rouge and Steve Scalise of Harahan, both Republicans, the bill would penalize anyone who performs a partial-birth abortion with at least one but as many as 10 years prison and a maximum fine of of $100,000.

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The bill provides an exception for abortions performed to save the life of the mother if her life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness or injury, including conditions created by the pregnancy itself.

If a doctor performs a partial-birth abortion, they are allowed a hearing before the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to determine if the abortion was necessary.

The bill disallows the prosecution of any woman upon whom the abortion was performed.

The bill would allow the father of the fetus — if he was married to the mother at the time of the procedure — to take civil action. If the mother was younger than 18, her parents would be allowed the same right.

Monetary damages would include awards for physical and psychological damages, as well as statutory damages equal to three times the cost of the abortion.

If House Bill 614 is passed but not signed by the governor, a clause in the Louisiana Constitution will allow it to go into effect anyway.

The Federal Supreme Court upheld the right of states to ban partial-birth abortion in mid-April.