Part 3 in a 4-part series called “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion”
The Supreme Court Doesn’t Get the Final Say in Roe v. Wade, as we talked about in Part 2 of our four-part series on “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion.” Since the Roe decision in 1973, states have been passing laws that protect the lives of both mothers and babies, chipping away at Roe, bit by bit.
It’s not surprising that the states needed to pass laws that recognize the humanity of the unborn and regulate the abortion industry. But what many probably didn’t expect in the wake of Roe was the need for laws to protect the right to give meaningful consent to abortion by being given accurate information about the procedure and its impact—or the need for laws to protect medical professionals from being forced to participate in an abortion.
In this Part 3 of our series, we’ll discuss the importance of these laws. Do you know whether doctors and nurses in your state are protected from being forced to participate in abortions?
Laws Protecting the Right to Know & Consent
After Roe, many women were choosing abortion because abortion facilities never provided the mother with information about what the procedure would entail, the reality of post-abortion depression for many women, or the option to see an ultrasound of their baby. Most states today have laws that require abortion facilities to provide this basic information to women.
And many states are now taking those informed consent laws to the next level—requiring states to let women know that if they have a chemical abortion, there is the opportunity to reverse it without killing the baby if intervening medication is taken within a period of time. These types of laws clearly have the potential to save lives! So far, the following states have enacted laws requiring information about chemical-abortion reversal: Utah, Arkansas and North Dakota.
Another critical aspect of real consent to an abortion are laws that require that a parent give consent when a minor goes in for an abortion. These laws are especially important because traffickers frequently take young girls to abortion clinics to “get rid of the evidence,” and adults have been caught taking minors across state lines to avoid parental notification or consent requirements. Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and North Dakota are some of the states with the best parental involvement laws when it comes to minors and abortion because they require both parents to give their consent or require notification and consent.
Laws Protecting Freedom of Religion & Conscience
Even after a heavy-handed ruling like Roe, it made sense to most people in America to allow for disagreement—in other words, even if a woman chose to have an abortion and had the right to abortion under Roe, that didn’t mean others would be forced to enable or facilitate her decision.
Now, 45 states protect the right of healthcare professionals to decline to participate in an abortion based on their religious or moral beliefs.
Why Does It Matter if the Court Didn’t Have the Final Say in Roe v. Wade?
Family Policy Alliance cares deeply about helping the Body of Christ engage with their own governments, both state and local. We believe that the people of God have an amazing privilege and responsibility to impact the laws of the country and states in which we live.
And, it’s been largely believers who indeed did build the grassroots pressure that persuaded state lawmakers to pass all these laws that chip away at Roe v. Wade.
But to what end? We don’t care about passing more laws to defeat Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. We don’t care about passing more laws just because we live in a country where we have the opportunity to be a part of the law-making process.
We care about passing these laws because of the lives saved—and because each of those lives is an individual loved by and made in the image of our God.
And indeed, the evidence is overwhelming that pro-life laws – particularly consent laws – save lives. For example, a rigorous analysis of parental involvement laws (notification and/or consent) found that such laws generally reduced minors’ abortion rates by 15 to 20 percent!
We hope you’ll commit to partnering with Family Policy Alliance as we work together to make sure every state puts key laws into place that save lives & protect doctors and other medical professionals from being forced to participate in abortions.
Stay tuned next week for the final piece in our series “Protecting Life & Ending Abortion” where we’ll cover how we can see even more prolife progress in our country and states…even more quickly!
READ PART 1 – 45 Years Since Roe v. Wade
READ PART 2 – The Supreme Court Doesn’t Get the Final Say
READ PART 4 – After 45 Years, It’s Time to End Roe v. Wade!