Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jackson Free Press | Abortion 'Ban' DOA—But Coming Back to Life?

Damn I love Steve Holland (D, Plantersville). As you may know he authored a bill banning abortion in MS. basically, he claimed to be tired of watching Republicans try to peck away at abortion with new restrictions and decided to steal their thunder. He'd gut their bill and change it to ban abortion outright. they could either vote for a bill that NO GOP'er had anything to do with creating or passing, OR they could vote against it. some found it upsetting, but the bill's language is moot lest the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade...and even then the GOP couldn't take any credit. well, the GOP'ers aren't happy about this. I mean, this is THEIR little pet drum to beat. Now that I caught you up to date, read what the Jackson Free Press reported about the last few moments before the bill's deadline.

In the hour leading up to the bill deadline, Holland—accompanied by Rep. Bobby Moak, D-Bogue Chitto, and a reporter and an intern from the Jackson Free Press—went to dinner at C.S.’ Deli. There he fed on fried chicken and pork chops, telling stories about his career as an undertaker, and killing time he might have spent in conference negotiating and arguing with Republicans over the bill’s language.

By the time Holland paid his check and returned to the Capitol and leisurely presented his most recent version of the bill to Senate conferees, House and Senate health committee members had only 12 minutes left to reach a consensus on the conference report before sending it out to the House and Senate for approval. Minutes after conferees started reading through the report, Holland said, “You’ve got five minutes to sign your signatures.”

Senate Public Health Committee Chairman Nunnelee said he had not seen the conference report prior to the meeting and was angry that the House alteration of SB 2922 removed the teeth from a proposed abortion ban.

“The language in this bill basically says that this law will take effect when the United States Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade,” Holland said.

Nunnelee, shaken and furious, said the meeting was not begun in good faith.

“I sat in here for an hour and a half. After he set the appointment, he walks in 12 minutes before the deadline with a very complex piece of legislation. It’s only two sections, but they are two very important sections,” Nunnelee said.

Sections 5 and 6 were the bill killers for Nunnelee, because they stated that the abortion ban would kick in only when the Mississippi Attorney General “determines that the U.S. Supreme Court has overruled the decision of Roe v. Wade.”

Moak, a Public Health and Human Services Committee member, argued that the Legislature should not be in the job of second-guessing the Supreme Court, and said the dubious Sections 5 and 6 were added only after consultation with National Right to Life, a group formed to end abortion in the U.S.

A terse back and forth ensued between House and the Senate committee members.

“I’ve still got questions,” Nunnelee said.

“Well you’ve got five minutes to ask them,” Holland replied.

“I can’t help it if you show up 12 minutes before deadline,” Nunnelee said.

“Well, the process has been established since 1817,” Holland mumbled back.

Senate Public Health and Welfare committee member Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, D-Brookhaven, was also outraged.

“When was this printed?” she demanded.

“About 45 minutes to an hour ago,” Holland said. “Look, you make it what you want to make it, OK? The House of Representatives … has given you a fair bill on abortion effective when Roe v. Wade is overturned. That’s a position that we will not retreat from, and we will not compromise.”
i don't recall anything i've read in months that made me feel happier than this article. I LOVE steve Holland and i LOVE watching these jackasses squirm over the fact he's stealing their pander point!

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