Which States Have Protected the Right to Life?
Nearly two months after Dobbs v. Jackson, the legal landscape has changed dramatically. Under the Roe regime, babies younger than 24 weeks were utterly defenseless, and even older babies often could be legally killed. Today, fifteen states recognize the humanity of children in the womb. (So does Utah, but its law is currently held up in court.) Those fifteen states collectively reported 168,838 abortions in 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s most recent abortion surveillance report.
Alabama: Alabama acted quickly to prohibit abortion unless medically necessary to save the life of the mother. In 2019, Alabama reported 6,009 abortions.
Arkansas: Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge certified the state’s “trigger law” to ban abortion shortly after Dobbs. The governor has declined suggestions to call a special session to add exceptions for babies conceived in rape. 2,693 Arkansas children lost their lives to abortion in 2019.
Georgia: In mid-July, a federal appellate court allowed Georgia’s heartbeat law to take effect. Heartbeat laws protect babies who have detectable heartbeats, which occurs early in the first trimester. Georgia’s law contains exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. There were 36,907 abortions in Georgia in 2019.
Idaho: Last week, the state supreme court cleared the way for enforcement of Idaho’s heartbeat law. A more recent law protecting Idaho babies from fertilization is set to begin on August 25th. Idaho reported 1,513 abortions in 2019.
Indiana: The Indiana legislature passed a pro-life law in early August, which will go into effect on September 15. There are exceptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother, and lethal fetal disabilities. There were 7,637 abortions committed in Indiana in 2019.
Kentucky: Kentucky instituted protections for unborn children pursuant to a trigger law. Kentucky reported 3,664 abortions in 2019.
Louisiana: Abortion businesses in Louisiana attempted to hold up its trigger law in litigation, but after the state supreme court rejected an appeal last week, the right to life for Louisiana babies is now firmly recognized. 8,144 Louisiana babies were killed in legal abortions in 2019.
Mississippi: Mississippi’s trigger law went into effect ten days after Attorney General Lynn Fitch certified Roe‘s reversal. A judge rejected an attempt by the state’s only abortion business to block the pro-life protections. The facility has since shut down. It was responsible for 3,194 prenatal deaths in 2019.
Missouri: Missouri wasted no time protecting its youngest residents, certifying a trigger law mere minutes after the Dobbs opinion was officially released. The state’s only abortion facility killed 1,471 babies in 2019.
Ohio: Dobbs allowed Ohio to lift an injunction that had previously blocked its heartbeat law. Ohio reported 20,102 abortions in 2019.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma now protects babies from conception. There were 4,995 abortions in Oklahoma in 2019.
South Carolina: A federal judge stopped blocking South Carolina’s heartbeat law a few days after Dobbs. 5,101 South Carolina children lost their lives to abortion in 2019.
South Dakota: Governor Kristi Noem announced that the state’s trigger law was in effect the same day as Dobbs. The state was already down to a single abortion facility, which was responsible for 414 deaths in 2019.
Tennessee: In Tennessee, a heartbeat law went into effect shortly after Dobbs, and protection from conception will begin on August 25th. 9,719 abortions took place in Tennessee in 2019.
Texas: Using a unique civil enforcement mechanism, the Texas Heartbeat Act began preventing abortions several months before Dobbs. Now that Roe has been reversed, a more typical statute will apply to babies of all ages starting August 25th. In 2019, Texas reported 57,275 abortions.
Secular Pro-Life understands that this human rights struggle is far from over. Abortion businesses are setting up shop in states hostile to prenatal life, promoting abortion-by-mail schemes, and doing everything in their power to destroy the most vulnerable. That being said, these laws will undoubtedly save lives. Even if (being pessimistic) those sixteen states only prevent 25% of abortions, that’s over 42,000 people!
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