Thursday, March 17, 2016

Developments in Late-Term Abortion Legislation in Two States

New York Times (March 15 and 16, 2016): Veto on Abortion Curb Overridden and  Haley's Signature Likely on New Abortion Curb:

In West Virginia,

Overriding the governor’s veto for the fourth time this year, West Virginia lawmakers put a ban on a common second-trimester abortion method into law on Thursday. Lawmakers voted to override a veto by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, of a bill outlawing the dilation and evacuation procedure, considered the safest second-trimester abortion method. Many Democrats sided with the Republican majority in favor of the override, which required a simple majority vote from the House and the Senate. The abortion ban takes effect in late May. In vetoing the bill, Mr. Tomblin cited patient safety concerns from doctors and worries that it would be unconstitutional. Courts blocked similar bans that Kansas and Oklahoma enacted in 2015. Proponents of the bill refer to the procedure as dismemberment. The law bans the abortion method unless the doctor had already caused the fetus’s demise. Exceptions exist for medical emergencies.

 In South Carolina,

Gov. Nikki R. Haley said Tuesday that she would almost certainly sign a bill banning abortion past 19 weeks. Ms. Haley, a Republican, said she “can’t imagine any scenario in which I wouldn’t sign it.” The bill could soon be on the governor’s desk. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a compromise the Senate passed last week. The measure would allow exceptions only if the mother’s life was in jeopardy or a doctor determined that the fetus could not survive outside the womb. Similar laws are in effect in 12 states. They have been blocked by court challenges in three others.

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