As we begin the second half of 2015, some pro-lifers may be discouraged by recent judicial intervention that allows abortion facilities to remain open, or prevents other pro-life laws from passing. But the truth is, the pro-life side is still winning.
This year alone, 51 new pro-life laws have been enacted. As the Guttmacher Institute reports, there have been 282 abortion restrictions since 2010. Guttmacher notes that pro-life laws passed in the first half of 2015 already exceed all of 2014.
The pro-life laws passed take on a variety of aspects, but a few themes prevail: patient safety laws—known as Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws by abortion advocates, medication abortion laws, waiting periods for abortions, and D&E abortions (usually known as “dismemberment abortions”).
“Even though most action on these issues follows recent trends, some states have charted some new directions that may well serve as models for other states going forward.”
Although some of these laws were stalled in the courts pending appeal, many passed, and have been enacted in respective states. Guttmacher Institute lists a summary of the myriad of new regulations that have passed:
- Three states moved this year to extend the length of their existing waiting periods, and two additional states adopted new waiting periods.
- Arkansas and Tennessee mandated a 48-hour wait between counseling and the abortion procedure.
- North Carolina and Oklahoma enacted measures requiring women to wait at least 72 hours, joining Missouri, South Dakota and Utah, which also require women to wait at least three full days for an abortion.
- A new Florida law, which would establish a 24 hour waiting period, has been challenged and it remains to be seen if enforcement of the law will be blocked during the court case.
- Three of the five states to adopt waiting period requirements this year also require women to receive abortion counseling at the abortion facility, effectively necessitating two trips.
- Since 2010, 14 states have adopted measures banning abortion at about 20 weeks postfertilization (about 22 weeks after the woman’s last menstrual period) and 11 of these states have laws in effect.
- For the first time, two states, Kansas and Oklahoma, enacted measures that could ban abortion as early as 14 weeks of pregnancy.
- 19 states now restrict this commonly used first-trimester abortion method.
- This year, Arkansas and Idaho adopted new restrictions, join 16 other states in barring this use of telemedicine.
- Arizona and Arkansas adopted a new type of medication abortion restriction: Under these laws, abortion providers are required to inform women that it is possible to stop a medication abortion by giving the woman a large dose of hormones after the mifepristone has been administered, but before the woman takes the misoprostol.
- Five states require providers of either medication or surgical abortion services to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.
- Another 10 require the provider to have either admitting privileges or another type of relationship with a hospital (such as an agreement with a physician who has privileges).
- Twenty-two states impose standards on abortion providers that are comparable to those for ambulatory surgical centers.
- Arkansas and Indiana now require abortion providers to either incinerate or bury fetal remains.
(Source: Guttmacher Institute)
This list from Guttmacher shows the progress made in just the past five years. Many believe the surge of pro-life laws came in response to President Barack Obama’s presidency. Called by some as the nation’s most pro-abortion president, pro-lifers fought back with legislation. As a result, a slew of restrictions against unfettered access to abortion emerged.
Fortunately for babies— and women who don’t understand the suffering abortion can bring them— the past five years have brought life even in the midst of a culture of death.
Regardless of what the courts do, the truth is, most pro-life regulations do get implemented. The pro-life side is winning, which is apparent even from this report from a pro-abortion research group.