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House committee votes down 2 abortion restriction bills

By GARRY RAYNO
State House Bureau

February 02. 2016 7:47PM


CONCORD — A split House Judiciary Committee Tuesday voted down two bills that would have restricted abortions.

House Bill 1627 requires physicians to attempt to revive any aborted fetus that “showed any evidence of life.”

Opponents said HB 1627 would subject doctors to criminal prosecution under very vague concepts and would interfere with the doctor-patient relationship at a very sensitive time.

“We should not be legislating medical procedures from here,” said Rep. Charlene Takesian, R-Pelham.

But bill supporters said medical personnel should do everything in their power to save a life. Babies are being left to die every day by medical professionals, they said, which violates medical ethics and morality.

“There should be a reasonable way to have some amount of protection for those who survive the sentence of abortion,” said Rep. Kurt Wuelper, R-Strafford.

The committee voted 9-7 against recommending passage of the bill.

House Bill 1560 would outlaw the most common procedure for ending a second trimester pregnancy, “dilation and evacuation.”

Supporters of the ban called the procedure horrific, and said it defers little from the “partial birth” abortions outlawed in many states. They said there are safer and less horrific procedures to end a pregnancy.

“We have the technology well within our means to do these executions in a humane way,” Wuelper said.

Opponents argued there are only two states that have a similar ban, and in both cases appellate courts have refused to lift injunctions prohibiting the two states from enforcing their laws.

The procedure is the safest one at that junction of a pregnancy and is medically accepted, said Rep. Linda Kenison, D-Concord. “The Legislature should not want to tell the medical community what is a proper procedure or not,” she said.

The committee voted 9-8 to recommend killing the bill. The House is expected to act on both bills later this month.

grayno@unionleader.com


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