Michigan State University

Michigan Senate Approves Partial Birth Abortion Ban

Jon Harrison

On the 35th anniversary of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, the Michigan Senate voted this morning to outlaw the rare abortion procedure often referred to as partial- birth abortion.

The Senate, by a 24-13 vote, sent the legislation to the House where passage is expected. Gov. Jennifer Granholm has not said whether she would veto the bill if it reaches her desk, but has vetoed similar legislation in the past.

Sen. Cameron Brown, R-Sturgis, urged his colleagues to support the partial-birth abortion ban, calling it "a practice not worthy of a civilized society."

Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, opposed the bill.

"This is a bill that is emotional, that is often argued on the basis of emotions and not always from facts," she said, adding that "the opinion that matters to me is the opinion of my doctor."

In 2003, the Legislature approved a ban but it was vetoed by Granholm. The following year, a group of Michigan residents successfully conducted a petition drive that, in effect, allowed the Legislature to adopt the ban with the governor having no ability to veto it. But a federal court subsequently struck down that measure.

The legislation approved in the state Senate this morning closely follows federal language banning partial-birth abortion -- a ban that has passed legal muster with the U.S. Supreme Court.

For the full article, see Charlie Cain, "Michigan Senate votes to ban partial-birth abortions", Detroit News, January 22, 2008.

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