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January 03, 2014

70 New Anti-Abortion Laws OK'd in 22 States

Some 22 states enacted 70 new provisions to target abortion last year, the second most ever, prompting an outcry from Planned Parenthood, which accused "out-of-touch Tea Party politicians" with using "every underhanded trick in the book to get these laws passed." A new report from the Guttmacher Institute said that the 70 provisions were second in number to the nearly 90 approved in 2011. The group said that 205 abortion restrictions were approved over the past three years, more than the 189 enacted during the previous decade. Read more...

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December 24, 2013

Hiding Obamacare’s Abortion Coverage

During the first round of congressional hearings on the subject of the Healthcare.gov website, Rep. John Shimkus, Illinois Republican, asked Mrs. Sebelius to make sure that federal exchange plans that cover elective abortion are readily identifiable to consumers, so that people who do not wish to purchase plans that cover elective abortion would not unknowingly enroll in such plans. Mrs. Sebelius responded, “I know exactly the issue you’re talking about. I will check and make sure that is clearly identifiable.” She also promised to provide the committee a list of insurers in the federal exchange who do not offer abortion coverage. Nearly two months later, Mrs. Sebelius has still not provided any such information to the public. Read more...

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December 14, 2013

Michigan Puts Restrictions on Abortion Insurance

Michigan will join more conservative states in requiring residents who want health insurance coverage for abortions to buy an extra policy, after Republican legislators passed the law over the objections of Democrats who pleaded for them to take the issue to voters instead. The citizens' initiative approved 62-47 by the House and 27-11 in the Senate — almost entirely along party lines — will become law in March without the signature of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who vetoed similar legislation a year ago. The pro-life group Right to Life collected more than 300,000 signatures to put the legislation before lawmakers, who also had the option of letting it go to a statewide vote next November. Read more...

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January 15, 2013

States Deliver 43 Pro-Life Laws in 2012

As the United States approaches Roe v. Wade's 40th anniversary, pro-life advocates have gained ground in restricting the number of abortions taking place every year. In 2012, 43 pro-life provisions went into effect in 19 states, the second highest number after states enacted 92 pro-life laws in 2011. The numbers come from a report published by pro-abortion group Guttmacher Institute, which calculated the number of pro-life provisions rather than bills or laws, since bills often have multiple provisions. Read more...

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Wyoming Abortion Bills Focus on Heartbeats

A pair of bills before the Wyoming Legislature fixate on the heartbeat of the embryo or fetus before an abortion. House Bill 97 would prohibit abortions if an embryo or fetus heartbeat is detected. Senate File 88 would provide pregnant women the opportunity to listen to the fetus' heartbeat before an abortion, among other things. Abortion rights advocates oppose the bills. Read more...

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May 04, 2012

Kansas Senate Passes 'Conscience' Bill

A bill that would allow pharmacists to bow out of providing drugs they believe might cause an abortion cleared the state legislature. The Senate voted 23-16 to approve the bill, which is primarily intended to broaden legal protections for health-care providers who don't want to be involved in abortion procedures. Already passed by the House in March, the bill now awaits the signature of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, a staunch opponent of abortion. Read more...


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May 02, 2012

Georgia Gov. Signs 'Fetal Pain' Abortion Bill

Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday approved new restrictions on late-term abortions in Georgia, sealing a victory for conservative leaders who championed the issue at the Capitol this year. Deal's signature makes Georgia the latest state to generally ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, cutting by about six weeks the time women in Georgia may have an elective abortion. Read more...

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March 29, 2012

N.H. House Votes to Ban Abortion After 20 Weeks

For the fifth time in two weeks, the House passed a bill intended to restrict abortions in New Hampshire, voting to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion providers would face felony charges punishable by up to 15 years in prison for violating the proposed law, although the mother would not be prosecuted. The House voted 190-109 to send the bill to the Senate. The fate of the bill and four others sent to the Senate is uncertain. Read more...

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Arizona Senate Rejects Birth Control Bill

The Arizona state Senate has rejected a controversial bill that would have allowed employers to refuse to offer birth control coverage if it conflicted with their moral or religious beliefs. The proposal had become entangled in a rancorous national debate over women’s healthcare and religious freedom. Under the bill, employers still would have been required to cover birth control used for purposes other than contraception, such as treating acne. Opponents said that would have required women who wanted birth control to tell their employers why, thereby violating their privacy. Read more...





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March 19, 2012

Kansas Abortion Debate Shifts to Doctor Training

A push by pro-lifers to ensure Kansas doesn't have even indirect involvement in terminating pregnancies has legislators focusing on the state medical school, whose officials worry lawmakers could endanger its accreditation. The University of Kansas Medical Center would be affected by two separate but similar pro-life measures. One is a provision in a proposed state budget facing a final vote in the House, and another is a bill endorsed by a House committee aimed at making sure the state doesn't subsidize abortions indirectly through tax credits or deductions. Read more...

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Arizona Bill Could Require Reason for Birth Control

Women in Arizona trying to get reimbursed for birth control drugs through their employer-provided health plan could be required to prove that they are taking it for a medical reason such as acne, rather than to prevent pregnancy. A bill nearing passage in the Republican-led Legislature allows all employers, not just religious institutions, to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage when doing so would violate their religious or moral beliefs. Read more...

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March 14, 2012

Mississippi House Gets Tough on Clinics

Mississippi's House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would tighten regulations for abortion facilities in the conservative state. The bill, approved by a 80-37 margin in the Republican-controlled House, would require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and be board-certified or eligible in obstetrics and gynecology. Mississippi's Senate will now consider the proposed legislation. Read more...

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Wisconsin Okays Abortion, Abstinence Bills

The state Assembly passed bills limiting insurance coverage for abortions and mandate teaching abstinence in schools during a late-night session that went into early Wednesday morning as they pushed to finish their work for the year by the end of session Thursday. Democrats decried the abortion and sex education bills as part of a national war on women, but they didn't have the votes to stop them. Read more...

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Abortion Bill Gains Little Traction in Alaska

Sen. John Coghill introduced a bill a month ago to require women to get ultrasounds before abortions, but the bill hasn’t moved since and the North Pole Republican doesn’t expect it will before the end of the session. That’s because the Senate leadership, a mixture of Republicans and Democrats, has long shied away from controversial and divisive issues like abortion, Coghill said. That hasn’t stopped Coghill, a long-time pro-life advocate, from trying. Read more...




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March 10, 2012

Arizona Senate Approves Bill on 'Wrongful Births'

The Arizona Senate has approved a bill that would shield doctors and others from so-called "wrongful birth" lawsuits. Those are lawsuits that can arise if physicians don't inform pregnant women of prenatal problems that could lead to the decision to have an abortion. The Senate's 20-9 vote sends the bill to the state House. Read more...

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Vindictive Senatorette Introduces Viagra Bill

In response to a "Heartbeat Bill" making its way through the Ohio legislature, a female senator has introduce a vindictive counter bill aimed at males. State Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, this week introduced Senate Bill 307, which is aimed at protecting men from the risks of PDE-5 inhibitors -- drugs like Viagra that are commonly used to treat symptoms of erectile dysfunction -- in an effort to "guide men to make the right decision for their bodies." Read more...


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March 08, 2012

Virginia Governor Signs Ultrasound Bill

Abdominal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions in Virginia will become mandatory under a bill signed into law by the state's Republican governor, who had faced a national uproar when earlier versions of the measure had sought to make the exams medically invasive. The law conservative Gov. Bob McDonnell signed requires all Virginia abortion providers to comply starting July 1 or pay a $2,500 fine for each violation. Patients living within 100 miles of the clinic where the abortion is performed must wait 24 hours after the ultrasound examination before having an abortion. Victims of rape or incest who reported the attacks to police are exempt. Women must be offered the chance to view the ultrasound images, but can't be forced to see them. Read more...

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Utah Advances Abortion Bill With Little Debate

Creating the nation’s longest waiting period for abortions in Utah stirred almost no debate in the Utah Senate. Senators voted 22-6 to give preliminary approval to HB461. It is now one final vote away from going to the governor for signature. Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, the Senate sponsor of the bill, was the only speaker, and used most of that time to describe how the bill would lengthen the waiting period from 24 hours to 72. Read more...

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New Hampshire House Passes Opt-Out Bill

All New Hampshire employers, not just church organizations, would be able to deny insurance coverage for contraception and sterilization care on religious grounds under a bill that passed the House 196-150 yesterday. The bill was championed by House Speaker Bill O'Brien, and its drafter, Rep. Andrew Manuse, a Derry Republican, relied on help from a lobbyist for the state's Catholic Church. It heads next to the Senate. Read more...

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March 05, 2012

Georgia Bill Would 'Eliminate Pain'

Under a bill being considered in the Georgia Legislature, unborn children would be protected from the pain of abortion. The measure, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, has passed in the Georgia state House and now will move to the Senate. Georgia Right to Life spokesperson Nancy Stith says the reason they have set the 20-week restriction is that "it's a medical fact that the baby feels pain at that point." Read more...

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New Hampshire Bill Cuts Abortion Funding

A House bill aimed at cutting off taxpayer funding to hospitals, clinics, doctors and others who perform elective abortions could put New Hampshire's $1.4 billion annual Medicaid program in jeopardy. The legislation is one of a series of House bills that would authorize limits on abortion and coverage for contraceptives in employer health plans, but its impact could be the most widespread. Read more...

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February 29, 2012

Virginia Approves Ultrasound Abortion Mandate

The Virginia Senate passed precedent-setting legislation that would force women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. The 21-19 vote on an amended version of House Bill 462, sponsored by Del. Kathy J. Byron, R-Campbell marked a victory for pro-life advocates and the conservative wing of the Republican Party, which has been frustrated in recent days with the scuttling of bills aimed at restricting access, funding and length of time a woman may access abortion services. Read more...

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Wyoming House Wants Birth Control Mandate Overturned

A resolution calling on the federal government to overturn a recent Obama administration mandate requiring birth control coverage for employees of religious-affiliated hospitals, schools and other programs passed the Wyoming House of Representatives. The House voted 40 to 17 in favor of the resolution, which now goes to the state Senate. Seven other states and a handful of Catholic groups filed a federal lawsuit last week in Nebraska asking a judge to block the mandate. The states involved are Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. Read more...

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February 23, 2012

Virginia Ultrasound Bill Falters

A Republican effort to require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion is in serious jeopardy after Gov. Bob McDonnell backtracked on the issue and the author of the Senate version of the bill asked that her legislation be stricken. McDonnell issued a statement prior to a House of Delegates debate on the issue, saying he would not support forcing women to undergo an ultrasound in which a probe is inserted into the vagina. That is the common method of performing an ultrasound for women in the early stages of pregnancy. Read more...

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Wisconsin Passes Same-Room Exam Bill

Women could not receive drugs that induce abortions unless a doctor gives them a physical exam and is in the same room when they receive the drugs, under a bill given final approval by the state Senate. The bill passed 17-15 with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against. Abortion opponents say the legislation would ensure that doctors aren't using Web cameras to consult with women about the drugs and women aren't being pressured into receiving abortions. Read more...

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Missouri Debates Birth Control Bill

A bill introduced in the Missouri State Senate aims to allow employers to deny health insurance coverage for birth control, abortions, and sterilization. It comes after the Obama administration’s proposal to require religious employers to provide free coverage of birth control even if it is contrary to their doctrine. The Missouri proposal will allow any employer to deny coverage of birth control treatments. Read more...

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Panel Advances S.D. 72-Hour Bill

South Dakota's year-old abortion law remains tied up in a court challenge, but a state Senate committee endorsed a bill that would change some of its counseling requirements for women seeking an abortion. The bill leaves intact the current law's requirements that women seeking abortions wait 72 hours and undergo counseling at pregnancy help centers that discourage abortions. But it changes provisions dealing with a woman's first consultation with a doctor at an abortion clinic and requires that counselors at the pregnancy help centers be licensed. Read more...

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February 21, 2012

N.H. Bill Would Adjust Parental Notification

The law that requires pregnant girls seeking abortions tell their parents or get a judge's OK is back before the New Hampshire House. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a bill to change the requirement that a judge issue a ruling within 48 hours to within two court business days. That would mean girls filing petitions late in a week would not hear back over a weekend, effectively lengthening their wait time. Read more...

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February 16, 2012

Personhood Bill Clears Oklahoma Senate

Oklahoma lawmakers edged closer toward trying to outlaw abortion by approving personhood legislation that gives individual rights to an embryo from the moment of conception. The Republican-controlled state Senate voted 34-8 to pass the Personhood Act which defines the word person under state law to include unborn children from the moment of conception. The measure now goes to the state House where pro-life Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than a 2-1 margin. Read more...

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Mississippi Lawmaker Introduces Personhood Bill

Senator Joey Fillingane filed a resolution that will change the state's constitution to add that life begins at conception and that public funds cannot be used to pay for an abortion unless the mother's life is in danger. The bill is similar to the "personhood amendment" which 58% of voters rejected in last year's general election. Governor Phil Bryant beleives the personhood language may have been too confusing for voters and believes the new resolution would be a lot clearer. Read more...

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Anti-Abortion Bills Filed in Georgia Senate

Health insurance plans would be banned from providing abortion coverage under two bills filed in the state Senate. Senate Bill 434 would block qualified health plans from providing abortion coverage as allowed by federal law, except when the life of the mother is endangered. Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta, sponsored the bill and proposed calling it the "Federal Abortion Mandate Opt-Out Act." The second bill, Senate Bill 438, would ban state employee health insurance plans from offering coverage for abortion services. Sen. Mike Crane, R-Newnan, is the bill's sponsor. Read more...

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February 15, 2012

Missouri Panel Backs Birth Control Measure

A debate in the Missouri Capitol over birth control grew Tuesday as a panel of lawmakers endorsed legislation that would allow any employer to refuse to provide health insurance coverage for contraception if doing so goes against the employer's religious beliefs. The legislation, which would allow employers to refuse to provide coverage for birth control, abortions or sterilization procedures, was approved by the Republican-controlled Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee on a 6-2 vote along party lines. Read more...

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Personhood Bill Advances in Virginia

Virginia lawmakers took a step toward outlawing abortion by approving "personhood" legislation that grants individual rights to an embryo from the moment of conception. The Republican-controlled House of Delegates voted 66-32 in favor of defining the word person under state law to include unborn children "from the moment of conception until birth at every stage of biological development." Read more...

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Washington Taxpayers to Fund Abortions?

The Washington state House approved a bill that would require that any insurance policy sold to state residents for maternity coverage also require policyholders to pay for coverage of abortions will get a vote soon. The House voted by a 52-46 vote to pass HB 2330 and send it on to the state Senate despite strong objection from pro-life advocates. Read more...

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February 11, 2012

Pro-Life Proposals Await Votes in Michigan

Rallied by the approval last fall of a state law banning so-called "partial birth" abortion, Michigan abortion opponents are pushing for more in 2012 — from a "Choose Life" fundraising license plate to a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Those proposals are among a number that could gain traction in a state Legislature where nearly two-thirds of the lawmakers have been endorsed by Right to Life of Michigan. Read more...

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Committee Hearing Heats Up on Kansas Abortion Bill

Temperatures rose during a committee hearing on a bill to add further restrictions on abortions. Kari Ann Rinker, state coordinator of the Kansas chapter of the National Organization for Women, called the bill a waste of taxpayers’ time and money. She told the House Federal and State Affairs Committee she knew she wouldn’t change anyone’s mind and the committee should just go ahead approve the bill. Read more...



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February 09, 2012

S.D. House Panel Approves Abortion-Law Changes

With South Dakota's year-old abortion law facing legal challenges, a House committee endorsed a bill that would change some of the counseling requirements for women seeking abortions. The bill leaves intact the current law's main requirements, but changes some provisions that deal with a woman's consultations with doctors at abortion clinics and counselors at pregnancy help centers. Those discussions are supposed to determine whether a woman has been coerced into seeking an abortion. Read more...

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February 08, 2012

Arizona Bill Would Impose New Abortion Restrictions

A sweeping anti-abortion bill would generally ban abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy and impose an array of new disclosure requirements, including having the state post online depictions of fetuses at two-week intervals. The bill says the 20-week ban stems from concerns that fetuses at that stage can feel pain and that women have higher health risks from later abortions. The ban, which does not apply in medical emergencies, would affect only a small percentage of abortions performed in Arizona. Read more...

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Abortion Provision Added to Nebraska Bill

No money from expanded Medicaid coverage of family planning services could go to Planned Parenthood, under an amendment adopted Tuesday by Nebraska lawmakers. Senators attached the prohibition to Legislative Bill 540 on a vote of 25-8, then gave first-round approval to the bill. LB 540 directs state officials to seek a Medicaid waiver to provide family planning services for women who make up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Read more...


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February 07, 2012

Pennsylvania Panel OKs Ultrasound Bill

The Pennsylvania House Health Committee voted on Monday to advance the Women's Right to Know Act (House Bill 1077), which would offer a pregnant woman the chance to view an ultrasound image of her unborn child and observe the baby's heartbeat prior to an abortion. The bill passed with support from both Republicans and Democrats on the committee. "Before a woman makes a decision as grave as abortion, she should have the chance to see what's really going on in her pregnancy," said Maria Vitale Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. Read more...


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February 06, 2012

Virginia Lawmakers Pass Abortion, Adoption Bills

Virginia would halt taxpayer-funded abortions for low-income women in cases where the fetus is severely physically deformed or mentally deficient under Republican-backed legislation passed Friday by state lawmakers. The House of Delegates voted 64-35 to strip the Board of Health of its ability to fund abortions for Medicaid recipients when a physician certifies that the fetus would be born with a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency." Read more...

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February 02, 2012

Virginia Senate Okays Ultrasound Bill

Virginia women seeking an abortion may soon be required to undergo an ultrasound first. The Virginia Senate approved the requirement on a 21-18 vote mainly along party lines. It is the first abortion-related measure to pass the Senate since Republicans took effective control of the chamber following the fall elections; more are pending. The bill from Sen. Jill Vogel would make women seeking abortions get an ultrasound, give them a chance to view the image and require providers to keep a copy of it on file. Read more...

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Bill Would Repeal Obama Anti-Conscience Mandate

Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, has filed legislation in the Senate to repeal a new ObamaCare mandate that violates the religious liberties and conscience rights of faith-based institutions by forcing them to offer employees insurance coverage for contraceptives, birth control or drugs that can cause abortions. The Obama Administration issued a statement re-iterating the "contraceptive mandate" requiring all insurance providers cover the full range of FDA-approved drugs and devices would remain intact. Read more...

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February 01, 2012

New Arizona Proposal Would Set Up 'Roe' Challenge

Sen. Steve Smith, R-Maricopa, said that Arizona already has fairly substantial laws requiring that women give "informed consent" before terminating a pregnancy. That includes everything from a discussion of the risks and a 24-hour waiting period to offering to let the woman see an ultrasound of the fetus. Smith acknowledged his goal in imposing new requirements is to convince women to decide against an abortion. But the most significant part of SB 1494 is that it would alter Arizona law to define human life as beginning at conception. Read more...

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Austin Passes Another Unconstitutional Ordiance

Last week, the city of Austin repealed one speech-chilling ordinance targeting the city's crisis pregnancy centers – and replaced it with another. The new ordinance does not mandate specific wording, but compels crisis pregnancy centers to post signs on their grounds stating whether all their medical services are supervised by a licensed health care provider or practitioner and if it is a medical facility. Read more...

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January 27, 2012

Kentucky Panel Passes Pro-Life Bills

A state Senate committee has approved pro-life bills on abortion and ultrasound that would help reduce abortions in the state. They are expected to be approved in the Senate but the state House defeated similar bills last year. Senate Bill 102 would require women seeking abortions to get "face-to-face" counseling 24 hours in advance of the procedure. Current law allows such information to be provided by telephone. Senate Bill 103 would require physicians to perform an ultrasound before an abortion and attempt to show the image of the fetus to the pregnant woman although she could refuse to look at it. The bill would impose a fine of as much as $250,000 on a medical provider who violates the requirement. Read more...

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Ultrasound Bill Stirs Virginia Abortion Debate

A Senate committee that was overhauled after last year's elections endorsed legislation Thursday that would require pregnant women to undergo ultrasound imaging before having an abortion, a breakthrough for abortion opponents who have advocated for the requirement. On a party-line vote of 8-7, the Republican-controlled Senate Education and Health Committee advanced the legislation to the full Senate. A similar bill is pending in the House of Delegates. Read more...

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January 26, 2012

Pro-Death Advocates Decry Kansas Proposal

Abortion rights advocates say an anti-abortion proposal pending in the Kansas House would limit women's access to birth control. But a key supporter of the measure says those worries are exaggerated. Rep. Steve Brunk, a Bel Aire Republican, says it only ensures that medical professionals who oppose abortion can't be demoted or fired for refusing to participate in terminating pregnancies, including with medication. The "conscience protection" bill has been introduced and expands a law preventing medical personnel from being forced to participate in abortions. Read more...

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Florida Committee Okays 3 Pro-Life Bills

In an emotionally charged two-and-a-half-hour debate, Republican lawmakers signed off on a trio of abortion bills that backers say would stop the "killing" of children and opponents counter would drastically interfere with a woman's access to good health care. "We need to protect these unborn children from harm," said Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee, of the three bills that would make it more difficult for women to go through with an abortion. Read more...


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