June 13, 2013

House rejects 3 bills limiting abortion

By Tom Bell tbell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- Three abortion-related bills failed by solid margins in the Maine House after emotional debates.

The House voted 81 to 61 to reject L.D. 1339, which would a require a parent to provide written consent before an abortion could be performed on a minor

It voted 90 to 53 to reject, L.D. 760, which would mandate that a woman, before aborting a fetus, be given "scientifically accurate" information about the fetus and the father's liability for support.

It also voted 82 to 60 to reject L.D. 1193, which would allow a wrongful-death lawsuit to be filed in the death of a viable fetus.

The defeat of the three bills is not a surprise because the Maine Legislature is among the most liberal in the nation on abortion issues.

Some abortion opponents appeared frustrated during the floor debate. Speaking on L.D. 1339, the parental consent legislation, Rep. Roger Reed, R-Carmel, said he's bewildered why a child is not allowed to go on a school field trip without a parent's permission slip but may get an abortion without a parent's permission.

Nevertheless, the voting results will not cause him to give up, he said.

"I am not convinced the war is lost. I am convinced more than ever that it is better to lose some battles in a war that we will ultimately win than win a few battles in a war we will ultimately lose."

Lawmakers spoke about abortionin the abstract, using words like "rights' and "freedom," Some spoke in legal terms. But several lawmakers spoke about their personal lives.

Rep. Lisa Renee Villa, D-Harrison, for example, said she supported L.D. 1339 until she discussed it with her teenage daughter.

"She said, 'You can't support that bill.' When I asked why, she said, 'I have friends in high school whose parents would kick them out the house or beat them up if they got pregnant.' She was not protecting herself. She was protecting her friends."

There will be additional votes in the House and Senate on the three bills


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