“This analysis of cumulative successes across the country illustrates the effectiveness of AUL’s models, laying the foundation for rolling back and reversing Roe v.Wade,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (1/17/2013) – Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest released AUL’s annual “Life List,” a well-respected ranking of the 50 states based on their on-going legal efforts to create and sustain a culture of life. While the “Life List” notes legislative accomplishments from the previous year, it also takes into account each state’s cumulative record in defending and protecting the lives of their citizens – from conception to natural death.
THE 2013 LIFE LIST honors the accomplishments of the top ten most pro-life states: 1. Louisiana, 2. Oklahoma, 3. Pennsylvania, 4. Arkansas, 5. Arizona, 6. Nebraska, 7. Indiana, 8. Missouri, 9. Georgia, 10. Virginia.
Most improved this year was Arizona, moving from No. 14 to No. 5 as a result of becoming the first to enact AUL’s groundbreaking “Women’s Health Protection Act,” prohibiting abortions at or after 20 weeks gestation based on growing medical evidence of the risks of late-term abortions on women’s health as well as the pain experienced by an unborn child.
“Americans United for Life has been leading the way in innovative legislation that protects women and girls from a profit-hungry Big Abortion industry, bloated with taxpayer dollars,” said Dr. Yoest. “I predict that we’ll see a large number of bills this year that also work to protect the First Amendment Freedom of all Americans who do not want to be forced into business with Big Abortion.”
AUL is the premier source for innovative, life-affirming legislation and will soon release Defending Life, its annual guidebook on abortion, bioethics, healthcare freedom of conscience, and the end of life, which includes AUL’s cutting-edge model legislation. Supported by this innovative tool, AUL was active in 8 of the top 10 states including: Oklahoma (#2), Arkansas (#4), Arizona (#5), Nebraska (#6), Indiana (#7), Missouri (#8), Georgia (#9), and Virginia (#10). Nationally, AUL helped enact 19 pro-life bills in 2012.
“LIFE LIST” ALL STARS: New this year, the AUL Life List All Stars commend legislative contributions during the 2012 state sessions. With outstanding track records of pro-life successes, the AUL All Stars are Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, Virginia, and South Carolina.
- Arizona became the first state to enact AUL’s “Women’s Health Defense Act,” prohibiting abortions at or after 20-weeks gestation based on the well-documented dangers of late-term abortions to women’s health and the pain experienced by unborn children.
- Georgia enacted a prohibition on abortions at or after 20-weeks gestation and revised the state’s reporting requirements for late-term abortions, requiring an abortion provider to report the medical diagnosis that necessitated the procedure. Georgia also enacted a measure that includes abortion clinics, or “reproductive healthcare facilities,” in the definition of mandatory reporters for suspected child sexual abuse.
- New Hampshire legislators overrode Governor John Lynch’s veto of a prohibition on partial-birth abortion, joining 19 other states that have also banned the dangerous and grisly practice.
- Virginia enacted an ultrasound requirement that is based, in substantial part, on AUL’s model language. Recognizing that the performance of an ultrasound is the “gold standard” of patient care, the measure requires the performance of an ultrasound before an abortion and that the woman be given an opportunity to view the ultrasound and have it explained to her.
- South Carolina became the eighth state to enact AUL’s “Abortion-Mandate Opt-Out Act,” prohibiting insurance plans that cover abortions from participating in any Exchanges (required to be operational in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare”) operating within the state.
The 2012 state legislative year produced significant victories for Life across the United States, building on 2011’s historic progress and laying the groundwork for future victories in 2013 and beyond. Through its state representatives and other significant relationships with state-based allies, AUL actively worked in 39 states to enact life-affirming laws and to defeat anti-life initiatives. In 2012, AUL realized several important victories for life, including the enactment of 19 life-affirming laws.
Trends in Legislation: In 2012, the most popular abortion-related legislative measures included prohibitions on government funding and insurance coverage for abortion, legislation and resolutions related to pregnancy care centers, informed consent for abortion, ultrasound requirements, restrictions or regulations on abortion-inducing drugs and so-call “telemed” abortions, and abortion clinic regulations and other abortion provider requirements.
Importantly, there was a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of measures introduced to protect healthcare freedom of conscience. Moreover, as a result of a substantial increase in the number of bills related to pain management and palliative care, measures related to end-of-life issues increased nearly two-fold.