March 7, 2005


Lawmakers bridging abortion divide (BEN FISCHER, March 7, 2005, Chicago Sun-Times)

Just weeks after U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and other prominent Democrats sounded a new call for cooperation in Washington to reduce abortions, an Illinois House committee is close to acting on a measure both sides support. But negotiations have stalled as a deadline looms this week.

On the table is the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which has failed at least three times in the General Assembly. The proposal is meant to guarantee medical care for babies who survive a rare form of abortion and live outside the womb, if only for a short time.

Illinois Citizens for Life says it's a commonsense law that merely confirms basic rights to babies born alive, according to lobbyist Ralph Rivera. Planned Parenthood wants absolute assurances that the bill, if it becomes law, can't be used as a starting point to chip away at abortion rights, lobbyist Pam Sutherland said. [...]

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood and its supporters, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, are mindful that the concept has broad popular support -- Congress passed nearly identical legislation at the federal level in 2002 by huge margins.

The chipping is well begun.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 7, 2005 8:57 AM
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