Analysis

Over 500 pro-life measures introduced in majority of states so far in 2022

Planned Parenthood, pro-life

Over 500 pro-life measures have been introduced in a majority of states so far in 2022. This follows a similar trend set in 2021, when a staggering amount of pro-life legislation was introduced and passed — so much so, that the abortion industry described it as the “Worst Year for Abortion Rights in Almost Half a Century.”

According to data released by the Guttmacher Institute, 536 pro-life legislative measures have been introduced in 42 states in 2022, as of April 14. The former “special affiliate” of Planned Parenthood also claimed that 28 pro-life proposals have thus far passed at least one legislative chamber in 11 states, with 33 pro-life laws enacted in nine states, including Arizona (2), Florida (1), Idaho (1), Indiana (2), Kentucky (19), Oklahoma (1), South Dakota (5), West Virginia (1) and Wyoming (1).

Abortion bans

“Even before the US Supreme Court rules on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization by the end of June, anti-abortion policymakers are banking on the Court’s 6–3 anti-abortion majority to weaken or outright overturn Roe. They are preemptively flooding statehouses with restrictive bills in hopes that federal protections for abortion rights will soon be gone,” Guttmacher wrote.

The pro-abortion organization claims that 86 “abortion bans” have been proposed in 31 states. They claim five of these have passed at least one legislative chamber in three states — Kentucky (1), Oklahoma (3) and West Virginia (1) — while six measures have already been enacted in Arizona (1), Florida (1), Idaho (1), Kentucky (1), Oklahoma (1) and Wyoming (1).

These include six pro-life bills prohibiting abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy introduced in four states. Measures limiting abortion at 15 weeks have already been signed into law by pro-life governors in Arizona and Florida. In Kentucky, pro-life lawmakers overrode a veto by pro-abortion Governor Andy Beshear, enacting sweeping abortion regulations in the state, including a limit on abortions past 15 weeks. A 15-week abortion restriction has also been introduced and passed by one legislative chamber in West Virginia.

House Bill 3 made Kentucky the first U.S. state without legal abortion access since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case, according to Reuters. However, just days after the law was passed, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings issued a temporary restraining order at Planned Parenthood’s request, blocking Kentucky officials from enforcing the measure.

Texas-style measures and so-called ‘trigger’ bans

So far in 2022, 19 pieces of pro-life legislation introduced in 13 states have been modeled after Texas’ Heartbeat Act (SB 8), which enables civil enforcement to protect preborn babies once a heartbeat can be detected. In March, Idaho Governor Brad Little signed Senate Bill 1309, enacting similar legislation which contains exceptions for rape, incest, and medical emergency for the mother (read more here about why deliberately killing a preborn child is never actually necessary).

Guttmacher also claimed that 12 so-called “trigger” bans, which would “quickly prohibit abortion in the state” if Roe is overturned, have been introduced in nine states. In March, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed such a bill into law, which will ban abortion in the state just five days following a decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Sanctuary City ordinances are also growing in number, with five ordinances passed so far this year. This month, the city of Marquez, Texas became the 48th city in the nation to pass an enforceable ordinance outlawing abortion within its city limits since the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn project began in 2019. According to Mark Lee Dickson, the initiative’s founder, more American cities are expected to follow suit.

Chemical abortion restrictions

The so-called “medication abortion” regimen (mifepristone and misoprostol) is hardly medicine, as it has already ended the lives of nearly five million preborn babies since its approval in 2020.

In addition, preliminary data for 2020 recently released by Guttmacher indicates chemical abortion is now a majority (54%) of all abortions committed in the United States. As such, opportunists are pouncing to cash in on profits since the Biden Administration’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) moved to weaken important safety requirements on the abortion pill and permanently allow the pills to be shipped through the mail. This expansion of abortion has alarmed pro-life lawmakers, who are now working to protect teen girls and women from unregulated abortion pill profiteers.

According to Guttmacher, 116 restrictions on the abortion pill have been introduced in 22 states, with seven passing at least one chamber in Georgia (3), Missouri (2), South Dakota (1) and Wyoming (1).

While eight states have only introduced bans on chemical abortion, Guttmacher reports that 14 abortion pill restrictions have been enacted in two states: Kentucky (9) and South Dakota (5). Both states have enacted prohibitions on mailing abortion pills and have also restricted administration of abortion-inducing drugs to only physicians. South Dakota’s measure would limit the abortion pill regimen to be used only up to nine weeks after fertilization.

In addition to state legislation, the federal Safeguarding Women’s and Children’s Health Act of 2022 was introduced in the U.S. House this February and is intended to improve tracking of the adverse side effects associated with the abortion pill.

Pro-abortion extremism also at work

While pro-life legislation can be credited as an effective strategy for reducing the incidence of abortion, pro-abortion forces have been busy codifying abortion into law, introducing 231 pro-abortion measures in 29 states and the District of Columbia so far this year. According to Guttmacher, 11 of these pro-abortion measures have been enacted in seven states, including California (1), Colorado (1), Maryland (4), New Jersey (1), New York (1), Oregon (1) and Washington (2).

According to legal experts, some abortion measures — such as those proposed in California, Colorado and Maryland — point to “pregnancy outcomes” or “perinatal death” and have the potential to create a loophole allowing for infanticide. Earlier this month, the bodies of five babies, seemingly aborted late in pregnancy and/or possibly killed by illegal abortion methods, were obtained by pro-life activists outside a D.C. abortion facility. D.C. has no gestational limits on abortion. Experts who reviewed photos of the remains suspect the possibility of infanticide after attempted abortions in some of the deaths. To date, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has refused to fully investigate the deaths of these children.

Editor’s Note, 4/22/22: This article originally stated that four sanctuary cities had been instituted thus far in 2022. This number should have been five, and we regret the error.

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