New Pro-Abortion Bill Would Make it Easier to Overturn Pro-Life State Laws

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 13, 2013   |   6:06PM   |   Washington, DC

The pro-life movement has brought abortions to record lows in many states by passing a record number of pro-life laws. States like Michigan, Missouri, South Carolina, Mississippi, and others that have passed almost every kind of pro-life law imaginable and have cut their abortions by more than 50 percent.

The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute reports that 83 pro-life laws were passed in 2011, more than double any previous year. Dozens of pro-life laws were passed in 2012 and Guttmacher says 2013 may set an even bigger record.

One of the biggest effects passing pro-life laws has had is closing abortion clinics. A report LifeNews highlighted in August showed 44 abortion businesses closed in the last 12 months and 68 abortion clinics closed in the last two years.

Upset by that kind of success, abortion activists descended on Congress today to support new legislation that would make it easier for state and federal courts to overturn pro-life laws by coming up with wild-eyed reasons they are supposedly unconstitutional. Roll Call has more on the pro-abortion legislation:

A group of Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate, led by Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on the Senate side, are calling an afternoon news conference to roll out a new measure that would effectively pre-empt state laws requiring medically unnecessary tests before receiving reproductive health services, including the morning-after pill and abortions.

“This kind of measure seems to provide a clear and certain response to these regulations and [state] laws that impose unnecessary tests, procedures … and other kinds of restrictions on these reproductive services,” Blumenthal said, calling the influx of new state laws a “cascading wave of restrictions.”

Blumenthal will be joined by Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Barbara Boxer of California, as well as Reps. Judy Chu of California, Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio and Lois Frankel of Florida. That group will be accompanied by several abortion rights advocacy representatives.

According to a summary of the measure obtained by CQ Roll Call, it would set markers for federal courts reviewing state laws that may take effect in the future, as could be the case when conservative majorities take control of state Capitols.



Factors for judges to consider in those circumstances include: “whether the measure or action is reasonably likely to result in a decrease in the availability of abortion services in the state.”

The bill is a direct response to efforts in several states to establish new rules for accessing abortions, including the ultrasound laws in several states. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court declined to take up a case out of Oklahoma about an ultrasound requirement in that state. That’s one of several similar cases that the court could hear.

“These laws should be challenged in court because they are largely unconstitutional, but some measure of certainty and clarity are required to — to ban these regulations and laws so that women are not chilled and deterred in their very personal decisions,” Blumenthal said.