By Dave Andrusko
Right around this time each year—with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade just two weeks away and with the opening of state legislative sessions right around the corner– we are inundated with a slew of news articles predicting what will or at least might, take place. And that’s all to the good. While we don’t need to be reminded, it’s important for the average citizen to know the battle is about to be joined yet again.
Reid Wilson offered a fairly typical piece that appeared in the publication, The Hill under the headline, “States gear up for abortion fights with eye on Supreme Court.”
To be clear every piece of pro-life legislation is intended to educate the justices, to help them clarify the mess that is abortion jurisprudence and acknowledge commonsense protective laws. This year’s big case is Louisiana’s Act 620 “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act.”
As NRLC and Louisiana Right to Life explained in their joint brief, the law requires abortionists to have admitting privileges with a local hospital. “Act 620 was passed in 2014 in response to the extensive health and safety violations found in Louisiana abortion clinics. Louisiana already requires doctors who perform surgery at outpatient surgical centers to have hospital privileges. Act 620 extends that requirement to include abortionists.”
Wilson correctly observes that pro-abortionists intend to be active, first in the many briefs they have filed in opposition to Act 620, and in passing their own legislation. There are states (as Wilson notes), such as Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont , which have already passed radical pro-abortion measures. It is difficult to imagine how much further they can go, but no doubt they will find other ways to facilitate the deaths of unborn babies, hopefully (from their perspective) paid for by taxpayer. (Massachusetts is in the wings with its own “ROE” act that is equally extremist.)
Wilson blandly remarks, “Virginia represents perhaps the most promising ground for abortion rights advocates. Democrats won control of the state House and Senate in elections held last November, and party leaders are contemplating several proposals.”
Well, yes, indeed. As NRLC pointed out today, it is expected that later this month the Virginia legislature will “submit papers purporting to ‘ratify’ the ERA.” Pro-abortion Democrats in the Commonwealth “intend to present bills to strip away Virginia’s parental consent law, the reasonable 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, and the hard-won ultrasound law,” according to Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life. And that likely is just the beginning.
But the emphasis—as it should be—is on pro-life legislation. “In 2019 alone, 17 states passed a total of 58 new measures restricting abortions,” Wilson writes. “About half of those would ban most or all abortions, while the remainder focused on new restrictions on abortion clinics or doctors who perform the procedures.” He then quotes Elizabeth Nash, who directs state policy at the Guttmacher Institute, saying, “Abortion restrictions are still a front-burner issue in many states.”
One fascinating omission. Wilson writes, “After a virtual stalemate for much of the first decade of the century, the last 10 years have seen a spike in abortion restriction measures.” He doesn’t bother to tell you why. That’s when pro-life Republicans began winning majorities in both houses of state legislatures.
They are many lessons from all this, beginning with “Elections Have Consequences!” Be sure to come to NRL News Today on a regular basis.