2011 was a banner year for the passage of pro-life legislation in the states. According to the pro-abortion research group Guttmacher Institute:
By almost any measure, 2011 saw unprecedented attention to issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level…. The 92 new abortion restrictions shattered the previous record of 34 abortion restrictions adopted in 2005.
Although I was braced for a dip in 2012, since it’s an election year, I’m happy to report the number of pro-life legislation being enacted into law in 2012 remains strong.
Today I spoke with Elizabeth Nash, State Issues Manager at Guttmacher, who acknowledged her side was not seeing “the decrease we would have expected.”
The bulk of pro-life legislation in 2011 was passed in April (34) and May (39), so it is still unknown whether the pace can stay strong.
But significant pieces of pro-life legislation have been signed into law in April or are awaiting signature at the desk of pro-life governors.
Even if the number of pro-life laws drops, the impact of a couple of these laws will be huge. One will likely shut down the last standing abortion mill in its state, and another will stop late-term abortions in a state with the second highest number of reported abortions past 20 weeks in the country.
- In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant “is poised” to sign a bill into law that would require abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. This would likely result in the closure of Jackson Women’s Health Center, the state’s sole abortion mill, where only one of its abortionists would fit that common sense criteria.
- Georgia Republican Gov. Nathan Deal “is expected” to sign a fetal bill that would ban abortions past 20 weeks. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, Georgia ranked second (1,208) only to New York (2,708) as having the most abortions committed past 20 weeks in 2008. While six other states have passed similar fetal pain bans (Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma), their late-term abortion statistics were negligible by comparison. A fetal pain ban in Georgia will more likely trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade than the others.
- Last week Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed a fetal pain ban on abortions past 20 weeks in Arizona.
- Also last week Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed two pro-life bills in Wisconsin – a webcam abortion ban and a ban on insurance coverage in the Obamacare exchange plan.
- Also last week Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam signed a bill into law bumping up the effective date of the state’s ban on telemed abortions from January 1, 2013, to July 1, 2012.
What a difference pro-life majorities make. These legislative successes are linked in large part back to our sweeping political victories in 2010.
Pro-lifers who may grow tired of the political grind should be encouraged.