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Louisiana legislature approves 'partial-birth' abortion ban

[JURIST] The Louisiana State Legislature [official website] Tuesday approved a ban on dilation and extraction (D&X) abortions [HB 614 information], establishing fines between $10,000 and $100,000 and a jail term from one to ten years for any physician who performs the procedure when it is not necessary to save the life of the mother. The D&X abortion [JURIST news archive] procedure is often called "partial-birth" abortion by abortion opponents because the undeveloped fetus is partially extracted from the uterus before the abortion is performed. Sponsored by Republican State House Representative Gary Beard [official profile], the bill mirrors the federal "Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003" [PDF text], which recently survived challenge [JURIST report] in the US Supreme Court in Gonzales v. Carhart [Duke Law case backgrounder]. Despite lobbying in Louisiana by abortion-rights group Planned Parenthood [advocacy website], only one legislator voted against the measure. The bill now moves to Governor Kathleen Blanco [official website], who opposes abortion, but she has not indicated if she will sign it.

Earlier this month the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit struck down a Michigan "partial-birth" abortion ban [JURIST report], because it deviated from the express limitations established in Carhart. AP has more.

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