During 2011, state legislators set a record by approving more pro-life laws stopping and limiting abortions than any other year since Roe v. Wade in 1973. A new report issued today shows that last year, legislatures approved the second highest number.
Although some media outlets and abortion advocates say the November presidential election marked a defeat for the pro-life movement, the number of abortions is at its lowest level nationally and states are seeing historic low abortion figures thanks in large part to state pro-life laws. These laws — ranging from parental notification and informed consent to banning abortions later in pregnancy and cutting of taxpayer funds for abortions or the Planned Parenthood abortion business — are saving lives every day.
The new report from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion group that was once affiliated with Planned Parenthood and still receives funding from the abortion giant, lamented the passage of the second highest number of state pro-life laws.
“Over the course of the year, 42 states and the District of Columbia enacted 122 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. One-third of these new provisions, 43 in 19 states, sought to restrict access to abortion services. Although this is a sharp decrease from the record-breaking 92 abortion restrictions enacted in 2011, it is the second highest annual number of new abortion restrictions,” Guttmacher notes. “This analysis refers to reproductive health and rights-related “provisions,” rather than bills or laws, since bills introduced and eventually enacted in the states contain multiple relevant provisions.”
As Guttmacher pointed out, no laws were approved in any state promoting abortion.
“Twenty-four of the 43 new abortion restrictions were enacted in just six states. Arizona led the way, enacting seven restrictions; Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin each enacted at least three. Although some of the most high-profile debates occurred around legislation requiring that women seeking an abortion be required to first undergo an ultrasound or imposing strict regulations on abortion providers, most of the new restrictions enacted in 2012 concerned limits on later abortion, coverage in health exchanges or medication abortion,” Guttmacher added.
Many of those new pro-life laws included allowing women to see an ultrasound of their unborn baby before an abortion while others included ensuring abortion facilities follow the same health and safety laws that apply to legitimate medical centers performing outpatient surgeries. In addition, laws adopted in Louisiana and Oklahoma require abortion providers to make the fetal heartbeat audible to the woman prior to an abortion. Arizona, Michigan and Virginia approved such laws on abortion clinics — that have shut down many abortion centers that fail to comply.
“Legislation to require abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges was introduced in five states and enacted in three,” Guttmacher added. “Arizona, Georgia and Louisiana enacted measures to ban abortion prior to fetal viability in direct conflict with U.S. Supreme Court decisions.”
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“Four states enacted provisions banning abortion coverage in the insurance exchanges being established under the Affordable Care Act. Provisions enacted in Alabama, South Carolina and Wisconsin permit coverage of an abortion in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest,” the report added. “In addition, the Missouri legislature overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that allows any employer to refuse to cover abortion services. South Carolina amended the long-standing requirement that the state employees’ health plan may cover abortion only when necessary to save the woman’s life or in cases of rape or incest.”
Guttmacher noted: Also last year, three states limited provision of medication abortion by prohibiting the use of telemedicine to dispense the dangerous abortion drug that has killed dozens of women and injured thousands more. South Dakota and Arizona enacted provisions requiring a woman seeking an abortion to obtain counseling that includes inaccurate or irrelevant information. Two states adopted requirements that either mandate parental involvement or make it more cumbersome for a minor to use the judicial bypass procedure to obtain an abortion in the absence of parental involvement.