After COVID forced many state legislatures to end their sessions early in 2020, this spring state legislatures have shown a historic level of pent-up demand for strong life-saving legislation. So far in 2021, we’ve seen 54 pro-life bills enacted into law in 16 states, and 7 pro-life resolutions passed by at least one legislative chamber. On the other side of the ledger, only 6 anti-life bills and one anti-life resolution have passed in 6 states.
The pro-abortion research group Guttmacher Institute may have said it best, in a hair-on-fire press statement on April 30th, when it screamed that “Right-wing ideologues are engaging in a shock and awe campaign against abortion rights …,” with an “unprecedented” number of abortion restrictions passed in the states this year. “If this trend continues, 2021 will end up as the most damaging antiabortion state legislative session in a decade—and perhaps ever.”
Arkansas alone has enacted over a dozen pro-life laws, including informed consent requirements, chemical abortion safeguards, expansions on healthcare rights of conscience, and a measure that prohibits public schools from contracting with an organization that provides abortions. Montana’s five bills to date include the comprehensive Abortion-Inducing Drug Risk Protocol. Arizona was not far behind, with four bills, including a law that prohibits abortions based on disability and the use of public funds for research on fetal body parts obtained after an abortion. Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming each passed multiple pro-life measures.
A number of states are still moving legislation through, and others have bills on governors’ desks, including Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
Here’s hoping the Supreme Court sits up and takes notice that nearly fifty years after Roe v. Wade found a “fundamental right to abortion” in the Constitution, the tumult raised by the nation’s citizens against that notion is only getting louder. In case they missed it, we filed a friend-of-the-Court brief in the Supreme Court yesterday calling on the Justices to reconsider Roe’s deadly regime.
In statehouses across this nation, the American people—through their elected representatives—are standing up to defend life. Washington D.C. should take note.