An objective summary of the “record” number of “abortion bans and restrictions”

By Dave Andrusko

A colleague at National Right to Life passed along an intriguing analysis from “Governing” magazine that ran under the headline, “2021 has been a record year for abortion restrictions and bans.”

“Governing” is described as “a monthly magazine whose primary audience is state and local government officials: governors, legislators, mayors, city managers, council members and other elected, appointed and career officials.” 

So the story is worth a look not just because of its audience but also because of Alan Greenblatt’s many keen insights.

Here are five.

#1. “More than a dozen states considered bans on abortion this year, with total bans or bans after six or 20 weeks following gestation passing in Idaho, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas. All told, states have enacted more than 80 restrictions on abortion this year, the most in any year since Roe v. Wade was decided back in 1973.” The latter conclusion is based on data from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute which, while lamenting the passage of any pro-life legislation, generally gets its facts straight. So point #1. Many states are passing laws banning abortion from early in pregnancy all the way up through well into the second trimester.

#2. “Restrictions on abortion have been a legislative staple since Republicans took over a majority of legislatures and governorships in 2011. In some states, new restrictions are adopted annually.” It is nearly impossible to exaggerate how important it is that pro-life Republicans have assumed control in a number of states. The irony is that the floodgates were opened in response to the presidency of pro-abortion Barack Obama, whose legislative agenda cost Democrats governorships and hundreds of seats in state legislatures.

#3. “When the Supreme Court has made really controversial decisions, or decisions seen as controversial at the time, over the decades the country accommodates itself to the new reality,” says Gary Bauer, president of American Values, a conservative advocacy group. “That has not happened with abortion.” 

NRL News Today has discussed this truism many, many times. Abortion is the bone in the throat of American culture. Until unborn babies are protected by law and welcomed in life, so shall it ever be.

#4. “In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court found that abortion is a “fundamental right” under the state constitution. In January, the Legislature put a constitutional ban on abortion, which would overturn the court’s decision, before voters on the August 2022 ballot. Kentucky voters will also weigh in on a state constitutional ban next year, likely followed by Iowa. State constitutional bans have already been approved by voters in several other states, most recently Louisiana and West Virginia. “They’re clearing the way for states to enact and enforce abortion bans,” says [Elizabeth] Nash, of the Guttmacher Institute. “If federal rights are weakened or overturned, that avenue is closed. If state constitutions don’t offer protection, then it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to bring challenges to bans.”

Put another way, “Red states” are striking back at activist state Supreme Courts which are conjuring up a “right to abortion” heretofore undiscovered in their state constitution. Typically the initiative also declares there is no right to funding of abortion either.


#5. “Other states are seeking to make it easier for residents to obtain abortions.  …But there are fewer states controlled by supporters of reproductive rights than those controlled by abortion opponents.”

In the last two years, the hardest of the hard-core pro-abortion states have thrown all caution to the wind. Abortion through all nine months—paid for by the taxpayer—and (at best) indifference to or (at worst) hostility toward abortion survivors. 

There is a reason Democrats in the states and in Congress hate Abortion Survivor Protection Acts.

Not because they are a limitation on abortion—these are born babies, not “fetuses”—but because they send a message. The baby who survived the abortionist’s onslaught is the same baby that ten minutes before the abortionist had absolute free rein to kill.

Pro-abortionists fear the logic—the slippery slope in reverse.

A piece very much worth reading.