MI: Governor Vetoes Abortion Procedures Ban

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) on Friday vetoed a bill that would have banned certain abortion procedures in the state. The “Legal Birth Definition Act” would have given legal protection to a fetus as soon as any part of the fetus was outside the woman’s body. The bill’s backers claim that this bill is only meant to ban late-term abortions that the anti-abortion movement misleadingly call “partial-birth abortions.” This term neither refers to any particular medical procedure nor receives recognition from the medical community.

Granholm said she vetoed the bill because “federal courts have repeatedly declared unconstitutional efforts to end partial birth abortion,” according to the Associated Press. The bill also did not contain an exception to protect the woman’s health.

A similar state law in Nebraska was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2000 for that very reason. Abortion opponents in the state legislature have vowed to override Granholm’s veto, but she believes they do not have enough votes, the AP reports.

In Congress, a similar abortion procedures ban is making its way through conference committee, the last step before it goes to President Bush to sign the bill into law. The House has already given final approval to the bill, and the Senate is expected to follow shortly. The Center for Reproductive Rights has vowed a court challenge the moment the bill becomes law based on its lack of a health exception.

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Associated Press 10/14/03, 10/10/03; Feminist Majority

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