A Year For Life

What a remarkable year for Life! The Nation waited with bated breath for the Supreme Court to release its decision in what revealed itself to be a momentous case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In June, the Supreme Court answered the question,“[w]hether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional” with a resounding “no.” In fact, the Court not only gave Mississippi the win it sought, but it also finally righted its wrong and overturned Roe v. Wade, and properly returned the abortion issue to the democratic process. In doing so, it ushered in the beginning of the end of abortion violence.

But Life’s success wasn’t limited to the Nation’s highest court. In the months since Dobbs, lawsuits brought by the abortion industry at the federal level have been voluntarily dismissed. Also at the federal level, many states have asked for, and won, injunctions to be lifted so their laws can begin to save lives. On the other hand, abortion businesses have now asked the state courts to find a state constitutional right to abortion in at least twelve states. In Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Inc. v. Reynolds, the Iowa Supreme Court reversed its 2018 decision that created a fundamental right to abortion in the state constitution, giving Life yet another victory.

State Legislation

In the months leading to this historic moment, the hope that Roe could finally be overturned influenced state legislatures in different ways. Many pro-Life states chose to wait and see what would happen, which resulted in a slight decrease in momentum when compared to previous years. But some states were spurred to finally pass stronger regulation of abortion and protection for the unborn. Both Arizona and Florida took a meaningful step toward protecting unborn children and passed laws prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks.

At the same time, pro-abortion states doubled down on their hostility toward Life and pushed their states further and further away from the norm. New Jersey passed a law codifying the right to abortion. Colorado passed a law asserting that not only is there a right to abortion, but also that unborn children do not have any rights at all. New Hampshire took a step back from the progress it made last year and expanded the exceptions to its later-term 24-week limitation.

Entire States Now Abortion Free

After Life’s victory before the Supreme Court, there was a flurry of activity as a handful of states leapt to protect human life. Thirteen states—Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming—wisely prepared for the day Roe would eventually tumble and had passed conditional laws leading up to Dobbs. A conditional law activates upon a predetermined condition, which, in this case, was the overturn of Roe. Thanks to their legislators’ foresight, ten of these states were able to protect the unborn as the conditional laws went into effect, either upon the release of the Dobbs opinion or upon certification by the state Attorney General. Unfortunately, abortionists have challenged many of these conditional laws in litigation, and three are currently unenforceable.

Click here to read Americans United for Life’s full 2022 State Legislative Report