For the second time, the New York state Senate has passed a bill banning so-called “partial-birth” abortions in the state, this time by a vote of 41-19. The state has already banned all abortions after 24 weeks unless they are performed to save a woman’s life.
The restricted procedure, referred to as “intact dilation and extraction” or “D&X” by doctors, is performed when a woman’s life or health is threatened by a pregnancy, or when a fetus has severe or life-threatening health problems.
Sen. Eric Schneiderman, D-Manhattan, urged against passage of the bill, saying that the decision to use D&X should be made by doctors, and not politicians. The New York Times has reported that Gov. George Pataki (R) said he would sign the bill.
In related news, the Detroit News reported that the percentage of abortions performed in Michigan has dropped by 37% during the last ten years, and cited two abortion restrictions as the likely cause. The state banned Medicaid-funded abortions in 1988 and required minors to gain parental consent before having an abortion in 1993.