A run for the border

"A run for the border" Continued...

Issue: "Cleaning up Longview," Nov. 23, 1996

Some states also are looking at post-viability prohibitions, in which abortion is prohibited once a child is tested and considered able to live outside the womb. Other states are considering fetal homicide bills, in which a person could be charged in the death of a child still in the womb.

But for now the statute tally stands at 10 states with informed consent laws, 17 states with parental notice requirements, and 21 states requiring the consent of at least one parent. As a result and with input from crisis pregnancy centers, the number of abortions is declining. The laws have produced the added benefit of reducing the number of teenage pregnancies, which so often end in abortion.

"It is what proponents of the legislation argued would happen," Ms. Koehler says. "As these laws are being assessed over the years, we are finding the evidence supports those arguments. The evidence . . . is very persuasive to representatives who are charged with protecting the health and welfare of the citizens they represent."

Meanwhile, abortion proponents will have to find someone other than Rosa Hartford to challenge Pennsylvania's abortion regulations. On a fine, cloudless autumn day in the last week of October, the jury convicted Mrs. Hartford of taking the girl to New York for an abortion without permission of the child's mother. Like her 19-year-old son who is in jail for statutory rape in that case, Mrs. Hartford faces a possible prison term.


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