Mapping the Momentum Toward a Pro-Life America
AUL’s 2013 Life List Details Historic Progress for Life-Affirming Legislation
Each year, pro-life Americans are making progress state-by-state and law-by-law toward a culture of life. The 2012 state legislative year produced significant victories for life across the United States, building on 2011’s historic progress and laying the groundwork for victories in 2013 and beyond.
Last year, at least 60 new life-affirming laws, including at least 38 measures related to abortion, were enacted. Additionally, 16 pro-life state resolutions were adopted. Nineteen of these laws were based on AUL model language and/or enacted with AUL’s assistance.
In 2012, the most popular abortion-related legislative measures included prohibitions on government funding and insurance coverage for abortion, legislation and resolutions related to pregnancy care centers, informed consent for abortion, ultrasound requirements, restrictions or regulations on abortion-inducing drugs and so-call “telemed” abortions, and abortion clinic regulations and other abortion provider requirements.
There was a nearly 40 percent increase in the number of measures introduced to protect healthcare freedom of conscience. As a result of a substantial increase in the number of bills related to pain management and palliative care, measures related to end-of-life issues increased nearly two-fold.
Recognizing the significance of state laws protecting women and the unborn from the negative impact of abortion, establishing legal recognition and protection of unborn children in contexts other than abortion, prohibiting the illicit use of emerging biotechnologies, in protecting those at the end of life, and affirming the First Amendment freedom of conscience of healthcare providers, AUL has compiled an individual report card on the life-related laws in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
What You Can Learn from the Life List
These report cards summarize and highlight existing state laws on abortion, legal protection and recognition of the unborn, bioethics and biotechnologies, the end of life, and healthcare freedom of conscience. They also specifically discuss advances – both in the legislatures and in the courts – that have been made over the last year.
Importantly, we have also included a recommendation checklist for each state, allowing citizens, lawmakers, and others to readily assess each state’s progress and develop a plan to further protect life in their states. We have made specific recommendations as to what is needed, what are the best “next steps” toward a renewed culture of life, and what is realistic and feasible for each state to accomplish.
We hope these report cards stir both thought and action intended to bring us closer to the day when every person – from conception to natural death – is welcomed in life and protected in law!