A new report from Americans United for Life, that monitors changes to pro-life laws on abortion and bioethics and end-of-life issues named Louisiana the most pro-life state in the nation. Washington state came in at the bottom of the list of 50 states on abortion.
Both states occupied those spots in the 2012 version of the list.
Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest released AUL’s annual “Life List,” a ranking of the 50 states based on their on-going legal efforts to create and sustain a culture of life. While the “Life List” notes legislative accomplishments from the previous year, it also takes into account each state’s cumulative record in defending and protecting the lives of their citizens – from conception to natural death.
Most improved this year was Arizona, moving from No. 14 to No. 5 as a result of becoming the first to enact AUL’s groundbreaking “Women’s Health Protection Act,” prohibiting abortions at or after 20 weeks gestation based on growing medical evidence of the risks of late-term abortions on women’s health as well as the pain experienced by an unborn child.
“Americans United for Life has been leading the way in innovative legislation that protects women and girls from a profit-hungry Big Abortion industry, bloated with taxpayer dollars,” said Yoest. “I predict that we’ll see a large number of bills this year that also work to protect the First Amendment Freedom of all Americans who do not want to be forced into business with Big Abortion.”
AUL says states that performed well were helped by approving strong new pro-life legislation:
Arizona became the first state to enact AUL’s “Women’s Health Defense Act,” prohibiting abortions at or after 20-weeks gestation based on the well-documented dangers of late-term abortions to women’s health and the pain experienced by unborn children.
Georgia enacted a prohibition on abortions at or after 20-weeks gestation and revised the state’s reporting requirements for late-term abortions, requiring an abortion provider to report the medical diagnosis that necessitated the procedure. Georgia also enacted a measure that includes abortion clinics, or “reproductive healthcare facilities,” in the definition of mandatory reporters for suspected child sexual abuse.
New Hampshire legislators overrode Governor John Lynch’s veto of a prohibition on partial-birth abortion, joining 19 other states that have also banned the dangerous and grisly practice.
Virginia enacted an ultrasound requirement that is based, in substantial part, on AUL’s model language. Recognizing that the performance of an ultrasound is the “gold standard” of patient care, the measure requires the performance of an ultrasound before an abortion and that the woman be given an opportunity to view the ultrasound and have it explained to her.
South Carolina became the eighth state to enact AUL’s “Abortion-Mandate Opt-Out Act,” prohibiting insurance plans that cover abortions from participating in any Exchanges (required to be operational in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare”) operating within the state.
“The 2012 state legislative year produced significant victories for Life across the United States, building on 2011’s historic progress and laying the groundwork for future victories in 2013 and beyond. Through its state representatives and other significant relationships with state-based allies, AUL actively worked in 39 states to enact life-affirming laws and to defeat anti-life initiatives. In 2012, AUL realized several important victories for life, including the enactment of 19 life-affirming laws,” the pro-life group told LifeNews.
“In 2012, the most popular abortion-related legislative measures included prohibitions on government funding and insurance coverage for abortion, legislation and resolutions related to pregnancy care centers, informed consent for abortion, ultrasound requirements, restrictions or regulations on abortion-inducing drugs and so-call “telemed” abortions, and abortion clinic regulations and other abortion provider requirements,” AUL added. “Importantly, there was a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of measures introduced to protect healthcare freedom of conscience. Moreover, as a result of a substantial increase in the number of bills related to pain management and palliative care, measures related to end-of-life issues increased nearly two-fold.”
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AUL’s 2013 State Rankings
1. Louisiana 26. Florida
2. Oklahoma 27. North Carolina
3. Pennsylvania 28. Minnesota
4. Arkansas 29. Rhode Island
5. Arizona 30. Delaware
6. Nebraska 31. Maine
7. Indiana 32. New Hampshire
8. Missouri 33. West Virginia
9. Georgia 34. Wyoming
10. Virginia 35. Alaska
11. Kansas 36. Illinois
12. North Dakota 37. Iowa
13. South Dakota 38. New Mexico
14. Texas 39. Nevada
15. Mississippi 40. Massachusetts
16. Ohio 41. Montana
17. Kentucky 42. Hawaii
18. Michigan 43. Maryland
19. South Carolina 44. Oregon
20. Alabama 45. Connecticut
21. Wisconsin 46. New Jersey
22. Idaho 47. Vermont
23. Tennessee 48. New York
24. Utah 49. California
25. Colorado 50. Washington