Monday, 23 January 2012

Pro-Life Group Releases List of Most Pro-Life States

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For the pro-life movement, 2011 was a banner year. According to the group Americans United for Life (AUL), a total of 47 state legislatures introduced 460 pro-life bills, ultimately implementing 70 laws designed to protect the unborn and their mothers. From de-funding Planned Parenthood, to informed consent laws, to measures designed to discourage abortion among minors, more states pushed more pro-life legislation than ever before.

The most pro-life states in 2001, according to AUL’s seventh annual “Life List,” were Louisiana, which took the number-one ranking for the third year in a row, followed by (in order) Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Indiana.

Of the top state, AUL boasted that Louisiana “has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to life and an unwillingness to rest on prior accomplishments, instead enacting innovative, protective laws year after year, such as last year’s ‘Signs of Hope,’ which protects women considering abortion from coercion.”

By contrast, the least pro-life state last year was Washington, followed by (in order) California, Hawaii, Vermont, Montana, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Nevada.

Chided AUL: “These states lack the most basic laws to protect women and the unborn from the harms inherent in abortion, and have embraced a variety of destructive policies such as support for research on human embryos and assisted suicide.”

Some states improved in their pro-life outlook during 2011, among them Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, and Utah. “Each of these states enacted multiple life-affirming laws in 2011,” applauded AUL, adding that “most notably, Indiana, Kansas, and North Carolina took steps to de-fund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.”

To create the list AUL evaluated states relative to how they pursued pro-life legislation that addressed five broad areas:

• Informed consent, parental involvement, abortion clinic regulations, limiting abortion funding, and providing abortion alternatives

• Protecting unborn victims of violence

• Human cloning, stem-cell research, uses of prenatal and genetic testing, and technologies such as in vitro fertilization

• Respecting persons at the end of their lives

• Protecting freedom of conscience for health care providers, institutions, and payers

The AUL’s president, Charmaine Yoest, said that as the nation looks ahead to the 40th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which defined abortion as a legal right for women that states could not curtail, pro-life organizations such as AUL are working diligently for the day when Roe is overturned, giving individual states their constitutional authority to determine abortion policy. “The states are preparing for the day after Roe,” she said. “And as [with] the ‘Life List’ documents, we’re seeing tremendous gains in defending life in law.”

Among the record-setting legislation enacted by states this year were:

• Measures to defund such “family planning” groups such as abortion giant Planned Parenthood

• “Fetal Pain” laws banning abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy, based on evidence that pre-born babies at that age can feel the trauma of an abortion procedure

• Measures prohibiting long-distance or “tele-med” abortions, in which physicians at remote sites counsel women seeking abortions and prescribe such abortion-inducing drugs as the RU-486 “abortion pill”

Responding to Louisiana’s ranking as the most pro-life state, Benjamin Clapper of Louisiana Right to Life told that for over 40 years his group “has worked diligently to ensure that Louisiana law protects human life as much as possible. AUL’s ranking recognizes this great undertaking, and the success we have achieved in defending life at our state legislature.”

According to LifeNews, since 2009 Louisiana’s state legislature has passed the Signs of Hope Act, an ObamaCare abortion opt-out provision, the Ultrasound Before Abortion Act, Abortion Facility Closure Ability, the Health Care Rights of Conscience Act, the Choose Life License Plate Re-Authorization, and the Human-Animal Hybrid Ban. Added the pro-life news site, “Before that it approved the Cord Blood Donation Education Act, Ban on Public Funding of Human Cloning, and ‘Trigger’ Law Banning Abortion on Overturn of Roe v. Wade.”

Clapper added, however, that the pro-life work his and other groups are doing “is far from complete. We will not rest until Louisiana is abortion-free and all innocent human life is protected under law.”

Photo: The Louisiana State Capitol

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