WASHINGTON, D.C. (09-05-13) – “The 2013 state legislative sessions resulted in tremendous advances in protecting women and girls from abortion industry abuses and indifference,” said Americans United for Life Action President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Equipped with the best legal tools, state leaders are courageously putting the pro-life convictions of their constituents over the abortion lobby’s disingenuous and politically motivated pressure campaigns.” AUL Action’s sister organization, Americans United for Life, and its legal team is the source of Defending Life, often called “the playbook” of pro-life legislation, providing a template for legislators who want to work to protect women’s health and the lives of the unborn.

AUL Action’s State Legislative Session Report (available here) shows tremendous gains nationwide, as AUL attorney Mailee Smith noted today in the Washington Times.

Smith wrote: “This year, 48 states considered approximately 360 measures related to abortion, most of which sought to protect women and their unborn children from a predatory abortion industry which, as the Kermit Gosnell case aptly demonstrates, places concerns for profit over women’s health and safety.  Of those, 69 provisions—provisions aimed at protecting maternal health and unborn children—were enacted.   This continued a trend begun in 2011, when 70 life-affirming measures were enacted, and 2012, when 38 such measures were enacted (a large number for an election year).” To read more, click here.

Dr. Yoest observed, “A mother-child model is the intellectual foundation of the types of legislation setting the current life-affirming trends, including AUL’s ‘Women’s Health Defense Act,’ a five-month abortion limitation bill predicated on the dangers of later-term abortions to women as well as to their unborn children.”

At least 11 states considered measures to limit abortion at 5 months (20 weeks) of pregnancy: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.

And this year, AUL and AUL Action’s groundbreaking accomplishments include North Dakota’s enactment of a first-in-the nation prohibition on abortions performed for genetic abnormalities.  The prohibition was based on AUL model legislation, which also bans sex-selective abortions.

The State Session Report Notes A Number of Pro-Life Accomplishments, including that:

  • Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, and Texas made the most significant progress in enacting protective  abortion-related measures.
  • Texas considered at least 35 individual abortion bills – by far the most abortion-related bills considered in any single state in 2013.
  • In 2013, measures limiting taxpayer funding for abortion  continued to garner considerable interest with 28 states considering related measures.
  • Similarly, in the wake the Kermit Gosnell trial and numerous instances of substandard abortion care in other states, abortion clinic regulations and other abortion provider requirements generated significant interest among state legislators.
  • Other protective measures such as informed consent, parental involvement, and ultrasound requirements also continued to generate significant interest.
  • Notably, this year saw a significant increase in the number of states considering prohibitions on abortion.  In 2013, 28 states considered significant abortion limitations and prohibitions, a 60 percent increase from 2012 activity levels.
  • Specifically, the number of states considering prohibitions on sex-selective abortions rose dramatically.  In 2013, 16 states considered prohibiting abortion based on the gender of the unborn child, a more than three-fold increase from 2012 activity levels.
  • In 2013, at least 27 states considered nearly 60 measures providing legal recognition and protection to unborn children in contexts other than abortion.

“Considering the growing body of medical evidence confirming the health-risks of abortion for women, abortion cannot be left in the hands of an unmonitored, unregulated and uncaring industry feeding off fear and federal subsidies,” said Dr. Yoest.

To read the state sessions report, click here. To learn more about the health risks of abortion, click here.