Daily Dispatches
Pro-life demonstrators and abortion supporters march in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.
Associated Press/Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta, File
Pro-life demonstrators and abortion supporters march in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.

Vital Signs: A year of pro-life victories

Abortion

Hostile to abortion. States enacted 205 abortion restrictions during a three-year period between 2011 and 2013, according to a report released Jan. 2 by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. 

Forty-five percent of the restrictions address abortion providers, insurance coverage, post-20 week abortion bans, and medical abortions, according to the report. The restrictions in those categories increased from 22 over the previous decade to 93 in just two years. States like Texas, Arkansas, North Dakota, and North Carolina especially contributed to the increase in legislation. 

In 2013, 22 states passed 70 abortion-restricting measures, according to the report. States considered “hostile to abortion” increased from 13 in 2000 to 27 in 2013. Middle ground states decreased by 50 percent, and states considered pro-abortion rights declined from 17 to 13, according to the report. 

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The report also lists nine other categories of pro-life legislation passed in 2013, including parental involvement requirements, public funding for abortion, increased waiting periods, pre-abortion counseling, and pre-abortion ultrasounds.

Contraceptive considerations. Courts ruled against the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate in 88 percent of cases heard in 2013, according to an Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) report. 

While the government won 7 cases, including one presented by Notre Dame University, courts have granted 54 injunctions for businesses and non-profit religious groups. Of those, 35 injunctions went to businesses and 19 to non-profit religious groups like the Catholic Little Sisters of the Poor and Priests for Life—both granted on Dec. 31, 2013. 

“Many people have noted the administration’s failures and scandals over the past year, particularly with regard to Obamacare and government overreach, but little illustrates that more concretely than the loss record on the abortion pill mandate,” Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for ADF, told LifeNews.

Waiting in Missouri. Pro-life legislation proposed in the Missouri Senate would increase abortion waiting periods by two days.

Republican Sen. David Sater, the bill’s sponsor, said it would offer women more time to consider their decision and could reduce the number of abortions. He said some women have too hastily decided to have an abortion and ultimately regretted the decision: “We’re talking about just two more days, and it should just give maybe some more time for reflection on making the right decision.”

The legislation’s opponents, including the local Planned Parenthood, argue the bill would increase abortions performed later in the pregnancy due to increased regulation.  

Missouri is among many states with a 24-hour informed consent law, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group. By extending the period, Missouri would join South Dakota and Utah in enforcing 3-day waiting periods.

Court considers Texas law. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans heard arguments last week over the landmark pro-life bill that forced at least a dozen abortion facilities in Texas to close. An October lower court ruling declared parts of the law unconstitutional. Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights sued to block two provisions that require admitting privileges for abortion centers and compliance with Food and Drug Administration protocol for abortion drug administration. 

“Legislators worked so hard to pass House Bill 2 because they are not only concerned about protecting the unborn, but also about women going to abortion clinics with substandard conditions and unsanitary equipment,” Elizabeth Graham, director of Texas Right to Life, told LifeNews. “The provisions being challenged in court are intended to keep Gosnell-like predators out of Texas.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Courtney Crandell
Courtney Crandell

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