My name is Catherine Glenn Foster, and I serve as President & CEO at Americans United for Life (AUL). Established in 1971, AUL is a national law and policy nonprofit organization with a specialization in abortion, end-of-life issues, and bioethics law. It is my expert legal opinion that this bill would (1) authorize abortion on demand through a baby’s birth date; (2) infringe on constitutionally protected parental rights; and (3) violate rights of conscience. 

Abortion on Demand Throughout Pregnancy 

The bill creates a “fundamental right to reproductive freedom.” In effect, the bill authorizes abortion on demand up until the baby’s birth date. This is a radical measure that goes well beyond the overruled decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, which only licensed abortion through viability. Additionally, only five jurisdictions explicitly endorse abortion on demand throughout pregnancy.1 

Abortion on demand subjects women to numerous health and safety risks because abortions carry a higher medical risk when done later in pregnancy. For example, some immediate complications of abortion include blood clots, hemorrhage, incomplete abortions, infection, and injury to the cervix and other organs. Immediate complications affect approximately 10% of women undergoing an abortion, and approximately one-fifth of these complications are life-threatening. Even Planned Parenthood has stated on its national website that, “[t]he chances of problems gets higher the later you get the abortion . . . ” 

Thus, this bill subjects women to grave physical harm, which in some cases may result in the death of not only the unborn child but also the mother.  

Parental Rights 

The bill provides that “every individual has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom.” Under this language, the bill permits an unemancipated minor to receive an abortion without any parental involvement. This violates constitutionally protected parental rights, which are protected under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. As the Supreme Court recognized in Wisconsin v. Yoder, “[t]he history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children.”2 Yet, the bill enables an unemancipated minor to access abortion services without parental involvement, which subverts parents’ constitutional rights to the care and upbringing of their minor pregnant daughters. 

Conscience Rights 

The bill provides that “right to make and effectuate one’s own decisions about all matters related to one’s pregnancy shall not be denied, burdened, or infringed upon” unless the actions pass strict scrutiny. The bill radically prohibits anything that interferes with abortion access, and notably says nothing about conscience rights, which are an individual’s, or sometimes an institution’s, legally protected ability to object to a practice based upon religious or moral convictions. Conscience rights include participating in, assisting, referring, counseling, funding, or providing insurance coverage of abortion. The Constitution protects conscience rights under the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses, and there are numerous federal statutes protecting conscience rights.3 The bill’s language unconstitutionally infringes upon federally protected conscience rights. 


The bill is radical and would permit abortion on demand throughout a baby’s birth date. It violates constitutionally protected parental rights and conscience rights. I urge the Committee to abandon the resolution.