Briefly noted

Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana has signed into law two bills banning a controversial form of late-term abortion, making that state the first to outlaw the procedure after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal ban in April. Under the two laws, which went into effect July 13, anyone convicted of performing “a partial birth abortion . . . thereby kills a human fetus” and can be imprisoned for one to 10 years, fined from $10,000 to $100,000, or both. Women who have the procedure will not be subjected to fines or jail time under the new laws. A doctor charged with the crime can seek a hearing before the State Board of Medical Examiners to determine whether the procedure was necessary to save the mother’s life—an exemption under the new laws. Earlier in July, Blanco signed into law a bill that requires that a woman be told before an abortion that a fetus can feel pain.


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