Partial birth abortion ban signed into law

LANSING — Legislation outlawing partial birth abortions was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Rick Snyder, said sponsor Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof.

“I’m proud to see these life-saving measures signed into law,” said Meekhof, R-West Olive. “Life is a precious gift that must be defended. That is exactly what these new laws do – protect life.”

Sponsored by Meekhof, Public Act 168 of 2011 (Senate Bill 160) outlaws the practice of partial birth abortion in Michigan, unless determined necessary to save the life of the mother. The law was modeled after the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The other measure, PA 169 of 2011 (HB 4110), establishes sentencing guidelines for performing or assisting in a partial birth abortion. Individuals convicted of the new felony would face two years in prison.

The new laws empower local police departments, county prosecutors, and the Michigan attorney general to enforce this law.

According to Meekhof, enacting a state ban is vitally necessary because the FBI and U.S. attorneys in charge of enforcing federal law do not have the resources to spend on enforcing the federal partial birth abortion ban.