19 States Pass 60 Pro-Life Laws in 2016 to Save Babies from Abortion

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 27, 2016   |   4:49PM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-life lawmakers in 19 states succeeded in passing more than 60 new laws in 2016 to help protect unborn babies from abortion, The Intercept reports.

The numbers came from a new report from the Center for Reproductive Rights, an abortion advocacy group that tracks abortion-related legislation. The numbers are only partially encouraging for pro-lifers; abortion activists managed to block a number of the laws in the courts.

According to the report, state legislators considered more than 100 bills in 2016 that were directly related to the Center for Medical Progress’s undercover videos that exposed Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts trafficking.

Of those, eight states passed laws to defund Planned Parenthood, eight passed laws to prohibit the sale or donation of aborted babies’ body parts, and four passed laws prohibiting dismemberment abortions (D&E), a gruesome procedure that involves tearing an unborn baby limb from limb and then removing it in pieces from the womb.

Other states passed laws to prohibit abortions on unborn babies after 20 weeks when substantial evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain. Ohio was the latest to pass a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act several weeks ago. Abortion activists have been more reluctant to challenge these laws, and 14 currently are in effect, saving hundreds of late-term unborn babies’ lives from abortion.

The report listed pro-life laws that passed in 19 states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and West Virginia. Texas brought the list up to 20; however its regulations came from state health department administrators, not the legislature.

The report specifically highlighted Indiana, where Vice President-elect Mike Pence serves as governor. In the spring, Pence signed a series of pro-life measures into law, including a bill to ban discriminatory abortions based on an unborn baby’s genetic abnormality, sex or race.

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While Pence and others framed the legislation as a way to provide dignity to the terminated unborn and as a nondiscrimination law that would prevent the abortion of a fetus strictly because of its gender or potential for disability, advocates for women’s health saw the measures not only as an undue burden on women seeking legally-protected health care, but also as a thinly-veiled attempt at a categorical ban on pre-viable, first trimester abortion. “The law does not value life, it values birth,” Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) said at a press conference after the bill’s signing. “What needs to be made abundantly clear is that what this is really about is making abortion go away entirely.”

Planned Parenthood sued Indiana and convinced a judge to block the law.

However, the Center for Reproductive Rights mentioned that it is very concerned about the future, especially because of Pence and incoming President Donald Trump. Both have promised to support legislation to protect unborn babies, take tax dollars away from Planned Parenthood and appoint pro-life judges.

“Given signals from the president-elect and new administration, we know that we must renew our commitment to defend the rights of women to make decisions that affect their health, their lives, their families and their futures,” the abortion advocacy group said in its report.

The group misrepresented the pro-life laws as attempts to “stigmatize women who need abortions and the providers who care for them.” Later, it said pro-lifers’ end goal is to “[ban] abortion care altogether,” a somewhat more accurate statement.

Pro-lifers want the right to life for every human being to be protected from conception to natural death. Laws are just one of the many ways that pro-lifers are working to protect babies in the womb and their mothers from abortion pain and death.