Washington D.C. — Americans United for Life (AUL) today released their 2009 State Legislative Session Report. This year’s report confirms that the majority of states continue to successfully pursue and implement a life-affirming legislative agenda.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of Americans United for Life, said: “Clearly, we are making progress at the state level – law by law and state by state – to protect and defend life. We are encouraged by the progress that has been made in 2009 and enthusiastically look forward to working with pro-life legislators to advance pro-life legislation and policies in 2010.”
Denise Burke, AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs added: “The promising and life-affirming trends that we have seen in 2009 bode well for the 2010 state legislative sessions and for a renewed culture of life in America.”
According to the report, several notable and promising developments and trends emerged in 2009:
- Approximately 60 life-affirming measures were enacted in 2009, a substantial increase from 2008 activity levels.
- The states considered approximately 300 abortion-related measures, the vast majority of them life-affirming, and virtually every state considered at least one pro-life measure.
- Several states introduced resolutions opposing the federal Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), radical legislation that would enshrine abortion-on-demand into American law and override all federal and state laws regulating or restricting abortion. Meanwhile, attempts in five states to enact a state version of FOCA were handily defeated.
- Further, states continued to seek to protect the unborn in contexts other than abortion by enacting protections for unborn victims of violence, encouraging substance abuse treatment for pregnant woman, and providing legal recourse for families whose unborn children are killed through the criminal acts or neglect of others.
- Measures to regulate biotechnologies and to prohibit or restrict technologies that destroy nascent life increased by nearly 20% — the first increase in such legislation in three years.
- For the first time in three years, measures to protect conscience outpaced measures to violate or compel conscience by a margin of 2 to 1.
AUL’s complete report, “2009 State Legislative Sessions in Review,” is available on AUL’s website.
About Americans United for Life
Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS’ Frontline program chronicled AUL’s successful efforts in Mississippi.