Reports surfaced last week that Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft majority opinion overturning Roe v Wade is still the only one circulating inside the Supreme Court, giving great hope to defenders of life across the country.
State action to advance pro-life legislation only further underscores the claim that “Roe is established law” is nothing but an abortion industry narrative – nothing is settled when elected officials answering the call of the american people achieve pro-life action on hundreds of laws.
According to our research, as of April 21, 42 states have introduced a total of 417 pro-life bills (or bills containing at least one pro-life provision) in 2022 or the current legislative session. This includes 273 bills introduced in 2022 and 144 bills introduced in 2020-21 for the current legislative session. These bills contain a total of more than 600 pro-life provisions.
Twelve states enacted 15 pro-life bills during this period. With nearly half of the states still in session, those numbers are sure to rise.
The laws enacted so far this year demonstrate a variety of approaches to pro-life legislation. While abortion advocates will continue to falsely claim that pro-lifers only care about babies before they are born, the legislation moving forward proves otherwise with many efforts focused on increasing support for mothers and families, not only during pregnancy, but well after the birth of a child.
Increased resources for mothers through increased funding for pregnancy resource centers includes Arkansas’ new law, which will allocate $1 million to establish new grants to pregnancy centers for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2023, and Mississippi’s Pregnancy Resource Act, which allows a $3.5 business tax credit for donations to pregnancy centers.
Many bills, often opposed by the abortion industry, seek to ensure that if abortions do take place, mothers are not subject to medical negligence and can receive care when fairly frequent complications arise. It is the pro-life side that cares about the health and safety of mothers and children.
Other common types of pro-life bills and provisions introduced include bills advancing the ban on abortion at various gestational limits, informed consent, regulation of abortion centers, improving reporting requirements for abortions, prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion, regulating unsafe chemical abortions, protecting born-alive abortion. survivors, ultrasound requirements and a ban on non-physician abortions.
Arizona, Florida and Kentucky have implemented a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of gestation, a point at which science shows the unborn child may experience pain. The Florida and Kentucky bills that were signed into law included a requirement that the abortionist must report whether an abortion was due to human trafficking or coercion.
In addition to reporting such abortions, two states have provisions in place to protect women who are victims of such abuse. These types of bills may unfortunately become more necessary as we anticipate a spike in trafficking and coercion in states that will become abortion hubs in a post-Roe era.
Kentucky has also taken steps to protect minors, requiring parental consent for abortions on girls under 18. West Virginia has worked to protect the most vulnerable unborn children, those suspected of having disabilities, banning abortionists from performing abortions for eugenic reasons.
Chemical abortions have been addressed by statutes in Florida, Kentucky, and South Dakota, which seek to regulate these risky procedures through provisions such as prohibiting waiver of such telemedicine abortion and limiting procedure at nine weeks post fertilization. Penalties have also been increased for the unauthorized practice of medicine during a chemical abortion.
While some laws regulated abortion procedures, others enacted common-sense requirements for facilities that perform abortions, including mandating that such facilities be “properly staffed and equipped” and have established agreements with at least least one nearby acute care hospital for emergencies. Abortions are dangerous. In the interest of women’s health and safety, it is essential that women can receive immediate care when they face serious and life-threatening complications following an abortion.
To supplement these health and safety regulations, Kentucky has also enacted legislation requiring the humane disposal of fetal remains resulting from an abortion. This action is particularly timely in light of news last month about the recovery by life advocates of the bodies of 115 aborted babies from a Washington, DC abortion center, five of whom had late-term abortions.
In addition to all of the promising pro-life legislation at the state level, 48 individual cities have also proactively passed ordinances establishing themselves as “sanctuary cities for the unborn.”
Overall, the fact that nearly every state has introduced a total of over 400 bills in 2022 or in the current session, bills containing over 600 pro-life provisions, underscores the values Americans who demand that they control politics through the democratic process instead of being ruled by ideological fiat. The continued demand for a life-affirming policy by the people could not be stronger.
The 63 million voices of innocent unborn babies must no longer be silenced by an unfounded constitutional legal precedent from 50 years ago.
The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here should be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.
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