Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Wash. Post: Tests of 'Roe' more frequent since justices upheld late-term abortion ban in '07, by Robert Barnes:
LINCOLN, NEB. - Mike Flood, the 35-year-old speaker of Nebraska's legislature, had a problem: He wanted to stop the state's well-known abortion provider from offering late-term abortions.
A long line of Supreme Court precedents seemed to stand in his way. But Flood believes that a 2007 decision offers hope for him and other state legislators looking for ways to restrict abortion.
Using that decision as a road map, this spring Flood wrote and won passage of legislation that bans abortions after 20 weeks. Introducing into law the concept of "fetal pain," it marked the first time that a state has outlawed the procedure so early in a pregnancy without an exception for the health of the woman.
The law shut down LeRoy Carhart, the provider who had planned to expand his practice outside Omaha and provide late-term abortions to women across the Midwest.
The importance of Flood's bill is likely to be felt far beyond Nebraska. . . .