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2019 has seen a 25% increase in pro-life state legislation, group reports


Jeffrey Bruno

John Burger - published on 09/28/19 - updated on 09/28/19

Americans United for Life details the 58 new laws that protect life from conception to natural death.

So far this year, 58 laws that protect life from conception to natural death were signed into law in 22 U.S. states, representing a more than 25% increase from 2018, Americans United for Life says in a new report.

Pro-life legislation was introduced in 46 states, the pro-life legal organization says.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Although physician-assisted suicide was passed in two states—Maine and New Jersey—it was defeated in seven. Arkansas enacted a bill that makes suicide by physician a felony.
  • Born Alive Infant Protection bills passed in two states, Arkansas and Texas.
  • Several states passed legislation that would prohibit abortion when a heartbeat is detected, around eight weeks. These laws are all being challenged in state and federal courts. Four states—Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee—passed conditional laws that would limit abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned or federal law otherwise changes.
  • Five states—Arkansas, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming—passed laws that increase transparency in abortion reporting, and five states—Arkansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma—passed bills that include counseling on abortion pill reversal as part of the informed consent process.
  • Four states—Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Utah—passed Prenatal Non-Discrimination Acts, which protect unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
  • Indiana enacted SB 201, broadening the conscientious objection and ethical exemption for healthcare providers from being required to perform an abortion or assist or participate in procedures intended to result in an abortion if the provider objects to the procedures on ethical, moral, or religious grounds. It also prohibits requiring certain providers to prescribe, administer, or dispense an abortion-inducing drug.
  • Louisiana enacted SB 238, adding abortion facility employees to the list of mandatory reporters of human trafficking and certain sex-based crimes to law enforcement.

AUL suggested that state-level legislation has had a big impact on the decline in abortion nationwide. The national abortion rate is now the lowest since 1973, when Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. Michael New, professor of social research and political science at the Catholic University of America and associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, has done research showing a direct correlation between increasing the number of state pro-life laws and decreasing the number of abortions.

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