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NRL News
Page 16
June 2009
Volume 36
Issue 6

An Encouraging Update on State Legislation
By Dave Andrusko

It would be difficult not to be excited when (for starters) Oklahoma has passed a comprehensive abortion-reporting bill which also prohibits sex-selection abortions and Nebraska now has arguably the strongest, most effective ultrasound measure in the nation. But NRLC State Legislative Director Mary Spaulding Balch took special pleasure in their passage.

“There is a reason pro-abortionists loathe this kind of legislation,” she said. “Everything they do is intended to cloak the humanity of the unborn child and mislead the child’s mother about what she is doing and to whom.” These laws “open a window on the truth and a window on the womb.”

Noteworthy as well is that Oklahoma also passed a ban on all cloning of human embryos, whether for “research” or reproductive purposes.

Among the provisions of Oklahoma’s HB 1595 is a ban on sex-selection abortion, in addition to meaningful reporting requirements.

“There are some other states that have very helpful reporting requirements, but Oklahoma’s are probably the most comprehensive,” Balch said. “For example, we will know whether Oklahoma’s already existing informed consent provisions are being enforced and what the grounds are when a judge gives a girl a bypass” (which means she does not have to inform her parent(s) of her intentions).

Likewise in Nebraska, Balch said. The unofficial title given to the new law—“The Mother’s Right to See Her Unborn Child Ultrasound bill”—says it all. Under the Nebraska law abortionists who use ultrasound (virtually all do) would be required to position the screen in a way that the mother can easily see it and inform her that she can see the image of her unborn child, if she so chooses.

“Many young girls and women are ambivalent when they come to an abortion clinic,” Balch said. “If they have a realistic opportunity to see the humanity of their unborn child, many will choose to carry their baby to term.”

Many states have completed their legislative sessions for the year. Among other victories was a state ban on partial-birth abortion passed by Arkansas, modeled on the federal law which was upheld by the Supreme Court.

North Dakota passed an anti-coercion law that requires abortion clinics to post a sign telling women that they cannot be forced into having an abortion and explaining where they can get help. Georgia passed an embryo adoption bill. This will increase the likelihood that a woman who may be contemplating freezing an embryo she has decided not to implant knows that there are loving couples who would adopt the embryo and carry him or her to term.

Balch said that New York is on the verge of passing a bill which contains protective provisions that will significantly ensure the right of New Yorkers to be free from involuntary denial of life-sustaining medical treatment, food, and fluids. If a patient has chosen life-sustaining treatment that is not physiologically futile—but a health care provider is unwilling to provide it—the law would require that the patient must be allowed to transfer to a willing provider and be given the treatment until the transfer can be effectuated.