How Do American Prolife Laws Stack Up Against the Rest of the World?

December 11

Following President George H.W. Bush’s death, the story about his rescue following his attack on Chichi Jima has been retold to  new a generation. The story goes that our beloved president, who was serving as a pilot during World War II, was forced to bail out of his aircraft after attacking the small island. He was eventually rescued from the waters of the Pacific by an American submarine. It was later noted later by a Japanese official how significant it was that the Americans sent a submarine into harms way in order to rescue one aviator. To this officer, it demonstrated the extreme value that America placed on human life, a value that he did not see reflected in his own government.

In America, one of our most closely held God-given rights is the right to life. Today, many in our culture claim to value life, yet too often we don’t live up to this claim. Sadly, nations of the world are beginning to follow our lead and act on the lie that some lives are more valuable than others in their laws.

Ireland, a historically Catholic nation that believed strongly in the value of human life, banned abortions in 1983. Sadly, just a few months ago the nation legalized abortions—a huge step backward in protecting life.  Even now their lawmakers are moving a bill that will legalize abortion up to the 11th week of a woman’s pregnancy.

If you’re looking for a silver lining, Ireland’s legislation has some protections for the unborn that even American states are not allowed to institute—such as banning abortions after 11 weeks. In America, courts have not allowed states to ban abortions before “viability,” which is considered to be at about 20 weeks. Courts have repeatedly struck down any law that bans abortion before that time. Shockingly, in states that have tried to ban the cruel practice of dismemberment abortion, where the baby is literally ripped apart in the womb limb by limb, even conservative courts have struck down these laws because they claim the ban effectively bans abortions at around 15 weeks.

It’s undeniable that the Irish law is still more prolife than U.S. abortion laws overall. Yet, there are still prolife provisions that exist in many U.S. states that were not included in Ireland’s law—despite the efforts of the country’s prolife leaders.   These common sense provisions include banning abortions based on disability, race, or sex.

Chile only recently legalized abortion, and only in the rare cases of rape or when the mother’s life is in danger. Thankfully, there are still 26 other countries that completely ban abortion.

Compared to these countries with fairly restrictive abortions laws, China stands as the clear leader in the culture of death. In China there are countless stories of forced abortions, and there are little to no restrictions on when an abortion can be performed.

While America isn’t quite China – we aren’t where we need to be. As a country, it is important that we consistently live out our beliefs and protect the lives of all people simply because they are made in the image of God. We are making slow and steady progress in this arena, but it will take the commitment of men and women of God standing for life in their state legislatures.

The next legislative session in most states is just around the corner. At Family Policy Alliance, we are preparing ourselves to fight for life in state capitols with our allies across the country. Please consider a year end gift to help us fight for the dignity and worth of every human life.

For Life,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Policy Manager