Today, just over a week before the March for Life, Americans United for Life (AUL), America’s first and largest pro-life legal organization, released the 14th-annual edition of its flagship publication, Defending Life, known as “America’s Playbook for Life.” The guide shows that 2018 was another year of vigorous and successful policy engagement with landmark victories in law and policy protecting the sanctity of life at both the state and federal level.
“At no point in the last four decades have we been closer to building a national consensus about the radical overreach of Roe v. Wade and the perils of a culture that allows and celebrates on-demand abortion for any reason. Science is on our side. The law is on our side. And, as our new Defending Life report shows, so too are increasing majorities of the American people who are supporting and enacting changes protecting life across the country,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of AUL.
Due to AUL’s leadership with model bills and lobbying in state capitals nationwide, many state legislatures moved to protect mothers and their children from the negative consequences of abortion, to ensure that mothers are well informed about the risks of abortion, to provide the public with essential statistics on the realities of abortion and its complications, and to guarantee that public resources cease flowing to the abortion industry.
- Last year alone, AUL achieved 21 significant victories for life, providing the language for or helping enact 19 new pro-life laws and two pro-life resolutions and defeating eight anti-life measures. The ten most protective states for life: 1) Arizona, 2) Arkansas, 3) Louisiana, 4) Oklahoma, 5) Kansas, 6) South Dakota, 7) Mississippi, 8) Georgia, 9) Michigan, 10) Nebraska
- The ten least protective states for life: 50) Washington, 49) California, 48) Vermont, 47) New Jersey, 46) Hawaii, 45) Oregon, 44) Nevada, 43) New York, 42) Connecticut, 41) Massachusetts
Among Defending Life’s key findings:
- Anti-life activists continued to pressure states to reverse protections for mothers and their unborn children. States enacted two bills mandating insurance coverage for elective abortion, passed restrictions on crisis pregnancy centers, and passed a resolution marking the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
- Anti-life activists pushed measures to legalize suicide by prescription in over a dozen states.
- States, like Idaho and Arizona, have taken an increased interest in the data underlying abortions, such as demographics and abortion-related complications.
- States, led by Ohio, continue to provide protections for unborn children with Down syndrome and other chromosomal anomalies.
- States are enacting bans on abortion at five months or earlier, safeguarding dignity for fetal remains, and supporting crisis pregnancy centers.
“From life-affirming pregnancy centers to conscientious doctors and nurses to caring friends and family members who are willing to intervene in the life of a depressed individual,” writes Catherine Glenn Foster, President & CEO of AUL, in Defending Life, “we must be willing to serve as the safety nets to catch people slipping through the cracks, to ‘be the bridges’ that build critical connections from person to person, lift people up, and inspire hope. We must be trusted bulwarks against the storms and provide the path that will guard human life from destruction.”