Pro-Life Laws Examined
Special Report - July 24, 2012
A new report examining pro-life laws filed and approved so far in 2012 has found that “at least 15 states have enacted around 40” laws intended to make abortion safer and more rare. The pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) 2012 Mid-Year Legislative Wrap-Up looks at a variety of state-level proposals related to insurance coverage, telemedicine (where medications that perform abortions are prescribed via phone), regulation of abortion providers, conscience protections, and late-term abortions. CRR laments that continued passage of pro-life legislation intended to protect unborn children and the physical, emotional, and mental health of their mothers actually represent “an extremist agenda,” despite continued polling that shows a majority of Americans want to see limits on abortion.
According to the report, pro-life proposals in at least 17 states have already become law. Several state legislatures are still in session with a number of pro-life bills still likely to be considered before the end of the year. Following are some of the report’s highlights:
- Bills proposed in 15 states (and passed by Alabama, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) to “ban abortion coverage from state [health] exchanges” that are required to be set up as part of the new federal healthcare law.
- The consideration by at least nine states “to prohibit health care providers from providing medication abortion through telemedicine.”
- Attempts to increase regulation of abortion providers. In particular, Mississippi and Tennessee now require “any physician who provides abortion services to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.”
- Federal and state efforts “to create or expand ‘refusal clauses’bills that allow individuals and institutions to assert religious or moral objections” to participation in abortion or abortion-related procedures. Arizona and Kansas successfully passed bills to enact new conscience protections for health care insurers and providers.
- Bills considered in nine states and passed in three to ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation.
- Florida’s ballot initiative to prohibit “the state from ever allowing funding for abortion except where necessary to save a woman’s life or in cases of rape or incest.”
- Montana’s ballot initiative to require parental notification before a minor can procure an abortion.
Additionally, the report highlights a provision of the North Carolina state budget that limits government funding for family planning services only to local health departments, which eliminates such funding for groups like Planned Parenthood.
The report did acknowledge that “there were also some positive advances in the form of policies related to maternal health and rights,” citing as an example several states’ prohibition on “shackling of prisoners during labor and delivery.”
Veto Overrides End Session - July 6, 2012
Young Adults View Life Issues - July 3, 2012
More Americans View Abortion As Wrong - June 7, 2011
Healthcare Debate Over Abortion - October 26, 2009
Majority of Americans Now Pro-Life - May 19, 2009
Majority of Americans Favor Laws Limiting Abortions - January 12, 2009
U.S. Senate Approves Pro-Life Amendment - March 4, 2008
Poll Finds Public Opinion Reversal on Roe - May 23, 2007
Abortion Polls - March 13, 2006
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