National Right to Life Committee Proposes Legislation to Protect the Unborn Post-Roe

WASHINGTON — In a memo distributed Wednesday by James Bopp, Jr. of The Bopp Law Firm, PC, general counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, NRLC proposed a Post-Roe Model Abortion law for the states to adopt, in the event that, in the upcoming decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization or some future decision, the United States Supreme Court substantially expands states’ authority to legislate regarding abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade.

“For decades, National Right to Life and its state affiliates have led the effort to pass life-affirming laws at the state level that protect unborn children and their mothers – efforts that have drastically reduced the number of abortions and brought us to this moment in our nation’s history,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “With this model law, we are laying out a roadmap for the right-to-life movement so that, in a post-Roe society, we can protect many mothers and their children from the tragedy of abortion.”

The model law recommended by the National Right to Life Committee would first protect the lives of unborn children from abortion except when necessary to prevent the death of the mother, which has been the accepted policy of the pro-life movement since 1973 and for many years before. In addition, the model law ensures that no criminal or civil penalty will be imposed on a pregnant woman.

Second, because current realities require that abortion laws have a robust enforcement mechanism to ensure that they are effective, the model law provides criminal penalties, but also broad criminal enforcement authority—granted to both local prosecutors and states’ attorneys general—and civil remedies and licensing revocation for physicians who perform illegal abortions.

The model law also reaches well beyond the actual performance of an illegal abortion. It also includes aiding and abetting an illegal abortion, and a variety of other acts in furtherance of illegal abortion; trafficking in abortifacients; trafficking minors to obtain illegal abortions; and, in a RICO-style provision, the use of proceeds from a pattern of illegal abortion activity to engage in such activity.

On the civil side, the model law would allow state or local officials and affected persons to bring a civil action against any person or entity that violates any provision of the model law, permitting a court to enjoin the offender to prevent future violations; permitting compensatory damages if the plaintiff has suffered actual injury or harm from the defendant’s conduct; punitive damages, payable to the not-for-profit organization of the plaintiff’s choice, that provides services to pregnant women; and costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

“In the event Roe v. Wade is overturned, states will have a significant opportunity to protect the unborn,” said James Bopp, Jr., general counsel for National Right to Life. “In doing so, it is important that such states not only prohibit illegal abortions, but also employ a robust enforcement regime, so that these laws are sure to be enforced.” He continued, “Our model law does just that. It builds on the substantial experience the right-to-life movement has had in developing pro-life legislation and we believe it presents the best opportunity to protect the unborn.”

The text of the model law can be found here

Recent Posts

The National Right to Life Committee reaffirms its unequivocal condemnation of violence as a means to end abortion

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT: the National Right to Life Committee urges all who oppose… Read More

19 hours ago

Nebraska Mother Was Not Charged with Having an Abortion

Despite some media reports implying that a Nebraska teen has been charged for having an abortion,… Read More

19 hours ago

Your Efforts are Needed Now More than Ever!

By Carol Tobias Editor’s note. The August edition of NRL News is now in your… Read More

19 hours ago

Good news: The August edition of National Right to Life News is now in your in-box!

By Dave Andrusko Have things heated up, or what? We cover all the incredible fallout… Read More

19 hours ago

Abortion creates a wound on our nation’s psyche which bleeds onto all sorts of aspects of American life

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation The clergyman had recently gotten word… Read More

19 hours ago

Why some details of Planned Parenthood’s last two years are a mystery.

By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL Director of Education & Research Beyond their public statements,… Read More

19 hours ago