Michigan Legislature Passes Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

Catholic Conference head: 'Their vote ... in support of justice for the unborn deserves applause.'

(photo: Wikipedia)

LANSING, Mich. (EWTN News)—Paul Long, head of the Michigan Catholic Conference, is praising the Michigan Legislature for passing a bill to ban partial-birth abortion. He called the measure “the most commonsense policy a civilized society could enact.”

“There is no place in our state for those who seek to terminate the life of an unborn child partially delivered from his or her mother,” Long said on Sept. 21. “Today Michigan should stand proud in following the lead of dozens of other states and the federal government by prohibiting this most heinous and gruesome practice.”

One bill passed the Senate by a vote of 29-8, while the House passed its version by 75-33. The bills would allow prosecutors to charge a doctor with a two-year felony, but they must be reconciled before heading to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

Snyder answered a question about whether he will sign the ban by saying he will “wait and see when it gets to my desk,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

“For more than 15 years, Michigan citizens have used the democratic process to seek an end to this unspeakable abortion procedure,” said Barbara Listing, president of Right to Life of Michigan. Despite previous defeats, she said, “the unwavering conviction of hundreds of thousands of citizens that partial-birth abortion must be rejected led to this victory.”

Listing said the bipartisan vote shows that protecting human life “transcends party lines.”

A federal ban took effect in 2007 after a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Opponents said the federal ban makes the state law unnecessary, while supporters said state-level prosecution would be a more powerful deterrent. It has not been established whether the procedure has been used in Michigan.

The state Legislature has approved five previous versions of the ban, but these were struck down either by federal courts or by the veto of former Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

“With a 15-year struggle now behind us, and with legal and political obstacles having been removed, (the) Michigan Catholic Conference looks forward to Governor Snyder signing the ban into law,” Long said. “It must not be overlooked that this legislation received broad support from both Democrats and Republicans. Their vote today in support of justice for the unborn deserves applause.”