In 2019, we saw another year of multiple pro-life bills passed in states across the U.S. While many ultimately failed because of a governor’s veto or a lawsuit from groups like Planned Parenthood, there were successful pro-life initiatives passed in many states. Other states unfortunately passed pro-abortion bills. Below are lists of both from this past year:
A full ban on abortion, except in cases in which the mother’s life is at risk because of a physical or mental condition, was passed in Alabama and signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey. A federal district court temporarily blocked the law.
Arkansas passed a law prohibiting abortion after 18 weeks gestation. It was signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson, but was struck down by a federal court.
Legislators also passed a ban on abortion due to a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. Governor Hutchinson signed that bill into law as well but a federal court struck it down. He also signed a bill requiring information on palliative care to be distributed to a woman seeking an abortion because doctors said her baby would die at birth. This must be done at least 72 hours before the abortion. In addition, Hutchinson signed a law that will ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, as well as a law requiring that women who take the first dose of the abortion pill be given information about abortion pill reversal.
The state of Georgia made national headlines when Governor Brian Kemp signed a law banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected — usually around six weeks gestation. A federal district court blocked the law while a lawsuit against it is pending.
Governor Eric Holcomb signed into law a bill that bans dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, also known as dismemberment abortions, in which the preborn child is killed as the abortionist tears her limbs from her torso. A federal court blocked the law while the case against it proceeds.
Holcomb also signed a law extending conscience protections to healthcare workers who don’t want to participate in abortions.
Legislators passed a bill that would have required abortion facilities to give women information about abortion pill reversal during their pre-abortion counseling. Unfortunately, Governor Laura Kelly vetoed it.
Governor Matt Bevin signed a law prohibiting selective abortion because of the preborn child’s race, sex, color, national origin, or diagnosis of a genetic anomaly. The law was immediately blocked by a federal court and it will not go into effect unless the court votes in favor of it.
Bevin also signed a law that will ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, allowing abortion only when the mother’s life is at serious risk. In addition, he signed into law a bill banning abortion at six weeks gestation — once a fetal heartbeat is detectable. It was immediately blocked by a federal court, while a case against it is pending.
Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards (whom the Guttmacher Institute has incorrectly listed as a Republican) signed into law a bill that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The ban will take effect only if and when a federal court rules in favor of a similar ban in Mississippi.
The governor also signed a measure to put a constitutional amendment on the November 2020 ballot that would ensure abortion is not a right, and would prohibit public funding of abortion. The ballot measure must be approved by the secretary of state.
Governor Phil Bryant signed a bill to ban abortion after six weeks gestation. A federal court blocked the law while a lawsuit against it is carried out. The awaited decision from the court will also determine if a similar law in Louisiana will be allowed to take effect.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 126, banning abortion after eight weeks gestation. The law was scheduled to go into effect on August 28, but on August 27, a US District Judge blocked it. Portions of the law, however, remained and did go into effect, including the banning of abortion based on a preborn child’s race or sex as well as in cases of a diagnosis of Down syndrome. This bill will also ban abortion in Missouri if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned.
State legislators passed a law that would require abortionists to give medical assistance to a baby who survives an abortion; however, Governor Steve Bullock vetoed it. He also vetoed laws banning sex-selective and disability-selective abortion, a bill to end Medicaid funding for abortion providers, and a bill informing women about abortion pill reversal.
Governor Pete Ricketts signed a law requiring abortionists to tell women about abortion pill reversal.
The government of North Carolina passed a bill that would have required abortionists to provide medical help to a baby who survived an abortion. Governor Roy Cooper vetoed the bill and the Senate overrode his veto. However, the House’s attempt to override the veto failed.
North Dakota legislators passed a bill banning dismemberment abortion when Roe v. Wade is overturned. It was signed by Governor Doug Burgum.
Governor Burgum also signed a law requiring abortionists to tell women about abortion pill reversal; however, a federal court blocked the law pending a lawsuit.
Governor Mike DeWine signed into law a ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. However, a federal court blocked the law while a lawsuit against it is pending.
Governor Kevin Stitt signed a law that requires a 72-hour waiting period between when a woman is told about abortion pill reversal and when she takes the abortion pill. Women must also be given information about abortion pill reversal after taking the first of the two-dose pill. A state district court has blocked the bill for now.
State legislators passed a bill that sought to ban abortion based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome, but Governor Tom Wolf vetoed that bill.
Governor Kristi Noem signed a law to amend the existing ultrasound law to ensure that an ultrasound is offered before a woman agrees to an abortion. The law also makes it a felony to commit an abortion against a mother’s will.
Governor Bill Lee signed a bill into law that would ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Governor Greg Abbott signed a law requiring abortionists to give medical help to babies who survive abortions.
Governor Gary Herbert signed a law banning abortion after 18 weeks gestation. A federal court blocked the law while the lawsuit against it is in process. He also signed into law a bill that bans abortion because of a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Wisconsin passed pro-life laws including one to protect abortion survivors and one that banned abortion based on the sex, race, color, and disability of the preborn child. Governor Tony Evers vetoed each of those bills, and there were not enough votes to override his veto.
Governor Evers also vetoed a bill that would have required abortionists to tell women taking the abortion pill about abortion pill reversal as well as a bill that would have required abortionists to give medical help to babies who survive abortions.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that forces health centers on public college and university campuses to carry the abortion pill. The law takes effect in January 2020 and all campuses must be following the law by 2023.
Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill enshrining abortion as a fundamental right. The law also repealed the requirement that abortion facilities follow the same rules as ambulatory surgical centers and repealed a ban on sex-selective and partial-birth abortion. The law ended the state’s physician-only abortion law, opening the door for non-doctors to commit abortions, and also requires that private insurance and state employee health care plans provide coverage for abortion with zero restrictions.
Governor of Maine Jan Mills signed into law a bill that forces Medicaid to pay for abortion. For the fiscal year 2020, $375,843 taxpayer dollars have been appropriated. The law also forces private insurance to ensure that maternity coverage includes abortion for any reason, beginning in January 2020. Mills also signed a law that allows physician assistants and APRNs to commit abortions.
Governor Steve Sisolak signed a law repealing the state’s criminal abortion statute.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that enshrines abortion as a right and allows abortion for any reason up until viability, and up until birth in cases in which the mother’s physical, mental, financial, or familial health is at risk (which means essentially for any reason).
Governor Gina Raimundo signed a law making abortion a right before viability and at any point during pregnancy if the mother’s health is at risk. The law also ensures that Medicaid covers abortion in the cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk. In addition, the law repealed abortion restrictions such as a ban on abortion coverage by private health insurance, spousal notification of abortion, and the ban on partial-birth abortion.
Governor Phil Scott signed a law making abortion a fundamental right and preventing any restrictions on abortion.
State legislators also began the long process of placing an initiative on the 2022 ballot that would change the state constitution to make abortion a protected right. It must be approved twice – during this legislation and the next – before making it onto the 2022 ballot for voters.
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