This year proved historic in the fight to restore unborn babies’ right to life in America.
Newsmax reports 19 states passed a record 106 pro-life laws in 2021, including total abortion bans that could protect tens of thousands of unborn babies every year if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
The numbers come from a new Guttmacher Institute report that tracked state legislative actions on abortion, maternal health care and other issues. Guttmacher is a pro-abortion research group and former research arm of Planned Parenthood.
Elizabeth Nash, the author of the report, described 2021 as “the worst year for abortion rights in almost half a century.”
That means it was an excellent year for unborn babies and mothers. According to the report, states passed more abortion bans and restrictions in 2021 than they did in any other previous year since Roe in 1973; the previous record was 2011 when states passed 89 pro-life laws.
Most notably, the Texas heartbeat law, which bans abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks, went into effect Sept. 1. It is the only pre-viability abortion ban to go into effect since 1973, the report found. And it is giving Americans hope that the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn Roe and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again.
Pro-life leaders estimate the Texas law has saved thousands of unborn babies’ lives in the past three months – and could save tens of thousands more every year if it remains in effect. Even abortion activists admit that, while some women are traveling to other states for abortions, many others are having their babies instead.
Other states that passed several pro-life laws each this year include Arkansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Montana and South Dakota, according to Newsmax.
These laws include total abortion bans, bans on discriminatory abortions that target unborn babies with disabilities like Down syndrome, bans on dangerous mail-order abortions, safety requirements that ensure abortion facilities are prepared to help women suffering from complications, and more.
“In states across the country, the American people, speaking through their duly elected legislators, are modernizing the law to respect the humanity of the unborn,” Prudence Robertson, a spokeswoman for the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, told the Washington Free Beacon in reaction to the report.
Polls consistently show that Americans want stronger legal protections for unborn babies. Several recent polls show support for heartbeat laws like the one in Texas and bans on abortion after the first trimester.
However, many of the pro-life laws are not in effect. Since 1973, the Supreme Court has forced states to legalize abortion on demand under Roe v. Wade. States that want to protect unborn babies only may do so once they reach the point of viability, currently about 22 weeks. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions for any reason up to birth.
The Supreme Court recently heard a Mississippi case that directly challenges Roe, but the justices are not expected to issue a ruling until next spring.
Meanwhile, pro-life states like Texas and Mississippi also are passing laws and other measures to help pregnant and parenting mothers. According to the Guttmacher report, in 2021, 27 states “increased access to pregnancy and postpartum care; many of these new provisions were designed to reduce racial disparities in maternal mortality.”
Along with passing the heartbeat law this year, Texas state lawmakers also increased support for pregnant and parenting mothers and babies, ensuring that they have resources to choose life. This included $100 million for the state Alternatives to Abortion program as well as additional funding for the Healthy Texas Women program.
As Robertson told the Beacon, “The nation is more prepared every day to come alongside families and provide them with the support they need.”