By Ingrid Duran, Director, Department of State Legislation
The 2019 Legislative session started on a terrible note when New York enacted its Abortion-Until-Birth law, the so-called “Reproductive Health Act.” In spite of pro-abortion protests to the contrary, in truth the RHA: legalizes abortion throughout the entire pregnancy; establishes the state’s policy of favoring the willful taking of a human life as a “fundamental right”; authorizes health professionals other than doctors to perform abortions; repeals New York’s born alive law that would protect unborn babies who survive abortions; and removes the felony crime of intentionally targeting a pregnancy in an assault. It was Planned Parenthood’s dream bill.
The Commonwealth of Virginia also offered up its own version—Delegate Kathy Tran’s “Repeal Bill”—similar to New York’s, but I am happy to report that the bill has failed to pass out of committee. There are, however, other ominous pro-abortion bills in Vermont, New Mexico, and Rhode Island that pro-lifers are battling against.
However as awful as these laws, and proposed laws, are, for every extreme pro-abortion legislative proposal, there are at least five great prolife bills. For instance, NRLC’s own Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which protects babies that are capable of feeling pain at about 20 weeks from abortion is currently in effect in 15 states. The bill has already been introduced in six states this session: Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, and Washington.
Another NRLC priority piece of legislation is the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, currently on the books in ten states. This law protects unborn children from the brutality of being torn apart, limb by limb, by dismemberment abortion. This has been introduced in 5 states: Indiana, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Washington.
Some states are also introducing life-saving legislation giving women information on the possibility of reversing the intended effects of a chemical abortion. The Abortion Pill Reversal Informed Consent is currently the law in five states. This addition to informed consent legislation is being introduced in 4 states: Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, and North Dakota.
Just last week, Idaho passed a state partial-birth abortion ban in their Senate State Affairs Committee. Partial-Birth Abortions are a horrific type of abortions typically performed late in pregnancy that deliver an unborn child intact, feet first, while leaving the baby’s head inside the mother and then sucking her brains out, and delivering a dead baby. While Congress passed and the United States Supreme Court upheld the federal ban, Idaho wanted to amend their statute to be consistent with the language upheld by the High Court. It is expected to pass the Idaho Senate this week.
These ominous developments in places such as New York upset but do not deter pro-lifers. When there is such a wanton disregard for innocent human lives, the people react by wanting to become a voice for the voiceless.