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Anti-abortion Bill Defeated in Indiana Senate; Michigan Governor Vetoes Bill Precede

February 23, 1990

Anti-abortion Bill Defeated in Indiana Senate; Michigan Governor Vetoes Bill Precede INDIANAPOLIS

Undated (AP) _ Pro-choice forces won two battles when the Indiana Senate defeated legislation to ban abortions in public hospitals and Michigan Gov. James Blanchard vetoed a bill requiring minors to obtain permission for an abortion.

Abortion rights activists in Indianapolis clapped in the Senate gallery and hugged in the hallway when senators turned back the public hospital ban on a 26-23 vote Thursday evening. It followed a two-hour debate.

″We’re not going to be debating this issue again in the Indiana Senate during this session,″ said Dinah Farrington, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood Inc. ″Attempts will be made to bring it back, but I really don’t think we’re going to see it on the Senate floor again for a vote.″

Today, Blanchard announced his veto of the Michigan bill, which would have required minors to get permission either from their parents or a court. The governor said he supported parental involvement in such decisions, but the bill ″takes a woman’s right to help herself away from her.″

The actions marked the latest swings in the see-sawing fortunes of abortion legislation around the country. Earlier in the week, legislatures in South Carolina and Michigan had given final approval to bills requiring parental consent for teen-agers seeking abortions.

The veto of the measure in Michigan leaves only one question in the abortion dispute in the state - whether abortion foes will make a doomed override attempt or head straight to the voters.

Barbara Listing, president of Right to Life of Michigan, had said Thursday that the group’s executive committee would wait until Blanchard vetoed the bill before deciding its plan of attack.

″It’s likely that we would simply begin as soon as possible with an initiative petition drive,″ Listing said.

Blanchard’s counterpart in South Carolina, Gov. Carroll Campbell, has not taken action on the parental consent bill passed there this week but has said he supports it.

The Indiana legislation would have prevented doctors in public hospitals or clinics from performing abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the life or health of the mother is threatened.

Under current law, no public money can be used for abortions, but some public hospitals perform the procedure by using private donations and fees.

The measure also would have required doctors to perform viability tests before performing abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. Doctors failing to conduct the tests could have been jailed.

The U.S. Supreme Court in July gave states more power to restrict abortions. The ruling upheld a Missouri law that banned abortions in public hospitals and stopped public employees from counseling women about abortions.

It also required doctors planning to perform abortions to first test any fetus over 20 weeks to determine if it could live outside the womb.

Update hourly