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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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A woman wearing stickers supporting Women's rights speaks during a meeting of the Senate Education and Health committee at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Legislative watch: A barrier to rights ...

- Waiting period: Bill is barrier to legal abortion - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Utah law requires that women receive comprehensive information about abortion and its alternatives at least 24 hours before the procedure. A bill now before the Legislature would extend that waiting period to 72 hours. The sponsor portrays his bill as consumer protection, but it’s really about disapproval. And it may be unconstitutional.

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Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, says that he knows a woman who deeply regrets that she had an abortion. He believes that women should have more time to consider the decision in light of the comprehensive information that the state requires patients receive.

He is correct that there is much to weigh, including medical facts and information about health care available to assist a woman in pregnancy, childbirth and while a child is dependent, and about adoption and the financial responsibilities of the father.

But implicit in Eliason’s bill is the assumption that women either don’t consider these things, or are ignorant of them, before they seek an abortion, or if they had more time they would come to a different decision. That’s a broad and unfair assumption. ...

- Lawmakers have choice to reject abortion bill - Spokane Spokesman-Review Editorial

On Monday, Idaho jumped into the fray when the Senate State Affairs Committee voted to introduce a bill to require ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. The Alabama and Pennsylvania legislatures are also considering the requirement. Seven states already have them. ...

... This is coercive, demeaning lawmaking at its worst.

- Simply demeaning: Invasive ultrasound bill must be stopped - Harrisburg (Penn.) Patriot-News Editorial

... It is called the "Women’s Right to Know Act," and while it certainly sounds like it has women’s best interests at its heart, it does not. ...

- Bill demeans women - Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser Editorial

If Republican lawmakers don't want their dominance of the Alabama Legislature to be a one-term flash in the pan, they should run as fast as they can from a bill introduced by one of their GOP cohorts that would require women to undergo an invasive procedure to get an abortion. ...

- The Virginia Senate’s absurd fetal positions - Alexandra Petri

... Whenever someone comes up to me and starts expressing strong opinions as to what I should be doing with my womb, I generally throw a drink at him and leave the establishment. The voters of Virginia should be so lucky.

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