2012 sees second-highest number of state pro-life gains

By Michelle Bauman

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SBA List communications director Mallory Quigley. Credit: SBA-List.org.

An analysis of legislation in recent months reveals a nearly unprecedented level of pro-life laws being passed at the state level so far in 2012.

“Momentum is clearly on the side of Life,” said Mallory Quigley, communications director for the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.

Quigley told EWTN News on July 19 that states around the nation were “building off of the gains of 2011” when they “boldly passed measures that protect unborn children and taxpayers from the violence of abortion.”

A July 10 analysis by the Guttmacher Institute – a research institute with former ties to Planned Parenthood – examined abortion laws in the first half of 2012.

The report found that during this time period, “states enacted 95 new provisions related to reproductive health and rights,” including “39 new restrictions on access to abortion.”

This marks the second highest number of restrictions enacted in any year. The highest number of restrictions was passed in 2011. Pro-life groups attribute this trend to scientific advances that clearly show the humanity of an unborn child, as well as ethical concerns about Planned Parenthood and the way it operates.

A Gallup poll from May found that more Americans oppose abortion than support it, and the Guttmacher Institute now considers the majority of states in the U.S. to be “hostile to abortion rights.”

Among the new pro-life laws in 2012 are limitations on coverage of abortion in the health exchanges that will be created under the Affordable Care Act, which 20 states have chosen to enact.

In addition, Oklahoma and Louisiana both passed measures in recent months requiring clinics to allow women to hear their baby’s heartbeat before undergoing an abortion, while Wisconsin and Tennessee passed laws to promote abstinence education.

South Dakota adopted a law requiring counseling on abortion’s negative side effects. Arizona enacted a similar measure, as well as one requiring that information about fetal hospice services be given to women seeking abortions due to a fatal abnormality in the fetus.

Furthermore, over half of the states in the U.S. now have a waiting period for women seeking an abortion.

Several states have also banned abortions after either 18 or 20 weeks past conception. These efforts are ongoing in Washington, D.C. as well, where the House Judiciary Committee voted on July 18 to approve legislation that would prohibit abortion in that nation’s capital once the fetus is 20 weeks old.

Quigley is confident in the future of the pro-life movement. She noted that Planned Parenthood is still “on the defensive, with their taxpayer funding in jeopardy” after a series of undercover videos exposed them as violating laws and aiding alleged sex traffickers.

Several states have worked to defund the abortion giant since the release of these videos.

Reflecting on the progress made by numerous states, Quigley is hopeful that the nation will soon be “making these same pro-life gains” at the federal level, with leaders who respect human life and dignity.

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