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Abortion advocates at the Guttmacher Institute and other pro-abortion institutions say they are “fighting back,” introducing more legislation to expand access to abortion than in any year in recent memory. But pro-life advocates say that public opinion, and the tide of history, is turning decisively against abortion-on-demand.
Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, announced that more pro-abortion legislation has been introduced this year than anytime in the last 20 years.
So far, 14 states have introduced 51 pieces of legislation to expand and strengthen women’s access to abortion, she said, up from 32 bills in six states in 2013.
Amanda Allen of the Center for Reproductive Rights told Bloomberg News that 2014 is a “tipping point” in American legislative history.
But “there is a significant difference between bills introduced and those enacted,” Denise Burke, vice president of legal affairs at Americans United for Life, told LifeSiteNews. “Last year, for example, more than 350 bills related to abortion were introduced in state legislatures,” but only about 20 percent became law, most of them pro-life.
The Guttmacher Institute told LifeSiteNews.com that, while dozens of new abortion-expanding bills had been offered, “thus far this year none have been enacted.”
The Supreme Court this morning effectively killed an Arizona bill that would have denied Planned Parenthood any share of state Medicaid dollars, declining to hear an appeal from the state.
The law would have deemed abortionists not “qualified” to receive state tax dollars intended for family planning services.
Governor Jan Brewer signed the “Whole Woman’s Healthcare Funding Prioritization Act” (H.B. 2800) in May 2012. The Obama administration filed a lawsuit challenging the law that October, arguing that the terms of federal law supersede state law.
U.S. District Judge Neil Wake issued an injunction, eventually striking the law down on February 11, 2013.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most overturned appeals courts in the nation, unanimously upheld the ban last August.
The Supreme Court this morning refused to intervene, allowing the panel’s decision to stand.
Illinois State Rep. Tom Morrison of Palatine, whom ICE-PAC helped elect, recently introduced two important pieces of pro-life legislation:
- A requirement that women be required to wait 24 hours and be offered an image from their ultrasound before having an abortion (see the bill here)
- A requirement that any abortion clinic must have the operating physician present after the abortion until the patient goes home following the procedure, and that a physician performing abortions must have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital (see the bill here)
Read more details in the Daily Herald by clicking here.
Professor Michael J. New has written an excellent piece at the National Review Online about the progress pro-lifers made in calendar year 2013, particularly in state legislatures. Some highlights:
- A Texas bill was passed that banned abortions after 20 weeks gestation and mandated that abortion clinics meet the same standards as other surgical health-care facilities.
- Two other states banned abortion after 20 weeks of gestation.
- Four states limited abortion coverage in the health exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.
- Eight states enacted bans on tele-med abortions.
Overall, according to the Guttmacher Institute, 70 state-level pro-life measures were enacted in 2103. This makes 2013 the second most productive year on record in terms of the number of pro-life laws that were passed. Overall, there were more pro-life laws enacted between 2011 and 2013 than in the entire previous decade.
Read the entire article here.
A survey of abortion clinics in the United States has concluded that a record number of 87 surgical abortion clinics closed in 2013.
The survey, conducted by pro-life organization Operation Rescue, found that the total number of surgical abortion clinics remaining in the United States is now 582, a twelve percent decrease in surgical abortion clinics in 2013 alone, and a 73 percent drop from a 1991 high of 2,176.
According to Operation Rescue, of the 87 clinics that discontinued surgical abortions, 81 are permanently closed, while six stopped performing surgical abortions but continued the sale of abortion-inducing drugs. The data does not include the eleven abortion clinics that were temporarily closed this year, but later reopened.
The number of clinics that only perform abortion via drugs remained fairly constant at 176, with six documented closures.
Texas is the state with the most closures of surgical abortion clinics – a total of eleven – following the passage of an abortion law earlier in the year. New abortion clinic safety regulations accounted for closures in Pennsylvania and Maryland as well.
The House Tuesday passed a bill that would ban most abortions nationwide after 20 weeks. The most far-reaching abortion legislation in the House in a decade, it was passed 228-196, mostly along party lines.
With Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposed, a House committee has passed a bill that would ban abortions nationwide at 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Much of the debate focused on amendments by Democrats who hoped to gut the bill and allow late-term abortions in cases of rape and incest, or to protect a woman’s health.
The committee passed the bill on a 20-12 vote and the measure now heads to the full House floor where it is expected to receive a debate and vote next week.
A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked Mississippi from revoking the license of the state’s only abortion clinic.
U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III extended an injunction he issued several months ago, which blocks the state from closing the clinic while it tries to fulfill a 2012 state law.
The law requires all OB-GYNs who do abortions at Jackson Women’s Health Organization to have privileges to admit patients to a local hospital.
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law a measure that outlaws abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the premise that at that point a fetus can feel pain.
Dalrymple already has signed a law that bans abortion as early as six weeks, or when a fetal heartbeat is detected, making North Dakota the most restrictive state in the nation in which to get the procedure. The laws are not yet in force and are likely to face court challenges.