Louisiana Legislative Update/2007 Summary (Please see www.legis.state.la.us for bill texts and voting lists):
HB 25 (Crowe plus 45 sponsors), to expand the “Woman’s Right to Know” Act to include mandatory provision of information on fetal pain and the availability of obstetrical ultrasound. This bill passed the House 83-16-6, then went to the Senate Health & Welfare Committee, where a serious effort was made to gut it by an amendment by Sen. Lydia Jackson. The effort was blocked in the full Senate (34-2-3), and, after House concurrence (98-1-6), was sent to the Governor for signature.
HB 614 (Beard & Scalise) and SB 161 (Nevers & Frith), to ban/criminalize partial-birth abortion in Louisiana (effectively identical House and Senate versions). HB 614 passed 100-0-5 in the House, then 36-0-3 in the Senate and, finally, 104-0-1 in House concurrence. SB 161 passed 38-0-1 in the Senate, then 99-1-5 in the House, and 31-0-8 in Senate concurrence. Both bills were sent to the Governor for signature, one to be signed according to final arrival time/date.
HB 178 (Doerge & Katz), to strengthen protections for the prenate (unborn child) in cases of prenatal drug/alcohol abuse, and tightening language favoring (at least implied) fetal humanity. The bill passed the House 102-0-3, then the Senate, 36-0-3, and was sent to the governor for signature.
HB 1 (Alario), Appropriations, with amendment by Rep. Scalise to fund abortion alternatives counseling and services. Passed both chambers, and was sent to Governor Blanco for her signature.
National Legislation Notes (see www.NRLC.org)
▪ On June 20th, 2007, President Bush vetoed S. 5, a bill passed by the Senate [and House (H.R. 3)] that would mandate the killing of human embryos for embryonic stem cell research, grossly mischaracterized by N. Pelosi (D-CA) as “science …tak[ing] us to a place that is biblical in its power to cure” (given that there have been zero (0) clinical benefits found from any use of embryonic stem cells!). In doing so, the President also signed an Executive Order expanding the use of approved stem cell lines in ethically responsible ways, and “prioritiz[ing] research with the greatest potential for clinical benefit.” [FAX (202) 456-2461]. It is doubtful that a 32-vote veto-override margin can be overcome; however, input by members of The Hippocratic Resource to their U.S. legislators would be very helpful!
▪ Notwithstanding the U.S. Supreme Court’s Gonzales v. Carhart decision regarding the constitutionality of a ban on partial-birth abortion on April 18th (and our pending, Louisiana ban), U.S House Bill H.R. 1964 (Nadler, D-NY) and U.S. Senate bill S.1173 (Boxer, D-CA, with co-sponsorship by Clinton, D-NY) have been introduced to invalidate all limits on abortion. The “Freedom of Choice Act” or FOCA, better considered as the “Freedom for Partial-birth Abortionists Act,” “would bar government – at any level – from interfering with a woman’s fundamental right [sic] to … terminate a pregnancy.” The fight to re-institute a culture of life is hardly over – it has just begun in earnest! Please contact your legislators!
▪ On June 21, the U.S. House passed legislation, H.R. 2764 (Lowey, D-NY) that would provide U.S.Government assistance to private organizations that promote abortion as a method of family planning outside the U.S., thus undermining the “Mexico City Policy.” However, the vote of 205-218 on the Smith-Stupak Amendment to remove the pro-abortion language is far short of the 2/3 required to over-ride President Bush’s promised veto, and the Senate has yet to vote on the issue.
from W. “Al” Krotoski, M.D., etc. and Francis Rinaudo, Jr., D.D.S.