By Ingrid Duran, Director, NRLC Department of State Legislation
It’s no secret that the 2017 state legislative session was wildly successful in passing protective pro-life laws. If you had any doubts, read any pro-abortion blog. What follows is an overview; much more could be written. (At the federal level, see Jennifer Popik’s, “2018: A look at the federal legislative year ahead.”)
Last session, Ohio and Kentucky passed NRLC’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which protects from abortion unborn children capable of feeling pain. To date 16 states have passed laws like these. Pro-abortionists are massively afraid that the public will learn the truth about fetal pain,
Arkansas and Texas passed another NRLC priority piece of legislation, the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. This prohibits the barbaric procedure that involved tearing a living unborn child limb from limb as it bleeds to death and dies in the womb. Now 8 states have passed laws banning this abhorrent method.
In 2017, there were over 40 laws passed that in one form or another advanced legal protection for unborn children and their mothers or protected the taxpayer or the state from funding abortions.
Tired of strictly playing defense, over the last month the pro-abortion lobby claims that 2017 saw a surge of pro-abortion bills. They had seen the U.S. Supreme Court decide in Whole Women’s Health that states could not require abortion clinics to meet even the most minimal standards and convinced themselves they could pass pro-abortion laws. One leader tried desperately to put the best face on their dire situation: “The goal is to send the message that despite the 401 state-level abortion restrictions that have been passed into law since 2011, we do have leaders at the state level who are willing to stand up and fight for our rights.”
But here is a simple rejoinder: the State Legislation Department at the National Right to Life Committee has been on the forefront in state legislatures enacting prolife legislation and working to defeat pro-abortion bills for over 30 years [30 years?]. And with the invaluable help of each NRLC state affiliate and the faithfulness of each grassroots fellow prolife warrior, over and over again we have been successful!
We are less than three weeks into the new year but pro-lifers have already hit the road running.
As of this writing, 32 states have effective parental involvement laws; 27 states have a Woman’s Right to Know Law/Informed Consent with reflection periods; 26 states have ultrasound viewing laws; and 19 states have a ban on web cam abortions.
We will continue to see states introduce NRLC’s legislative priority bills such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, and Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act. This in addition to legislation to strengthen existing prolife laws, such as Informed Consent and Ultrasound laws and laws that allow parents to be involved in the abortion decision of their minor daughters.
National Right to Life doesn’t rest because the pro-life grassroots never rests. None of us can until there is true recognition and protection for the vulnerable unborn.
This is our promise to unborn children and to their mothers. We promise to be your voice, your representative in the 2018 session. We promise to pass protective laws that also educate the public about your humanity and your right to exist and the need for abortion-minded women to have the full picture about what is a life-and-death decision.
We know 2018 will be a busy year for pro-lifers, made even more hectic because it is an election year. But as Maria Gallagher wrote in this issue, there are “45 reasons for hope and optimism on Roe’s 45th anniversary.”
We know we have truth on our side and any setback is only temporary. C.S. Lewis may have put it best when he wrote, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”
Thank you for your unwavering dedication to do what is right.