Well…when it comes to assigning a grade to the United States for “abortion care access,” nobody would accuse NARAL of being an easy grader. In recent years, collectively the 50 states have gotten as low as a D- and as high as a D.
Which is what the latest iteration of NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States (the 24th) — another D!
NARAL, as does its pro-abortion allies, counts different issues than we do (they include items that are outside our single-issue purview) and has its own measuring stick about what and how something is counted.
Having said that, here’s how Ilyse Hogue began her “From the President” remarks:
2014 was a monumental year for attacks on reproductive rights. Anti-choice state legislators led the pack, enacting 27 anti-choice measures—from outright abortion bans to mandatory waiting periods. [That is down from 52 in 2013.] But it wasn’t just anti-choice-dominated state legislatures that worked actively to block reproductive freedom this year. Courts also continue to play a significant role in deciding the fates of women.
Commenting on the pro-abortion site Rhrealitycheck.org, Nina Liss-Schultz lamented, “If the first two weeks of the new year are any indication, 2015 will see a spate of state-level anti-choice laws to rival recent years. Adding to that is the wave of anti-choice bills sure to be taken up by Congress following its Republican takeover in November.”
Here are just two observations on the report which can be read at www.prochoiceamerica.org/government-and-you/who-decides.
First, Liss-Schultz is correct that pro-lifers in various states around the country and in Congress will push the envelope. As NRL News Today reported yesterday, our Kansas affiliate introduced the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, a major new component of the right to life movement’s 2015 legislative agenda. This first-of-its-kind legislation would protect unborn children from the brutality of dismemberment abortion.
In Congress, there are several important pro-life initiatives. The Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives indicates that it intends to bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36) to the House floor for a vote on Thursday, January 22, 2015—the anniversary of the notorious Roe v. Wade decision.
Second, NARAL’s Who Decides? breaks out the pro-life initiatives into a number of broad categories. For our purposes, what stands out is that (contrary to NARAL’s gloom-and-doom assessment), these are the kind of commonsense limitations and protections that the American people have, do, and will support.
H.R. 36 would extend general protection from abortion to unborn children nationwide beginning at 20 weeks fetal age, based on congressional recognition that by this point in development, if not earlier, the unborn child is capable of experiencing pain. H.R. 36, sponsored by Reps. Trent Franks (R-Az.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tn.), is based on model legislation developed by National Right to Life that has already been enacted in 10 states. [See nrlc.cc/151W7Sn.]
By the way, NARAL does offer its readers reason for hope:
While the overall picture for women may look bleak, there is a silver lining. One consequence of these anti-choice trends is a growing and vocal backlash against these assaults and the legislators who promote them. …As the anti-choice movement tries to impose its agenda, we are starting to see a shift in the momentum.
Really? Where? Based on what? Talk about the thought being father to the deed!
The same report which holds out this silver lining also paints a picture of massive pro-life gains in the United States Senate and (by its count) twice as many “anti-choice” governors as pro-choice governors.
And (again by NARAL’s count), five states and the District of Columbia “have a pro-choice government” (they mean that a majority of the legislature and the governor are pro-choice) as compared to 21 states have “anti-choice governments” (where a majority of the legislature and the governor are pro-life).
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared at National Right to Life News Today.