States Take Lead on Pro-Life Legislation

A pro-life, anti-abortion and pro-family activist displays a rubber foetus during a "March for Family" within the World Congress of Families (WCF) conference on March 31, 2019 in Verona. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images

The Biden administration may be intent on reversing the Trump administration’s pro-life agenda on the federal level, but Republican-led legislatures have not been wasting any time introducing and passing pro-life legislation.

Below are some of the pro-life measures Republican state lawmakers are either introducing, or have already passed, to protect the unborn and their mothers:

In Alabama, HB 237 would require life-saving care for infants who survive abortion. The bill states physicians would be required “to exercise reasonable care to preserve the life of a child born alive after an abortion or attempted abortion in an abortion or reproductive health center.”

Additionally, the measure would “establish criminal penalties for violations.”

An Arizona Senate panel has approved a bill (SB 1457) that would ban abortions when there is a prenatal diagnosis of a genetic condition, such as Down syndrome.

Abortion providers who end a pregnancy due to the baby’s genetic condition could face a Class 3 felony and prison time.

The same bill would grant civil rights to the unborn, allow a father to bring a civil action on behalf of the unborn baby, and require the remains of aborted babies be either buried or cremated.

In Arkansas, SB6, the Unborn Child Protection Act, was approved by a Senate committee this week. The measure would ban abortions in the state except in the case when the mother’s life is in danger.

Two Florida lawmakers have introduced a bill, based on fetal pain evidence, that would ban abortions past the 20th week of pregnancy. If the measure becomes law, abortionists who perform the procedure past the 20th week of pregnancy could be charged with a felony.

In Iowa, a joint resolution has been introduced that proposes an amendment to the state Constitution that Iowa “does not recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or require the public funding of abortion.”

Voters in Iowa would decide whether the state Constitution should be amended.

Additionally, House File 53 would require abortion providers to give women information about the risks associated with drug-induced abortion and about the possibility of “reversal” should the mother change her mind.

The Kansas Senate voted 28-11 in favor of a bill that would have voters decide on the 2022 state ballot whether they agree to an amendment that asserts there is no constitutional right to abortion. The state House has already passed the measure.

In January, the Kentucky House, by a vote of 76-18, and Senate, 32-4, passed SB9, the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, a bill that requires abortion providers to provide medical care to babies if they survive an abortion. Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is not pro-life, but had he vetoed the bill, the legislature would have had enough votes to override his veto. As a result, Beshear allowed the bill’s deadline to pass, and it became law without his signature.

In Mississippi, House Bill 338 would provide “that any person who willfully causes an abortion shall be guilty of a felony.” The measure would clarify “that it shall be unlawful for any physician to perform an abortion or to perform an abortion that results in the delivery of a living child and to intentionally allow or cause the child to die.”

Montana has four pro-life bills making their way through the state legislature.

HB 171 seeks to protect women by regulating access to drugs that induce abortion and ban their use on school property. The bill would ensure “a medical practitioner examines a woman prior to dispensing an abortion-inducing drug in order to confirm the gestational age of the unborn child, the intrauterine location of the unborn child, and that the unborn child is alive.”

HB 136 would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy; HB 167 would require life-saving care for babies who survive an abortion; and HB 140 would require that women seeking an abortion be provided with information about the risks of the procedure 24 hours in advance.

In New Hampshire, lawmakers are considering three pieces of legislation: HB 625 would ban abortions past a gestational age of at least 24 weeks; HB 434 would prohibit the use of taxpayer funds for abortion; and HB 430, the Sidewalk Free Speech Act, would repeal the current ban on gathering in a public area near an abortion facility.

In January, the South Carolina House and Senate passed S.1, a bill that would ban abortions past the time when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually between six and eight weeks of pregnancy. Gov. Henry McMaster (R) is expected to sign the bill into law.

In Wyoming, HB0070 involves informed consent prior to abortion, and would require physicians to provide women with a description of the abortion, in writing, and also to verbally describe the unborn baby.

Planned Parenthood and its allies in the abortion industry oppose these bills, claiming they impede a woman’s right to abortion. However, many states would welcome their challenges to newly passed legislation, hoping that, ultimately, their cases would reach the U.S. Supreme Court, where the 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade could then, perhaps, be reconsidered.

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