Categories: Legislation

National Right to Life Affiliates Moving Pro-Life Legislation Ahead in State Legislatures

By Dave Andrusko

NRLC State Legislative Director Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D.

Chatting with NRLC Director of State Legislation Mary Spaulding Balch today, she reminded me of the power—and the irresistibility to reporters—of ultrasounds.

Pro-lifers in Pennsylvania have just introduced  House Bill 1077, the Women’s Right-to Know Act, which empowers women by requiring the abortionist  to position the ultrasound screen so that women could see it, to listen for a heartbeat, and to provide the patient with pictures of the developing baby. Abortionists already routinely use ultrasounds. HB1077 would require the ultrasound be performed 24 hours before an abortion to give the woman time to reflect.

Mary referred me to the local ABC station where two grim-faced female anchors introduced the story. But just after pro-abortionists called the measure “malicious,” “mean,” and “cruel,” we see an actual ultrasound. The viewer can view the unborn baby in living color and the doctor using his finger to outline the baby’s position and movement.

We then talked about just some of the legislation which is wending its way through the legislative process in the state legislatures.

In Virginia, the House and Senate have now each passed a bill requiring that an ultrasound be performed prior to performance of abortion. It goes to pro-life Gov. Bob McDonnell for his expected signature.

The House has also passed a bill (66-32) modeled after the Missouri law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Webster. It makes the following legislative findings:

(1) The life of each human being begins at conception;

(2) Unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being;

(3) The natural parents of unborn children have protectable interests in the life, health, and well-being of their unborn child.

In addition the House easily passed a bill that repeals the law that requires state Medicaid to pay for the abortions of babies with disabilities. The proposal faced tougher going in the Senate where it passed along party lines, eight Republicans in favor, seven Democrats opposed. The proposal goes to the Senate Finance Committee.

In Kentucky, on a 32-4 vote, the state Senate passed ultrasound bill requiring that the image of the unborn child be displayed so that the mother may see it. The proposal now goes to House.

In South Dakota the state House has passed an “opt-out” bill. ObamaCare  requires the States to operate and maintain “health insurance exchanges” where individuals can shop around for health insurance plans. But ObamaCare also gave each state the right to prohibit coverage of abortions under the qualified health plans offered through the exchanges. This is what HB 1185 would accomplish.

If South Dakota enacts such a law it would join the states of Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri,  Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoman, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia have already enacted abortion opt-out provisions. A similar bill (Senate Bill 434) has been in introduced in the Georgia Senate.

A Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is being considered in the Georgia House. HB954 would protect from abortion unborn babies capable of feeling pain. The bill is already law in five states.

In West Virginia, the same bill has been introduced in the House and Senate (See “West Virginians Rally at Capitol in Support of Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Legislation.”)

In Oklahoma pro-lifers have taken a first important step to rein in the use of “webcam abortion.” The House Health Committee has approved a measure to require that the abortionist be physically present.

A favorite of Planned Parenthood, webcam abortions currently feature the abortionist talking with the woman via a webcam. He presses a button which opens a drawer to remotely dispense the abortifacient RU486.

Minnesota introduced a similar bill earlier today as well as a separate bill to allow  abortion facilities to be inspected. (See “Women’s safety is focus of two pro-life bills introduced today.)

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