The latest bill -- which is scheduled to be discussed by a legislative committee for a second time on Wednesday -- contains a number of provisions which would give the state one of the most sweeping anti-abortion laws in the nation. Among the provisions is one which would exempt doctors from malpractice suits if they withhold information -- in order to prevent an abortion -- that could have prevented a health problem for the mother or child. A wrongful death suit could be filed in the event of the death of the mother.
Other provisions include requiring women to hear the fetal heartbeat prior to an abortion, taking away tax credits for abortion providers and removing tax deductions for abortion-related insurance. The bill also requires that women be told that abortions would increase the risk of breast cancer, a controversial theory that the World Health Organization, the National Cancer Institute and gynecological groups in the United States and the United Kingdom have said is incorrect.