Abortion Restriction Proposals Advance in 3 States

Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 01:35 PM

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Conservative lawmakers from New Hampshire to South Dakota are making strides in the fight for tougher abortion restrictions across the country.

On Wednesday, Republican state legislators in New Hampshire took a major step toward requiring minor girls to notify a parent before getting an abortion. A strong majority in the state House voted to pass the bill on to the Senate, which is expected to approve the bill.

State Rep. Kathleen Sousa, a Manchester Republican, said the bill is not about abortion, but rather, it promotes parental rights, she told The Telegraph in Nashua.

“This bill first and foremost is to protect parental integrity,” Sousa said. “It is time for the parents in this state to assert their primary roles, to watch over, stand by, and protect their minor children.”

Deputy Speaker Pamela Tucker, a Republican from Greenfield, said it’s wrong that parents must be informed before their child gets an aspirin at school or a tooth pulled but don’t have to be told about an abortion.

Meanwhile, in South Dakota, some of the state’s crisis pregnancy centers said Wednesday that they may not follow a new 72-hour waiting period law state lawmakers there have passed, the Rapid City Journal reported Thursday.

Sitting on Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s desk is a bill that would require women seeking an abortion in South Dakota to confirm with their doctor that she has consulted with a pregnancy help center 72 hours before the procedure. It stipulates that a doctor can’t perform the abortion until the woman has verified that she has had a consultation.

The proposal is intended to help prevent any coercion, proponents say. Daugaard has until March 24 to sign the bill.

In Iowa, lawmakers are pushing a ban on late-term abortion, and some anti-abortion groups complained Wednesday about the slow pace in instituting the law, the Sioux City Journal reported Thursday. The proposed bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks.

“I understand them wanting to see things move quickly, but things don’t often move at the speed we like,” said state Rep. Chris Hagenow, a Windsor Heights Republican. “What ultimately matters is at the end of session, what has become law.”

Echoes of that sentiment are being heard in statehouses across the country.


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