Morning Roundup: Lautenberg and Lee Introduce Bill Banning Funding of Abstinence-Only Programs

Beth Saunders

The Illinois House is using the conservative Agriculture Committee to pass anti-choice bills, North Dakota is looking at a personhood bill, and Sen. Lautenberg and Rep. Lee introduce a bill banning federal funding of ineffective abstinence programs.

The Illinois House is using the conservative Agriculture Committee to pass anti-choice bills, North Dakota is looking at a personhood bill, and Sen. Lautenberg and Rep. Lee introduce a bill banning federal funding of ineffective abstinence programs.

  • An Illinois House Committee has been busy with abortion-related bills recently. It recently passed a bill requiring clinics to fulfill the requirements of surgical centers, which could be devastating financially for many clinics in the state. What committee is hearing all these bills? Inexplicably, the Agriculture Committee, prompting protesters to wear buttons emblazoned with a cow and the words “Women are Not Livestock.” Apparently, the committee is full of conservatives from “downstate,” and when a House member introduces an anti-choice bill, he or she can request that the bill be sent to the Agriculture Committee to ensure passage.
  • A North Dakota legislator has introduced a bill to “make abortion a criminal act,” by making it state law that a fertilized egg is a human being. The embryo would be subject to protection from assault, reckless endangerment, and homicide whilst in the womb. While the bill includes exceptions for life-threatening conditions, in vitro fertilization, and emergency contraception, two doctors testified that the bill would complicate the treatment for women with ectopic pregnancies, fetuses who are found to have severe developmental problems, and in vitro fertilization.

    Although the measure exempts in vitro fertilization from criminal penalties, it includes language saying that “causing injury to a human being” is not justified.
    Dr. Stephanie Dahl, a Fargo infertility specialist who works at North Dakota’s only in vitro fertilization center, said the bill would make it illegal to do the procedure.
    “The process of IVF may result in injury to an embryo,” Dahl said. “It is unavoidable.”

    Not surprisingly, the bill is being pushed by Personhood USA.

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  • Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) have introduced a bill banning federal funding of abstinence-only programs. The “Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act” would strike the main source of funding for the programs, and instead fund $50 million a year of comprehensive sexuality education programs that include abstinence.

Mar 15

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