In a featured op-ed piece in the Washington Times AUL Vice President of Government Affairs Dan McConchie observed that despite the November election results, the outlook for pro-life victories is bright. His analysis should give abortion advocates a lot to be concerned about in the New Year.
Shifts in Legislative Chambers
Despite 2012 being an election year and with many state legislative chambers operating on a shorter schedule or not at all, 350 new pro-life bills were introduced. Of those, more than 60 became law, including South Carolina’s enactment of Americans United for Life’s (AUL) model bill protecting infants born alive from a failed abortion. Approximately one third of the pro-life laws enacted in 2012 were based on AUL’s model language or enacted with AUL’s assistance.
Cuts in Abortion Funding
At least 25 states considered measures related to abortion funding. At least 10 states included such provisions in their state budgets. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a budget bill that would have given $7.5 million to family planning organizations such as Planned Parenthood.
Obamacare’s Anti-life Measures Under Fire
Alabama, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wisconsin all enacted laws opting-out of the pro-abortion provisions of Obamacare to prevent abortion funding through the insurance plans in their state. To date, AUL has assisted 10 states in opting out of Obamacare.
Thirteen states introduced resolutions opposing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate that requires nearly all insurance plans to fully cover “all FDA approved contraceptives,” which includes the abortion-inducing drug ella.
Women and Girls Receive More Legal Protection
Eighteen states considered measures relating to requiring an ultrasound before an abortion. Ultrasounds are life-saving procedures that not only protect women’s health, but also give women more information about their unborn child before making a final decision on abortion.
States also continue to respond to the horrific conditions inside the Philadelphia abortion clinic headed by Kermit Gosnell where investigators needed hazmat suits to investigate. At least 19 states considered measures regulating abortion clinics and/or individual abortion providers. Virginia’s new law that regulates abortion clinics as ambulatory surgical centers is expected to take effect soon and will likely result in the closure of several sub-standard clinics.
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New Victories Possible Even with Current Legislatures
Some have expressed concern about the impact of the November election on future pro-life victories. In fact, little has changed from the sweeping changes in 2010. Washington remains divided with the House of Representatives firmly pro-life and the President and Senate pro-abortion.
However, in the states the situation is largely the same or has actually improved. Of the twelve state legislative chambers that changed party control, New Hampshire is the only state where it is no longer realistically viable to enact pro-life legislation. Alternatively, Alaska, Arkansas and Wisconsin have more viability for bills. And other states such as Georgia, Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina have pro-life supermajorities in charge.