While many Democrats are working towards passing the Equality Act and repealing the Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayer dollars from funding abortion, many states are doing what they can to protect life. Here are the latest pro-life policies being considered in various state houses across the country, and two states where pro-life policy has been halted or overturned.
In New Hampshire, the Republican-led legislature introduced two bills. One would ban abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy and the other would protect babies born alive after a failed abortion procedure.
Democrats walked out in protest against the bill and were subsequently locked out of the chamber. They were not allowed back in and were not present for the vote, allowing it to pass by the required two-thirds majority.
The bill has been called an attack on reproductive life.
“We were determined that we were not going to collaborate with the attack on women’s right to choose,” House Democrat Leader Renny Cushing said. “We were surprised when the speaker decided to lock the door and hold people hostage to keep his quorum, and we were also surprised when people who had left and wanted to return were locked out. What we saw today was just an unprecedented abuse of the traditional process.”
Kayla Montgomery of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England called the bill “incredibly cruel” and would be a threat to neonatal physicians.
But that isn’t the case. Born-alive bills protect babies and families by forcing abortionists to offer the most basic of care to babies if they are born alive. Abortion, especially late-term pregnancies, are not exact and could easily fail. In order to perform a late-second or third-trimester abortion, the abortionist attempts to kill the child with an injection of digoxin. That’s not always effective, either due to the child’s will to survive or the abortionist’s own failure to correctly administer the fatal dose. As a result, the baby could be born alive.
In addition, there have also been reports from families that some hospitals have refused to offer life-saving medical treatment to babies born at certain gestational ages, usually between 20-22 weeks, due to the limited chance of survival. This law would require hospitals and medical professionals to at least try under threat of legal action to save a child’s life.
The state recently passed a measure that would amend the state’s constitution and reject the right to an abortion.
Known as House Joint Resolution 5, it states, “To defend and protect unborn children, we the people of the State of Iowa declare that this Constitution does not recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or require the public funding of abortion.”
In order for the legislation to actually go into effect, a general assembly will have to vote to adopt the legislation again after a new election, most likely in 2022, and it will need to pass a public vote, which will probably take place in 2024 if it passes the next general assembly.
Several states have considered or have adopted similar legislation. For example, Kansas has a 2022 ballot initiative that will amend the state’s constitution and reject the right to an abortion.
The Bluegrass State is considering a similar amendment, which recently passed the House and is now on its way to the Senate. If proved by the state’s upper chamber, it will go to the people for an official vote.
The nation’s least populous state is considering a bill, Senate File 34, that would require abortionists to attempt to save the life of a preborn baby after a botched late-term abortion procedure.
After several years of debate, New Mexico repealed an abortion ban that had been on the books since 1969, which made it illegal to end a woman’s pregnancy except in certain circumstances, like rape or incest. Pro-abortion groups had been pushing to eliminate the ban for years and believe that this step will add additional protections if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against a state law that would have required abortionists to tell women that they can reverse a medical abortion if they act fast enough and have signage about the abortion pill reversal protocol as well. Providers that refused to do so would be liable for a prosecution of a Class E felony and a $10,000 daily fine if they failed to display the signs. The judge also blocked the state’s heartbeat bill, which bans abortion after around the six or eighth week of pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
The push by various states to adopt pro-life legislation is encouraging, but some states are also doing what they can to strip away protections from babies, women and families. It’s an important reminder that elections have consequences, and voting is a critical aspect in the fight for life.
The Daily Citizen will continue to track these different pieces of legislation.
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