As a new year approaches, Americans United for Life looks back on some of the top victories in the cause for life of the past year:

  1. States pass 45 new pro-life laws. This year there were a total of 45 pro-life laws passed by states, including laws defunding abortion providers, improving abortion reporting, and prohibiting abortion on the basis of a diagnosis of Down syndrome. AUL supported these efforts by providing model bills, expert testimony, and advice to legislators. 
  2. Supreme Court upholds free speech rights of pro-life pregnancy centers. The U.S. Supreme Court in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra held 5-4 that California could not force pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion. This is a victory for free speech. It protects the dedicated pregnancy center volunteers and staff, the thousands of women who seek life-affirming care and support at these centers, and life. AUL filed a “friend of the court” brief on behalf of leading pro-life medical groups in support of pro-life pregnancy centers. 
  3. Justice Kavanaugh confirmed. The Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh, nominated by President Trump to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, with a vote of 50-48. 
  4. True pro-life majority in Senate. Americans voted to increase the pro-life majority in the U.S. Senate, countering the loss of a pro-life majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. 
  5. Alabama and West Virginia pass pro-life constitutional amendments. Voters in Alabama and West Virginia confirmed that their state constitutions do not have a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion. Alabama’s amendment also declared that it is the state’s public policy to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life. 
  6. Title X regulations defund abortion providers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services acted to prohibit Title X funds from being used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning and to require the physical and financial separation between the provision of abortion and Title X projects. AUL filed a comment in support of the proposed regulations. 
  7. Argentina Senate rejects radical expansion of abortion. In August, the Argentina Senate rejected a bill that would have allowed abortion for any reason during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. The rejection came after the original bill sponsor, Senator Silvina García Larraburu, changed her mind, courageously voting against the bill. 
  8. HHS takes steps to protect conscience rights in health care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, tasked with restoring enforcement of existing federal laws protecting the rights of conscience of in health care. HHS also proposed new regulations to more effectively and comprehensively enforce federal health care conscience. AUL filed a comment in support of the regulations. 
  9. Veto of California SB 320In October, California governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have required student health clinics on public college campuses to provide chemical abortions. AUL provided testimony against the bill, pointing out the serious health risks of chemical abortion drugs. California college campuses are safer for both women and their unborn children without this law. 
  10. Eighth Circuit dismissed Planned Parenthood challenge. In November, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Planned Parenthood’s challenge in Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma v. Jegley to Arkansas’ statutory requirement that chemical abortion providers have a contract with a qualified physician who agrees to handle any complications. Despite Planned Parenthood’s claims that they could not comply with the law, they were able to find a qualified physician, allowing Arkansas women to benefit from this common-sense health and safety law. AUL filed a “friend of the court” brief in support of Arkansas.