A look back at 2019 state legislation

By Ingrid Duran, Director, Department of State Legislation

Editor’s note. The following appeared in the October digital edition of National Right to Life News. Please share the contents with your pro-life friends and family and urge them to sign up to receive NRL News and NRL News Today here.

The spotlight shone brightly on unborn children during the 2019 legislative session, beginning, unfortunately, with an all-out assault on them.

Using the symbolism of the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, New York’s pro-abortion Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed the so-called “Reproductive Health Act” into law. The measure was breath-taking in its all-encompassing assault on preborn babies and on abortion survivors. The new act legalized abortion up until the moment of birth and eliminated protections for abortion survivors.

As the session continued there were a handful of states (Illinois, Rhode Island, and Vermont) that followed in New York’s footsteps by enacting their own extreme abortion-on-demand laws, But the number of laws introduced and enacted on behalf of protecting the unborn children were significantly greater, as the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute continually complained.

Pro-lifers were motivated to react not with anger and indifference but instead with passion and most importantly with compassionate action. Shortly after the unfortunate news came out of New York, the National Right to Life Committee held a webinar responding to that and provided the grassroots with a legislative agenda focused on effective ways to protect unborn children right now. The two main items on the agenda were the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act and the Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is a law that protects living unborn children from being torn apart, limb by limb, by the gruesome dismemberment abortion technique. In 2019, Indiana and North Dakota passed a dismemberment abortion ban. This law has now been passed in 12 states. For more information, click here.

The Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act is a law that provides information to abortion-minded women. The abortionist must let them know if after having taken the first of the two drugs that compose the chemical abortion technique (“abortion pill”) they change their mind, it may be possible to save their baby. It also provides written information in the state’s informed consent brochures and the state department of health’s website.

To date as many as 900 babies have been saved using this life-saving technique created by Dr. George Delgado and Dr. Matthew Harrison.

In the 2019 legislative session, four states (Kentucky, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and North Dakota) enacted an abortion pill reversal (ARP) information law and Arkansas strengthened their existing APR law. Now there are a total of 9 states that empower women by giving them vital information regarding chemical abortions. For more information, click here.

Other pro-life legislation

In 2019 extremists challenged prolife laws in states such as Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These included prolife laws that have been on the books for several years, such as the requirement that only a licensed physician can perform an abortion, waiting periods, ultrasound, and parental involvement laws. Fortunately, in early October, a Virginia judge ruled in favor of the state’s law requiring ultrasounds, physician only requirement, and a waiting period.

These are common sense laws that really have the power to save lives, just like a ban on a gruesome procedure or giving women factual information prior to an abortion.

It’s almost as if the other side is grasping at straws because they know that a shift is happening. The veil of supposedly keeping abortions “safe, legal, and rare” has been lifted to reveal the extremism that the other side is really calling for abortions up until birth with no apology or regret. When the public is exposed to the truth, they agree with us that the abortion agenda must be stopped.

We do not want to witness another “House of Horrors,” where abortionists, such as Kermit Gosnell, go decades without inspections. No, we will continue to shape policies that offer protection to the vulnerable. We will continue to be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves. The 2020 session will soon be here, and, with your help, we will be ready to act on behalf of the unborn.