The national pro-life legislative group Americans United for Life has released its seventh annual ranking of states across the country based on the way each deals with a comprehensive list of life issues – from abortion to euthanasia.
For the second time in three years, Louisiana tops the list, followed closely by Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Arkansas. Indiana was listed as the most improved state last year.
“Since 1970, Louisiana Right to Life has worked diligently to ensure that Louisiana law protects human life as much as possible,” he said. “AUL’s ranking recognizes this great undertaking, and the success we have achieved in defending life at our state legislature.”
“Specifically, we have made great strides over the past five years to reach this #1 position. Our legislation has been cutting-edge, and it is saving lives today,” Clapper added. “While we are pleased with a first in the nation ranking, we know our work is far from complete. We will not rest until Louisiana is abortion-free and all innocent human life is protected under law.”
Louisiana led the way by passing the Signs of Hope Act, Obamacare Abortion Opt-Out, Ultrasound Before Abortion Act, Abortion Facility Closure Ability, Health Care Rights of Conscience Act, Choose Life License Plate Re-Authorization, and Human-Animal Hybrid Ban all since 2009. Before that it approved the Cord Blood Donation Education Act, Ban on Public Funding of Human Cloning, and “Trigger” Law Banning Abortion on Overturn of Roe v Wade.
Washington, California, Hawaii, Vermont, and Montana come in as the least life-affirming states, while Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, and Utah rate as the “most improved.”
AUL president Charmaine Yoest said that the remarkable gains for life at the state level reveal that many state legislators are creating a blueprint for legislative changes when Roe v. Wade is ultimately overturned. She told LifeNews that 2011 — which produced a record number of pro-life laws passed at the state legislative level was a watershed year in the defense of life. Forty-seven states considered more than 460 abortion-related measures, ultimately enacting more than 70 of them.
“As the legal arm of the pro-life movement, the AUL legal team has created the legal architecture for reversing Roe v. Wade,” said Dr. Yoest. “The states are preparing for the day after Roe. And as the Life List documents, we’re seeing tremendous gains in defending life in law.”
Yoest noted that AUL legislative involvement was significant. During the 2011 state legislative session: at least 86 bills were introduced in 32 states that were based in whole or in part on AUL’s model language and/or on which AUL consulted and advised.
AUL’s experts testified 21 times, supporting 20 pro-life bills and opposing legislation in Hawaii that would have compromised healthcare freedom of conscience and the pro-life group distributed more than 1,600 copies of our model legislation (with accompanying policy guides) to individuals in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and overseas nations.
One of the key tools for state legislators who wish to advocate for constitutionally sound and effective pro-life policies is Defending Life, AUL’s guidebook of Model Legislation. This year’s soon-to-be released guidebook will include 43 pieces of model legislation, including legislation restricting insurance coverage of abortions within state Exchanges created pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s healthcare plan. AUL’s model legislation has already been used by five states to opt out of Obama’s healthcare law.
The full state ranking from AUL is below:
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
- New Jersey
- New York