Abortion legislation 2011

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A study by the Heritage Foundation suggests that state legislation is a major factor -- and perhaps the most important factor -- in whether the abortion rate increases or decreases.[1]

By September 2011, most state legislatures have adjourned for the year, and some for two years. What did politicians who campaigned by claiming to be pro-life actually accomplish?

Contents

The Ten Best ... plus Russia

State or Nation Legislation Comments Politics
Kansas Requires local hospital privileges before an abortion can be performed, establishes meaningful parental consent, stops some insurance funding of abortion, adds ultrasound disclosure, bans webcast abortions, requires facility standards, prohibits late-term abortions based on fetal pain, and prohibits abortion unless the abortionist has hospital privileges within 30 miles in order to handle complications.[2] The bill SB 36, signed into law in May 2011, contains many of these reforms. The provisions, if ultimately enforced, may curtail the large numbers traveling from Missouri to have abortions in Kansas, due to its prior lack of protections. A Democratic Governor and Attorney General were replaced by Republicans.
Texas Requires display of a sonogram for viewing by the patient before the abortion is performed; requires a 24-hour waiting period in most cases; extended ban on funding for facilities that provide abortion. Republicans won a supermajority in the House in 2010, and several key politicians seek the Republican nomination to run for higher office. Rick Perry might campaign for president on this issue.
Ohio Three key bills became law. First, a ban on abortion if the unborn child is more than 20 weeks old and has viability outside the womb (HB 78);[3] this affects about 600 abortions annually.[4] Second, when abortion is sought for a minor without parental approval, the judge must "'hear evidence relating to the emotional development, maturity, intellect, and understanding of the minor'" and the judge must also "ask if the minor understands the consequences and alternatives to the abortion," and "ask minors if anyone 'instructed' them on how to answer the court's questions."[5] Third, "health insurance plans available through the new federal health care law [must not pay] for abortions" unless narrow exceptions apply (HB 79).[6] The House also passed a bill prohibiting abortion if a heartbeat is detected (there are exceptions), which could become the strongest pro-life law in the nation,[7] but it fell just short of passing the Senate despite endorsement by many conservative leaders. Governor, House, Senate are all Republican-led assuring legal victories
North Carolina First cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, overriding its Democratic Governor's veto to do so, and then overrode her veto to pass a sonogram law and a requirement of a 24-hour waiting period after state-mandated counseling before having an abortion. Became the third state, after Kansas and Indiana above, to terminate this funding for the nation's largest abortion provider, and the second state, after Texas, to pass a good sonogram law. North Carolina is a must-win state for Obama in 2012, so much so that the Democratic National Convention will be there
Russia "The changes require abortion providers to devote 10 percent of any advertising to describing the dangers of abortion to a woman’s health, and the changes make it illegal to describe abortion as a safe medical procedure."[8] Russian politicians indicated that more pro-life laws will be passed too. A bit ironic? The communist Soviet Union had the highest abortion rate in the world.
New Jersey Cut $7.5 million in funding for Planned Parenthood, despite pro-abortion control of the Democratic legislature; also made "Choose Life" plates available. This may be the biggest cut in Planned Parenthood funding nationwide. Governor Chris Christie has been good on this issue, although he has not also taken steps to reform the pro-abortion regulations.
Indiana Defunded Planned Parenthood, including (unlike Kansas and North Carolina) banning funding of Medicaid beneficiaries for services rendered by Planned Parenthood, and also regulated abortion clinics Any organization which performs abortions is ineligible to receive tax dollars. The Republican Governor Mitch Daniels didn't propose it, but did sign it into law. Planned Parenthood may be able to get around the law simply by setting up separate organizations. The law was blocked and Indiana is appealing the decision
South Dakota Reduces coercive abortions by establishing a 3-day waiting period plus counseling by pregnancy help centers. Good law, but then South Dakota failed to appeal a preliminary injunction blocking it from going into effect.
Nebraska Banned remote webcast abortions and slightly strengthened parental consent.
Utah Expanded the freedom of conscience of providers and hospitals to reject abortion.[9] Strong leadership in Utah on this issue enables it to benefit from the lowest abortion rate in the nation
New Hampshire The Republican legislature overrode the governor's veto; the new law "requires an abortion doctor to notify in writing at least one parent of an under-age girl 48 hours before doing an abortion."[10] NH finally catches up to what 29 other states already have: effective parental notification laws.

Honorable Mention

State Legislation Comments Political change
Alabama Bans abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy affects only 1.5% of abortions Republican gains in 2010 elections
Michigan Bans partial birth abortion[11] already banned by federal law, and both laws affect very few abortions Republican gains in 2010 elections

The Eleven Worst

State Legislation Comments
Virginia Despite having many politicians, including the Governor, who ran and were elected by claiming to be pro-life, the much-ballyhooed new regulations of abortion clinics merely require that they report "all patient, staff or visitor deaths ... within 24 hours of occurrence"![12]
Tennessee Despite big majorities claiming to be pro-life, they passed no abortion law and instead gave pro-aborts a gift by approving putting abortion on the ballot (SJR 127), where the abortion industry can defeat pro-life candidates and the referendum by spending money on its defeat There's been a lack of socially conservative legislation for years there
Arizona Despite big majorities claiming to be pro-life, Arizona passed only three worthless laws: HB 2416,[13] HB 2384, and HB 2443.[14] The RINO Speaker of the House Adams -- now running for Congress -- refused to allow a vote on meaningful pro-life legislation, despite passing by big majorities in committees.
Missouri By a 2/3rds vote and without a veto by the Democratic governor, the legislature closed the loophole of the mental health basis for a late-term abortion, requiring physical harm to the mother in the absence of the abortion as the only justification, but this decision still remains in the discretion of the abortionists; in prior sessions the Missouri legislature has passed far better laws. A RINO was Speaker of the House.
Oklahoma Almost nothing,[15] despite claiming to have the most pro-life legislature (and a pro-life governor) in the nation. It did pass a law restricting the use of abortion-inducing drugs, but it was then blocked by a state court judge.[16] Apparently Oklahoma voters do not yet recognize the difference between phony pro-life talk by politicians, and effective law-making.
Wisconsin Despite having the votes to pass any conservative law, it has done nothing on the issue of abortion except slightly reduce funding for Planned Parenthood Republicans almost lost control of the state senate in recall elections due to their lack of achievement socially, while angering voters economically. Governor Scott Walker -- inactive on social issues -- could still be recalled.
Georgia Not a single pro-life bill passed, despite the governor and many legislators winning elections by claiming to be pro-life Pro-life leadership in Georgia is pushing the "personhood" gimmick instead of laws that work.
North Dakota Pretended to support a ban on abortion, but actually passed nothing
Wyoming Though supposedly a conservative state, it failed even to pass an ultrasound bill, with a Republican legislator casting the deciding vote against it in the Senate.[17]
Florida a weak ultrasound bill (patients can be coached to decline seeing images), a ban on insurance coverage for abortion in a future ObamaCare State exchange, and restrictions on bypass of parental notification for abortions by underage girls; a ban on abortion funding was set for going on the ballot in 2012 Lots of fanfare, but not much achieved. Is this the best an all-Republican statehouse and governor can do?
Hawaii House, Senate & Governor are all pro-choice. Given an (A) by NARAL [18]

See also

References

  1. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/02/analyzing-the-effect-of-state-legislation-on-the-incidence-of-abortion-among-minors
  2. http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2011/05/2011-pro-life-laws-passed-in-kansas/
  3. http://www.the-news-leader.com/news/article/5072014
  4. http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2011/07/ohio_senate_passes_late-term_a.html
  5. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/1m1/05/us-abortion-ohio-idUSTRE7A41KE20111105
  6. http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2011/12/gov_kasich_signs_13_bills_into.html
  7. Ohio house to vote on 3 abortion related bills, FOX Toledo, June 28, 2011
  8. http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2011/07/16/russia_adopts_law_meant_to_clamp_down_on_abortion/
  9. http://universe.byu.edu/node/16005
  10. http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/BPnews.asp?ID=35688
  11. http://www.hollandsentinel.com/newsnow/x153927094/State-partial-birth-abortion-ban-signed-into-law
  12. http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/Administration/meetings/documents/2011/pdf/Sept%2015%202011%20agenda%20and%20materials%20to%20be%20posted.pdf (pp. 27-33)
  13. Establishes a right -- for which the abortion clinics can obtain a coached waiver -- for the patient to view an ultrasound or hear an auscultation only an hour before an abortion, with too little time to reflect on it and change one's mind.
  14. http://newmexicoindependent.com/69773/arizona-ends-legislative-session-with-several-laws-limiting-abortion-access-funding
  15. Decreased from 24 to 20 weeks of pregnancy the latest time when abortion could still be performed, and prohibited abortion coverage by insurance companies except as supplemental coverage. [1]
  16. http://bostonherald.com/news/national/south/view.bg?articleid=1374536
  17. http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/article_555def8b-7111-5063-9463-f4029552bf96.html
  18. Political Info and Laws in Brief, NARAL

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