In 2019, abortion has been the issue. From a state governor that endorsed infanticide to southern states passing heartbeat bills, abortion legislation has been the focus of politics, politicians and citizens around the country. As the nomination for the Democratic party heats up and many legislative sessions are on break, here is a rundown of all the pro-life and pro-abortion bills that have been passed throughout the country in the last six months.
New York – The one that started it all. On January 22, 2019, New York State passed its ground breaking abortion legislation, and set off a firestorm throughout the country. Called the Reproductive Health Act, the bill essentially legalized abortion until birth for any reason. In celebration, Governor Andrew Cuomo lit up the One World Trade Center spires in pink, which was meant as a testament to the triumph of the pro-abortion cause, but it had another affect entirely. Pro-life supporters and politicians were mobilized into action.
Virginia – Although the radical pro-abortion legislation proposed in this state didn’t pass, the resulting fallout of comments made by Delegate Kathy Tran and Governor Ralph Northam, in context of what happened in New York, further outraged the country. Delegate Tran was recorded advocating that a woman could have an abortion while she was in labor, and a day later Gov. Northam advocated for infanticide while on the radio. Neither comments were well received by a distraught public that saw politicians as being callous with the lives of pre-born babies.
As the result of the decisions and comments made by legislators in these two states, the battle lines over abortion were drawn anew. States either made the decision to dramatically expand abortion access or some tried to make it illegal altogether. Here is a list of the 16 states that passed either pro-abortion or pro-life legislation:
Alabama – Passing one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, Alabama has become the first state to ban all abortions with no exceptions.
Arkansas – The law bans abortion after 18 weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions, and also passed a law that would make abortion illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Georgia – Despite immense pressure from Hollywood, Georgia passed a Heartbeat Bill. The legislation would make abortion illegal after the heartbeat is detected, which is around the sixth week of pregnancy. Several other states passed similar legislation.
Illinois – The state recently passed a bill that would make reproductive health care, including abortion, contraception, and maternity care, a fundamental right in the state. The law also required that public and private insurances cover abortion and expanded the policy to allow advanced practice nurses and physician assistants to perform abortion.
Indiana – Carrying on the pro-life legacy of Vice President Mike Pence, the state’s former governor, Indiana’s legislature passed two pro-life bills into law this year. The first banned dilation and evacuation abortions (a federal judge recently blocked this law from going into effect July 1), and the second would allow medical professionals to opt out of completing abortions.
Kentucky – The home of the Kentucky Derby passed a Heartbeat Bill, which has already been challenged in court.
Maine – Gov. Janet Mills recently signed a bill that would dramatically expand the number of medical professionals that can act as abortionists by allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other trained professionals to provide abortions. She also signed a measure that would require all public and private insurance plans to cover abortion.
Mississippi – Keeping with the heartbeat trend, this state also adopted a Heartbeat Bill. The legislation has been challenged in courts.
Missouri – The state passed a bill that bans abortion eight weeks into pregnancy.
Nevada – Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a bill that would remove a number of commonsense abortion regulations from the state government. For example, no longer can doctors warn women about the “emotional implications” of an abortion. Women who dangerously perform their own abortions will also not be liable for criminal penalties.
North Dakota – Dilation and evacuation abortions are now banned in the state.
Ohio – After several tries, the Buckeye state finally passed its Heartbeat Bill.
Rhode Island – Followed other states by making the right to an abortion part of state law, and it also prohibits the state from interfering in a woman’s abortion decision.
Tennessee –Gov. Bill Lee signed a “trigger law” that would make abortion illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned or altered,.
Utah – The state approved a ban on abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions. Gov. Gary Herbert also signed a bill that protects preborn babies with Down syndrome from abortion.
Vermont – Expanded abortion access by making it a fundamental right, even after the point of viability.
Over the next six months, it will be interesting to see what other abortion legislation passes or fails throughout the country. But one thing is certain, momentum is definitely with the pro-life cause.
Pray that this momentum will continue.