This has proven to be another year of engagement in state legislatures with states actively protecting mothers and their children from the negative consequences of abortion, despite the fact that several states on a biennial schedule are not in session this year. State legislatures across the country continue to press forward to ensure that mothers are well informed about the risks of abortion, that the public has valuable statistics on the realities of abortion and its complications, and that public resources are no longer flowing to the abortion industry.
In 2018, AUL and AUL Action realized 21 significant victories for Life, providing the language for or helping to enact 19 new pro-life laws, providing the language for 2 pro-life resolutions, and working to defeat 8 anti-life measures. Overall, there were 45 life-affirming, abortion-related measures passed in 2018, and AUL actively engaged in more than 45 percent of these – to date, the highest percentage of successful pro-life bills AUL has been actively involved in.
In response to recent judicial actions, including Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and a desire to ensure mothers are fully informed about their decision, states have taken an increased interest in the data underlying abortions, such as demographics and abortion-related complications. In particular, Idaho and Arizona enacted the next generation of abortion reporting requirements, based on AUL model legislation, requiring that all abortion-related complications, whether presented at the abortion facility or elsewhere, be reported so as to give a true picture of consequences to mothers.
Additionally, states, led by Ohio, continue to provide protections for unborn children with Down syndrome and other genetic anomalies. States are enacting bans on abortion at five months or earlier, safeguarding dignity for fetal remains, and supporting crisis pregnancy centers.
Opponents continue to pressure states to reverse protections for mothers, with 5 measures enacted, including two requirements for insurance to cover elective abortion, restrictions on crisis pregnancy centers, and a resolution marking the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Finally, in a disturbing trend, advocates throughout the country continue to push measures to legalize physician-assisted suicide. All but one, in Hawaii, were defeated.