Part 2 in a 4-part series called “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion”
In the bleak of winter, on January 22, 1973, it looked like the issue of abortion had been decided. The Supreme Court had ruled in Roe v. Wade, so what more was there to say?
And, what’s worse, Christians remained largely silent—at first.
But then, state legislatures slowly started to do what seemed impossible—they started chipping away at the infamous “right to abortion” ruling, proving that courts don’t get the final say. The people, families like yours across our country, get the final say through their elected leaders. As pressure mounted from the grassroots when believers of all denominations started calling on their government leaders to protect the sanctity of human life, laws in states began to change more quickly and more significantly.
Now, in 2018 as we approach the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, our nation looks dramatically different than it did in 1973, with the youngest generation now the most prolife generation yet. And, the variety of laws states have passed to protect life demonstrates more than anything else that all hope was not lost with that Court ruling 45 years ago.
We put together a snapshot of the primary types of laws states passed to save lives and chip away at the Roe v. Wade ruling. In this second part of our 4-part series on “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion,” we focus on laws clearly aimed toward recognizing the humanity of an unborn child and regulating abortion procedures, and those that directly impact abortionists and abortion facilities.
In Part 3 of our series, we’ll look at laws that protect mothers’ and parents’ right to know, as well as those that protect the religious freedom of healthcare providers who don’t want to be forced to provide an abortion.
Do you know whether your state has enacted any of these important laws?
Laws Recognizing the Humanity of the Unborn
In 2010, Nebraska became the first state to pass a law banning abortions after 20 weeks, following the legalization of abortion. Today, 21 states have passed late-term abortion laws and Senator Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Representative Trent Franks (Arizona, ) have introduced similar legislation on the federal level with a promise from President Trump to sign the bills if passed. These laws recognize the truth that at 20 weeks in utero, a baby is capable of feeling pain.
States and Congress have also considered banning abortions based on the sex or disability of the baby—recognizing that aborting a child for reasons based on genetics is a wrong and dangerous practice. In fact, Ohio just passed a new law that bans abortions if the decision is based on a test result that indicates the pre-born child has down syndrome.
Recently, states have also started working to end the brutal practice of dismemberment abortion, where an unborn child is torn apart and then removed from the uterus. So far, eight states ban this practice.
Most states also have laws criminalizing the acts of others that result in killing an unborn child—further recognizing that both mothers and their unborn children can be victims of violent crimes.
Though it’s hard to believe laws like this are needed, about 30 states also have laws that require proper medical treatment and care be given to any infant who survives a botched abortion. Legislators worked to enact these laws after horrific stories surfaced of babies born alive after a failed abortion were left to suffer and die alone or even thrown out as medical waste.
Laws Regulating Abortion Facilities and Abortionists
The most well-known and best law regulating abortion clinics in order to protect both unborn babies and their mothers was passed in Texas in 2013. The law simply required that abortion facilities be required to operate under the same standards as other out-patient medical facilities, including a requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at a nearby facility in case of complications during an abortion. Of course, the Left strongly opposed this law because they want abortion-on-demand readily available and challenged the law in Court.
Sadly, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ law in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, but fifteen other states have laws similar to Texas, protecting women in their states. And, the Court’s ruling doesn’t mean that states can’t continue to regulate abortion facilities.
Many abortion clinics throughout the nation have closed as a result of failing to meet basic health standards such as cleanliness. The most infamous example was the “house of horrors” – a Philadelphia clinic operated by abortionist Kermit Gosnell – where two female patients died.
All of these efforts are working to gradually limit the lethal effects of abortions. Indeed, studies show that pro-life legislation has significantly reduced the incidence of abortion, particularly among minors.
Each child in the womb has intrinsic value that ought to be recognized not only by the government but by every individual. Putting basic health restrictions on abortionists and their facilities protects not only the baby, should there be a failed abortion, but the regulations also protect the life of the woman as well.
As we head into the 2018 legislative session and Sanctity of Human Life month this January, we invite you to stand with us in support of legislation that will value the humanity of all those involved in this horrific industry. And, please be sure to sign up with us if you’d like to learn more about what prolife laws or pending bills your state has!
READ PART 1 – 45 Years Since Roe v. Wade
READ PART 3 – Roe v. Wade Wasn’t the End…But So What?