If abortion proponents condemned 2011 as “the year of abortion restrictions… mark[ing] a sea change for abortion rights,” and 2012 as “an unmitigated disaster for abortion rights,” I can’t imagine what they will say about 2013.
In 2011 there were a record 92 pro-life laws enacted in the states, followed by the second highest number, 43, in in 2012. This year has already seen at least 14 pro-life bills become law, according to Mailee Smith, Staff Counsel for Americans United for Life, so we are on track for another banner year.
But in 2013 we are not only seeing a high volume of typical pro-life legislative fare, we are seeing passage of pro-life legislation on steroids, the likes of which has never been observed in 40 years of legalized abortions throughout the U.S.
Yesterday, North Dakota adopted the “heartbeat” ban, which outlaws abortion once a baby’s heart tones can be detected, as early as six weeks. At the same time ND Governor Jack Dalrymple signed the first ever ban against eugenic abortions for fetal abnormalities or gender.
Bumped from the top spot, held only three weeks, was Arkansas, which on March 6 passed what was then an unprecedented ban on abortions after 12 weeks.
Just a week prior, Arkansas became the 10th* state to pass a ban on abortions after 20 weeks.
Then there’s the Personhood Amendment. On March 22 North Dakota became the first state to legislatively authorize a ballot initiative that would establish the right to life from the moment of conception.
The other side is attempting to exude coolness by mocking and dismissing, but you know they must be overwhelmed, not just because the attacks against abortion are coming from all sides, but also because of pro-life chutzpah and legislative cohesiveness never before seen.
Mother Jones has created three rounds of “Anti-Choice March Madness” charts, because:
Despite being Women’s History Month, March has seen relentless attacks on ladies’ rights. As soon as one state passes some outrageous woman-restricting bill, another is right behind with something even, well, outrageous-er. The “state-by-state race to the bottom on women’s health,” as the president of Planned Parenthood put it, inspired us to set up our own March Madness bracket to determine the national champion in the War on Women.
Read through the match-ups to get a thrill up your leg. The winner is, no surprise, North Dakota! Click to enlarge…
More on the pro-life tsunami from Politico, March 26:
For years, decades even, abortion fights targeted procedures used in later stages of pregnancy, such as the ban on certain late-term abortions. Or they focused on making abortion harder to access because of rules like waiting periods, parental notification or regulations that make it harder for clinics to stay in business. Several states have also begun to put restrictions on drugs used to terminate a pregnancy in its early weeks, like… RU-486.
Then the battleground began to shift. A few years ago, states began passing “fetal pain” laws, restricting abortions at around 20 weeks post-fertilization….
This year, states have begun hurtling toward very early bans, in the first trimester of pregnancy.
“It’s an astonishing display, really. I think in the last month, we’ve seen legislatures basically in a race to the bottom, each one trying to outdo each other in being more anti-choice than the other,” said Donna Crane, policy director for NARAL….
“These are obviously, these are without question, unconstitutional,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said. “There’s no chance that these could stand up in court. They are an absolute affront to the current standards.”…
Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said… “These are certainly the most extreme restrictions that we have seen in quite some time. But I don’t think we should miss the point that the goal of all the restrictions is to make it very difficult, if not impossible, for a woman to get an abortion if she needs one”…
Note that both Richards of PP and Donna Crane of NARAL used the “race to the bottom” catch phrase. They must share PR firms.
From a PP email alert yesterday (click to enlarge)…
*According to AUL, 10 states maintain prohibitions of abortion at 20 weeks: AL, AR, DE, IN, KS, LA, NE, NC, OH, and OK. Three state laws are in litigation: AZ, GA, ID.