Pro-life political 2023 outlook includes state and federal protections for preborn humans

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Both federal and state lawmakers are introducing life-saving pro-life legislation this year that acknowledges the humanity of preborn children and aims to protect life from the moment of fertilization. Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, states are free to enact laws that protect preborn children from the violent act of abortion from the moment of fertilization.

Federal legislation

The Life At Conception Act

With 166 co-sponsors, The Life at Conception Act would require protection for preborn human beings under the 14th Amendment, which grants all citizens equal protection under the law. The Life At Conception Act would therefore protect preborn humans in the U.S., as it does all Americans, from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. “As a result, preborn babies would be entitled to legal protection under the Constitution as enforced by the states,” explained Rep. Alex Mooney (R-Md.). “This legislation would also set a standard for promoting and encouraging a culture of life.”

The Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act

The Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act was introduced by Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) to prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates. “We must always fight to protect the most vulnerable of our society, the unborn,” said Ernst. “Sadly, President Biden is working to reverse a rule from the previous administration that prevented taxpayer money from going toward abortion providers. Iowans should not be forced to fund organizations like Planned Parenthood, the nation’s single largest provider of abortions, and this legislation will help put an end to this practice and redirect those funds to eligible women’s health care providers.”

The No Taxpayer Funding for the United Nations Population Fund Act

The No Taxpayer Funding for the United Nations Population Fund Act would permanently prohibit the federal funding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). UNFPA partners with China, making the UNFPA complicit in China’s horrific population control program including the former One-Child Policy (now a Two-Child Policy) which includes forced abortions and sterilizations, as well as in the ongoing genocide against the Uighur Muslims.

“American tax dollars should never directly or indirectly support taking of innocent human life through abortion, nor promote dehumanizing involuntary sterilizations,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas).

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The Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2023

Congressman Roy and Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced The Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2023 which prohibits federal funds from going to any college or university that dispenses abortion drugs to students at the campus health clinic. 

“A college dorm room is no place to have a do-it-yourself abortion, and the American taxpayer should not be paying for the destruction of innocent human life on our college campuses,” said Roy.

He added, “Unfortunately, the state of California now requires every public university in the state to provide abortions to their students. The Protecting Life on College Campus[es] Act is about guarding young college women and their unborn children from the predatory abortion industry’s radical and reckless push for universal access to abortions.”

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2023

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2023 states that no taxpayer should be forced to fund abortion. The legislation has 116 co-sponsors and would ensure that no funds authorized or appropriated by federal law shall be spent on abortion. This includes money in any trust funds authorized or appropriated by federal law.

The Save Moms and Babies Act

The Save Moms and Babies Act is sponsored by Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) action removing the in-person dispensing safety requirements for the abortion pill that had been in place for more than two decades. The legislation would reinstate the in-person dispensing requirements for the abortion pill and prevent mail-order or telemedicine abortion. It also blocks the approval of new abortion drugs by the FDA. 

The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

This act is sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and would make it a federal crime for a physician to knowingly commit an abortion on a minor without parental consent or notification. Second, it prohibits taking minors across state lines for the purpose of abortion. Additionally, it imposes criminal penalties for those who commit abortions yet provides exceptions when the mother’s life is in danger, though induced abortion is never medically necessary. 


More Federal Pro-Life Action

Letter to FDA Opposing Removal of In-Person Dispensing Requirement for Chemical Abortion Drugs

Led by Senator Hyde-Smith, this letter to the FDA voiced opposition to the elimination of in-person dispensing requirements for obtaining the abortion pill, which studies have found to be four times more dangerous than a first-trimester surgical abortion. Within this letter, the FDA is charged with violating federal law as well as threatening the health and safety of pregnant mothers and their preborn children. This letter demands the FDA take mifepristone (the first drug in the abortion pill regimen) off the market or promptly reinstitute the safety requirements for abortion drugs and stop allowing the mailing and shipping of abortion drugs in violation of “Federal criminal law.”

Letter Calling on DOJ to Rescind OLC Memo on Federal Mail-Order Abortion Laws

This letter was led by Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting that he reject the opinion that federal law prohibiting the mail-order of abortion-related material is non-applicable, “where the sender lacks the intent that the recipient of the drugs will use them unlawfully.” Within this letter, they explain the law and enforceable criminal penalties surrounding the mailing of deadly drugs. These criminal statutes have never been repealed or modified to approve of the way that the Department of Justice is twisting them. While chemical abortion is legal in some states, federal law does not directly prohibit the use of them, but federal law does prohibit the mailing and shipping of these drugs. 

State Legislation

South Carolina 

Justice Kaye Hearn ruled that South Carolina’s heartbeat law is unconstitutional, writing in the opinion that the “state constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion.” Abortions are now legal for up to 20 weeks of gestation in South Carolina, however, H. 3549, the South Carolina Prenatal Equal Protection Act of 2023, would define “a person to include an unborn child at any stage of development” from the moment of fertilization. The bill would ensure that a preborn child who is the victim of homicide is entitled to equal protection of the laws, would ensure that a preborn child who is the victim of assault is afforded equal protection under the assault laws of the state, and would repeal exceptions that “will permit willful prenatal homicide.”


Senator Mike Moon filed SB 356 establishing the “Abolition of Abortion in Missouri Act.” This bill alters the definition of person in the criminal code to include a human being, including a preborn child, at every stage of development from fertilization to birth. It also “acknowledges the sanctity of innocent human life and the unborn child at every stage of development has all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state pursuant to the Missouri Constitution.” It states that any person accused of committing a criminal offense against a preborn person shall be prosecuted in a venue as provided by the act.

In addition, the affirmative defense of duress for the offense of murder will be allowed when the victim is a preborn child and the defendant is the child’s mother. This act also provides it shall be a justifiable defense if a medical procedure is performed by a licensed physician on a pregnant mother to prevent the death of the mother and it results in the accidental or unintentional death of the preborn child with all reasonable alternatives to save the life of the unborn child being unavailable or unsuccessful. 


Rep. Richard Womack filed HB 1174, the Abolition of Abortion in Arkansas ActTo summarize, this act “adds protections for unborn children by allowing prosecution when a person causes the death of an unborn child; to repeal laws that may allow a person to pressure a pregnant woman to get an abortion and to declare an emergency.” 

West Virginia

Senator Patricia Rucker has filed SB 153, the WV Chemical Abortion Prohibition Act. The act targets any “healthcare provider who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, who knowingly provides or attempts to provide a chemical abortion.” It asserts that some abortions are medically necessary: “This subsection does not apply to a chemical abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition.” However, induced abortion is never medically necessary.

Mikayla Simpson is Government Affairs Associate for Live Action. 

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