One step forward, two steps back: this week in other states

State House, Concord NH
What’s going on under other State House domes?

When it comes to life-issue legislation – and bills on most other topics, for that matter – the Granite State seldom breaks new ground. Watch what’s going on in other states, and you’ll have a good idea of what’s coming up in Concord. Here are a few of this week’s notable items.


NEBRASKA: On May 27, legislators repealed the state’s death penalty. They overrode Governor Pete Ricketts’s veto by a 30-19 vote. (Nebraska has a unicameral legislature.) From the New York Times coverage of the vote: “Opponents of the death penalty here were able to build a coalition that spanned the ideological spectrum by winning the support of Republican legislators who said they believed capital punishment was inefficient, expensive and out of place with their party’s values, as well as that of lawmakers who cited religious or moral reasons for supporting the repeal. Nebraska joins 18 other states and Washington, D.C., in banning the death penalty.”

New Hampshire’s last attempt to repeal the death penalty fell short of passage but gained surprising support from two prominent legislators who had previously been death penalty advocates. One heart at a time …

IDAHO: The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals may or may not be the Circuit with the most decisions later overturned by the Supreme Court, depending on your source, but here’s the latest from those judges for what it’s worth. Today, they overturned Idaho’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Grounds: parts are “unconstitutionally vague,” create an “undue burden,” and “it categorically bans some abortions before viability.” Help yourself to the whole decision.

CALIFORNIA: On May 26, a bill to compel pro-life pregnancy care centers to promote abortions was passed by the California Assembly. It now goes to the state senate. Apparently, abortion providers are having so much trouble appealing to women that they need to enlist privately-funded pregnancy care centers to help with publicity. See coverage in Breitbart and LifeNews.

Pending hearings in MASSACHUSETTS: Closer to home, Massachusetts Citizens for Life says two interesting bills will have hearings at the State House in Boston on June 2. One would lower the age of consent for abortion to 16, eliminating use of the state’s parental notification statute for minors aged 16 and above. The other, strongly supported by MCFL, would amend the definition of “clinic” in the general laws and would require inspection and licensing of non-hospital abortion facilities.

I recall writing two years ago about the statement by a New Hampshire Health and Human Services official that “there is no such thing as an abortion clinic” in our state. Definitions matter. It will be interesting to see how the Massachusetts bill fares.