Pro-Life Movement aggressive legislative push puts Roe “on thin ice”

By Dave Andrusko

Let’s begin with some marvelously revealing quotes from pro-abortion sources in a Huffington Post story titled “With Roe On Thin Ice, The GOP Is Attacking Abortion Rights Like Never Before” by Alanna Vagianos:

The year is shaping up to be the most devastating on record for abortion rights.

“We have seen lawmakers hostile to reproductive freedom launch an all-out assault on abortion rights and they aren’t slowing down,” [NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini] Timmaraju said. “Even as Roe stands, abortion access is already being eviscerated at rapid speed across the country.”

The anti-abortion rights movement is invigorated — and it appears to be winning. 

Vagianos tells us there is “nothing new” in one sense: “For the past decade, anti-choice lawmakers on the state level have consistently tried to roll back abortion rights …In 2021 alone, they introduced 663 measures to restrict access to abortion care, 108 of which were enacted into law.”

So what is new? “The anti-abortion movement’s renewed sense of energy.” What’s the evidence?  She summarizes (from our perspective) the wonderful track record of pro-life legislation: 

As state legislative sessions wind down, 42 states have introduced 536 abortion restrictions, according to an analysis from the Guttmacher Institute, in the first few months of 2022.

Just over 30 of those measures have been passed into law in nine states, including Arizona, Florida and Indiana. Kentucky and South Dakota lawmakers have been particularly aggressive: Five of the new anti-abortion laws are in South Dakota, and 19 are in Kentucky.

In the first three and a half months of 2022, 19 states introduced copycat versions of Texas’ abortion ban, which restricts abortion at six weeks and effectively deputizes private citizens to enforce it. In December, the Supreme Court allowed the Texas law to stand — including its six-week ban and extreme enforcement mechanism — as the lawsuit opposing its constitutionality proceeded in lower courts.

In addition, a dozen states introduced “trigger bans,” or abortion restrictions that would go into effect immediately if Roe is overturned. 

(Their numbers are different, but similar to NRLC’s Department of State Legislation.)

Our Movement would have been pushing and promoting legislation regardless. But what appeared to be the Supreme Court’s receptivity to Mississippi’s 15 week ban has been the wind beneath our wings. And, of course, Texas’s Heartbeat Law has serviced as the model for a number of states.

As NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Timmaraju said.

“We have seen lawmakers hostile to reproductive freedom launch an all-out assault on abortion rights and they aren’t slowing down,” she said. “Even as Roe stands, abortion access is already being eviscerated at rapid speed across the country.”