Protecting the sanctity of life and preparing for our final week of session
We are getting very close to the end of session, and things at the Statehouse are busy and exciting. This week the Senate passed House Bill 1210, one of the most positive pro-life pieces of legislation in the country. I am privileged to be a co-author from the House. This bill ensures that women are more aware of their choices before an abortion and preserves the sanctity of life.
HB 1210 would not allow an abortion to be performed after 20 weeks, a number based upon research findings that the fetus may feel pain. The bill also requires that a doctor must have admitting privileges to a hospital in the county where the abortion is performed or in a neighboring county. HB 1210 adds that a pregnant woman must be informed orally and in writing about the risks involved, information concerning the fetus, available assistance, and existing law. A pregnant woman seeking abortion would be required to view ultrasound image of the fetus unless she states in writing that she does not want to view it. In addition, the bill prohibits qualified health plans under the federal health care reform law from providing abortion coverage.
In a bold Senate amendment, removal of Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood also passed. We have one final week to iron out and finalize the details. I will be sure to update you once the work on the bill has been completed.
Next week will be fast paced as we iron out the final details on many other bills in conference committees. These committees are made up of legislators from both the House and the Senate to work out compromises on bills that were amended in the other chamber. These committees are a vital part of the legislative process, as they decide the fate of many bills. If a compromise can be found, the bill is sent to the house it was drafted in for a final vote; if no compromise is found the bill dies.
I'm looking forward to completing the people's work in my first session at the Statehouse, and giving you a fully summary after session ends. Have a great weekend and a very happy Easter!
Rep. Sue Ellspermann (R-Ferdinand)