David Goins of Fox 16 reports that Sen. Jason Rapert’s unconstitutional bill to ban most abortions at the 12th week of pregnancy was approved in the House Public Health Committee today on a voice vote. He reports that Chairman John Burris refused a motion for a roll call vote on the bill. ????
If this account is accurate, why vote at all? Just let Burris designate which bills will become law and which will not.
UPDATE I: Goins elaborates that Burris ruled he had recognized another legislator to present a new bill before the motion for a roll call was uttered. Burris moved mighty quickly.
UPDATE II: Two wrongs make a right. An eyewitness said that on one occasion during interminable efforts to pass anti-abortion bills in 2011, Public Health Chair Linda Tyler (defeated by Rapert for Senate last year) gaveled a meeting to adjournment immediately after ruling a voice vote had failed to pass one abortion bill (the particular one I can’t pin down). She exited the room as anti-abortion legislators tried to call for a roll call.
UPDATE III: Big day for fetuses. The committee also, as expected, endorsed Rep. Andy Mayberry’s bill to ban most abortions at the 20th week of pregnancy. It was amended to include a rape and incest exception. It provides no exceptions for fetal anomalies, the primary reason for the 46 abortions performed at this stage in 2011 nor protection for the health of the mother, only to save her life.
UPDATE IV: AP reports that House Speaker Davy Carter will send the unconstitutional Rapert bill back to committee because of complaints over Burris’ refusal to have a roll call. I suspect is has the requisite votes if enough members attend, though that is sometimes a challenging if.
UPDATE V: KARK reports the governor has made up his mind on the abortion bills, but says he’ll let the legislature vote without influence from him. He’s a lawyer. He knows that the U.S. Supreme Court has, to date, ruled repeatedly and clearly that both the Rapert and Mayberry bills are unconstitutional because they prohibit abortions before viability of the fetus.
UPDATE VI: The Public Health Committee will meet after adjournment today and take another bite at Rapert’s unconstitutional apple. Roll call or not, ultimately approved or not it will remain unconstitutional.
UPDATE VII: The Committee met briefly and quietly. Roll was called. 11 votes, the minimum for passage, were cast for the bill. There were five nays. It moves to the floor. And, if enacted, to court.