The Republican-controlled Arkansas House of Representatives on Wednesday overrode a veto by Democratic Governor Mike Beebe of a bill to ban most late-term abortions in the state at 20 weeks into pregnancy.
The House voted 53-28 to override the veto, and the Republican-dominated state Senate was expected to vote on Thursday to override the veto as well. If that happens, Arkansas would join seven other U.S. states that restrict or ban abortions after the 20-week mark.
Arkansas lawmakers are also considering banning most abortions at about 12 weeks of pregnancy, once a fetal heartbeat can be detected by a standard ultrasound. Opponents of that bill say it would be the most stringent restriction on abortion in the country if it becomes law.
Beebe said he vetoed the bill because he felt it contradicted the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision and it would be costly to defend the law from legal challenges.
Bucking a trend in which states have been seeking to restrict abortion, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is putting the finishing touches on legislation that would guarantee women in New York the right to late-term abortions when their health is in danger or the fetus is not viable.
Mr. Cuomo, seeking to deliver on a promise he made in his recent State of the State address, would rewrite a law that currently allows abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy only if the pregnant woman’s life is at risk. The law is not enforced, because it is superseded by federal court rulings that allow late-term abortions to protect a woman’s health, even if her life is not in jeopardy. But abortion rights advocates say the existence of the more restrictive state law has a chilling effect on some doctors and prompts some women to leave the state for late-term abortions.
They make the trek because there is no doctor in the metro area of more than half a million people who performs abortions. The dearth results not from restrictive laws, but from the 2009 murder, in his church’s lobby, of Dr. George Tiller, who provided abortions, including late-term abortions. Before he was fatally shot by anti-abortion protester Scott Roeder, Tiller had survived the bombing of his clinic in 1985, been besieged by protests during Operation Rescue’s 1991 “summer of mercy,” shot in both arms in 1993, and tried and acquitted in 2008 for 19 misdemeanor charges of circumventing the letter of a state law requiring a second opinion before performing an abortion. When he was murdered, the clinic closed and his name still resonates as a cautionary tale about the perils of providing abortions.
Larry and Debby Burns agreed to have me up for the day to their clinic—one of the five about 200 miles from Wichita that are now the closest remaining options for women there. I’ll be the first reporter they’ve given such access to in 40 years of practice. Two other clinics who have seen an influx of Wichita women, in Kansas City and Tulsa, declined to have a reporter visit.
The film world loves hyperbolic terms such as “explosive material,” but that description is more than figurative for the Sundance Film Festival documentary “After Tiller.”
The bracing, 85-minute journey into the heart of the abortion debate is the only film among this year’s line-up to require its own retinue of arms guards, plus a full security check, during its Friday world premiere at Park City’s Temple theater.
It’s risk enough when the namesake of a film is Dr. George Tiller, the Kansas physician assassinated in 2009 during a service in his Wichita church. When the only four doctors performing late-term abortions in the United States show up at the world-premiere screening for a question-and-answer session with the audience, filmmakers don’t take any chances.
Directors Lana Wilson and Martha Shane, both 29, are first-time filmmakers who worked for nearly three years on the film. “We felt good about it (the security at the premiere),” Wilson said. “It meant we could exhale.”
Shane added: “The doctors are the best spokespeople for this issue, so of course they had to be there and be safe.”
Frank Szabo, New Hampshire ‘Oathkeeper’ Sheriff Candidate, Threatens Abortionists With ‘Deadly Force’
More sovereign sheriff religious wingnuttery — when did ignoring the constitution become a Republican value?
Frank Szabo, the Republican candidate for Sheriff of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, said in a Wednesday interview with a local television station that if elected, he would arrest and prosecute those involved in legal abortions, referencing the possibility of using deadly force to stop abortions.
Frank Szabo, who is running for sheriff in Hillsborough County, caused an uproar with his threats to crack down on legal abortion with arrests, prosecution and further actions aimed at doctors.
“Deadly force is always a last resort,” Szabo said in interview with the television station WMUR on Wednesday. “Why would anyone object to the use of deadly force to prevent the murder of an unborn human?”
“Well, I would hope that it wouldn’t come to that, as with any situation where someone is in danger, but again, specifically talking about elective abortions and late-term abortions, that is an act that needs to be stopped,” said Szabo.
The statement echoed an earlier press release, in which Szabo announced, “Abortion on demand is murder. Once elected, Sheriff Szabo will arrest anyone involved in the murder of a citizen of Hillsborough County.” He also expressed his opinion that the county sheriff had no superior officer, and did not have to take orders from other elected officials.
Arizona’s state House of Representatives voted to enact a bill on Tuesday that bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, sending the closely watched measure on to the Republican governor for approval.
House members passed the bill by a 37-22 vote. The measure would bar health care professionals from performing abortions after 20 weeks, except in the case of a medical emergency. Only a small number of these abortions are performed in Arizona.
The bill is the latest salvo in the long-running national battle over late-term abortions. Six states in the past two years have enacted bans based on hotly debated medical research suggesting a fetus feels pain starting at 20 weeks of gestation.
The bill would also require women to have an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to having an abortion, instead of the one hour that is currently mandated under state law.
Additionally, state officials would be required to create a website that details such items as the risks of the procedure and shows pictures of the fetus in various stages.