April 12, 2012
Eighty Pro-Life Laws
By Mike McManus
On the last day of its
legislative session, Georgia became the seventh state to enact a “fetal
pain” law that will reduce by six weeks the time women can get an
abortion. Last week Ohio became number eight.
It is based on controversial
scientific evidence that a baby in the womb can experience pain by the
20th week of gestation, four months before its birth.
Therefore, no abortion can be performed unless the baby is delivered
alive. Exceptions are not made for rape or incest, though the Georgia
law would allow an abortion for “medically futile” pregnancies if the
fetus has congenital or chromosomal defects.
“We commend the Legislature,”
said Dan Becker, President of Georgia Right to Life. “This is one of the
toughest pro-life laws in the nation. It will save roughly 1,500 lives
However, Democratic female
legislators stormed out after the bill was passed by the House, wearing
yellow police tape, shouting “We will remember.” Sen. Nan Orrock of
Atlanta quipped, “The GOP War on women is alive and well in Georgia.”
Another way to put it is that
the pro-life movement is alive and well in the United States. Eighty
pro-life laws have been adopted in recent years to reduce access to
abortion. Nebraska was the first state to pass a fetal pain bill in
2010, which was quickly followed by Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma,
Alabama, Georgia and Ohio. North Carolina also restricts abortion at 20
weeks. None of these bills have been challenged in court by opponents.
Mississippi and Ohio Houses
of Representatives even passed bills to ban abortions after the first
detectable heartbeat, which can occur within six weeks of conception.
Their Senates hasn’t yet voted on it, which a poll shows is equally
supported and opposed by the public.
Pro-lifers persuaded Texas to
cut $16 million from Planned Parenthood, which is America’s largest
provider of abortions., New Jersey trimmed $7.5 million from the
organization Other states reducing Planned Parenthood funding are
Florida, Indiana, Kansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee and
The Obama Administration has
retaliated by threatening to cut Texas Medicaid funding by $40 million.
Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit this week seeking to block
its defunding. It claims the measure “could deprive tens of thousands of
low-income women seeking family planning and other preventive health
Nonsense. Texas has given
the funding to groups which provide such services, but do not perform
abortions. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is not cowed. He’s filed
a counter-suit against the Obama Administration for cutting off federal
“Federal law gives the state
the right and responsibility to establish criteria for Medicaid
providers, so we’re on firm legal ground,” said members of the Texas
Department of Health and Human Services.
Another series of pro-life
laws involve ultrasound, which allows a pregnant woman to see her baby
in her womb. For example, Georgia was the tenth state to pass an
ultrasound bill that required giving mothers considering an abortion the
opportunity to view the ultrasound if it is performed as part of
preparation for abortion. The hope is that if she views her baby, most
mothers would decide to keep it.
However, Georgia abortionists
are not required to offer all women that opportunity, if it is not “part
of preparation for the abortion.”
That’s such a weak provision
the number of abortions is rising. Gen Wilson, co-director of Georgia
Right to Life, notes that since the law was passed in 2007, abortions
have grown about 1,000 a year from 31,030 in 2007 to 35,585 in 2010.
And they rose by a tenth in Louisiana and Arizona.
On the other hand, Alabama,
Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi all require
abortionists to offer the opportunity to view the ultrasound. Result:
Florida’s abortions fell from 103,000 in 2000 to 94,400 and they dropped
by about a tenth in Kansas and Alabama, and by a quarter in
“We talk about accumulating
victories,” said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for
Life. “Any time you want to make long-term change, on an issue that’s
been extremely controversial, you do it by developing momentum. You
don’t change something all at once overnight.”
By that yardstick, pro-lifers
have much to be proud about. The number of abortions nationally has
dropped from about 1.6 million in 1990 to 1.2 million in recent years.
However, those figures do not
include chemical abortions, which are rising.
Scripture puts it best: “I
have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose
life, that you and your offspring may live” (Duet. 30:19).
2002 Michael J.
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