Shortly after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, momentum for saving preborn lives manifested in cultural and political victories. Now, less than a year after the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, half of U.S. states proudly have laws on the books to protect life in the womb between conception and 12 weeks.
In the last two months alone, Republican legislators and governors in more than half a dozen states enacted laws that save the lives of tens of thousands of unborn babies.
Corporate media, Democrats, and even some on the right smear abortion limits like these as unpopular and ineffective but polling shows that most Americans — 72 percent — oppose ending the lives of preborn babies beyond 15 weeks.
“These are incredibly popular among the American people in general and definitely in those states. And maybe not even as ambitious in those states as they could be,” President of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America Marjorie Dannenfelser confirmed in a press conference on Wednesday.
Legislatures aren’t just banning the murder of unborn babies, they are actively enriching the institutions and organizations that help mothers, babies, and families during and beyond pregnancy.
“I think that the Republicans and the pro-life legislators are making clear the contrast between the Democrats who want abortion on demand up until birth, who cannot even stomach a law being in place that would protect babies who were born alive, versus what they’re trying to do in protecting unborn children and then serving mothers,” SBA’s Vice President of State Affairs Stephen Billy said.
Here are seven states that passed popular pro-life laws in the last two months.
After months of workshopping behind the scenes with Florida’s Republican legislators, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation on April 13 that not only eradicates abortion in the state beyond six weeks gestation but also devotes $25 million dollars to supporting mothers, babies, and lifesaving pregnancy centers.
The Republican-controlled Kansas legislature overrode Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly in late April after she tried to veto their born-alive and abortion legislation. Abortion is currently restricted in Kansas after 22 weeks.
The born-alive law, which takes effect July 1, requires medical professionals to “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence” to save babies born during a botched abortion that they would a child during normal birth. The abortion pill law, also effective July 1, states that doctors must inform patients that “the effects of a medication abortion may be reversible.”
The legislature also passed a bill to amend the definition of “healthcare provider” to ensure pregnancy centers, not abortion facilities, are eligible for insurance. Upon Kelly’s veto, the bill passed with a supermajority in the House but failed to gain a supermajority in the state Senate.
In late April, North Dakota Republicans and Gov. Doug Burgum teamed up to turn their clarified heartbeat bill, which was previously temporarily halted by the state Supreme Court, into law.
The new law, which Burgum said “reaffirms North Dakota as a pro-life state,” enacts a near-total ban on abortions beyond six weeks. As of the signing of the bill, the state’s only abortion facility had already closed its doors.
On the heels of what was dubbed “the most pro-life legislative session in the history of the state of Montana,” Republicans in Big Sky Country passed nearly half a dozen pro-life laws in early May designed to protect preborn lives, taxpayers’ pockets, and pro-life doctors’ consciences.
Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte eagerly signed into law bills that ban abortion beginning at 24 weeks, require doctors to care for infants born alive in botched abortions, state that abortion is not protected under the Montana Constitution’s right to privacy, require recorded data on complications that stem from the abortion pill, and shield medical providers who object to abortion from participating in one.
On May 16, Gianforte signed several other pro-life bills into law including two that aim to prevent taxpayer dollars from funding abortion for all. The first law “brings Montana in line with the federal Hyde Amendment.” The second law mandates that abortions paid for by taxpayers through Medicaid must be medically necessary.
Other new laws ushered in by Gianforte include “restricting dismemberment abortion except for during a medical emergency in which the child would not survive outside of the womb” and giving the state’s Department of Health and Human Services the authority to license and hold abortion facilities accountable.
North Carolina Republicans sided with the majority of their constituents in mid-May when they passed a law that will save thousands of unborn lives.
The Care for Women, Children, and Families Act bans abortion in the Tar Heel state starting at 12 weeks gestation. Legislators designed the bill to be a “pro-life plan” that supplies mothers and their babies with the resources they need to thrive, including $160 million in funding for childcare, parental leave, and safe surrender adoption.
Over Mother’s Day weekend, Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper tried to can the legislation with a veto that would have doomed the state to a 20-week ban. The Republican-led Assembly, however, voted on May 16 to override Cooper’s rejection. The law officially goes into effect on July 1.
On May 19, Republicans in the Nebraska unicameral legislature successfully ended a filibuster to pass the Let Them Grow Act which outlaws not just gender experiments on children under 19 years of age but also the murder of preborn babies beyond 12 weeks gestation.
The legislation, which was created to combat Democrats’ radical abortion-on-demand agenda, includes exceptions for abortions in the case of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother.
Mere days after the unicameral body’s vote, Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen signed the bill, which is the “first piece of legislation to save babies in Nebraska in decades,” into law. Prior to the new law, Nebraskans could end the lives of babies in the womb until viability, which usually begins between 20-22 weeks gestation.
“It’s an extraordinary privilege to be a part of answering prayers that have been going on for 50 years,” the Cornhusker Republican said at the signing on May 22. “We’re standing up to protect our kids so our state and our kids have a brighter future.”
After being called back to the legislature for a special session requested by the governor, South Carolina Republicans passed a bill on May 23 that protects thousands of unborn babies with a detectable heartbeat from abortion. Most of the time, cardiac activity in infants in the womb is recorded as early as six weeks gestation.
Republican Gov. Henry McMaster confirmed on the same day the legislation passed that “I look forward to signing this bill into law as soon as possible.”
Prior to the new restrictions, abortion in the Palmetto State was legal through 22 weeks gestation.
The Work Has Just Begun
Even though some states’ pro-life laws are already in effect or will soon be, several other states face litigation.
Courts may side with Republican legislatures, which have the right to legislate against abortion, but many of them still face imminent challenges from out-of-state abortion groups which use deceitfully-worded ballot measures to enshrine their abortion-until-birth absolutism in state constitutions.
“They see that they’re losing in the court of public opinion and that is the big story,” Dannenfelser said. “When you have 25 states that have actually passed pro-life protections and then their best strategy is to go after our territory by going to the state constitutions, that’s a message that they’re losing clearly in those places.”
Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire, Fox News, and RealClearPolitics. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.
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