Americans United for Life has just released its' annual “Life List,” a noted ranking of the 50 states based on legal efforts to create and sustain a culture of life.
THE 2013 LIFE LIST honors the accomplishments of the top ten most pro-life states: 1. Louisiana, 2. Oklahoma, 3. Pennsylvania, 4. Arkansas, 5. Arizona, 6. Nebraska, 7. Indiana, 8. Missouri, 9. Georgia, 10. Virginia. To view the complete list, click here.
The Life List highlights accomplishments from last year but also takes into account each state’s cumulative record in defending and protecting the lives of all citizens – from conception to natural death - including efforts against euthanasia, also called "mercy killing."
The promotion of adoption is an another obvious pro-life measure. Thousands of Americans continue to seek international adoptions each year due to the shortage of babies available to adopt here. Tragically, the demand for adoptions could easily be met if more young women opted against abortion and for adoption. Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, does not offer young women in a crisis pregnancy an ultrasound for fear it might cut into their very lucrative business. Ultrasound is the self evident truth of the humanity of the unborn child, and when a pregnant woman sees her baby's ultrasound, she is highly unlikely to abort.
In several national studies, young women who aborted a child later regretted their decision, stating they wished someone had assisted them in either keeping their child, or placing their child for adoption. Increasing numbers of post-abortive women, called "walking wounded," seek help through counseling, retreats, and prayer experiences each year, such as through Rachel's Vineyard. Often these women experience experience significant depression and physical symptoms including infertility, breast cancer, and later miscarriage, all related to their abortion.
Significantly, Arizona increased its ranking in this year's Life List, moving from No. 14 to No. 5 as a result of becoming the first to enact AUL’s groundbreaking “Women’s Health Protection Act,” prohibiting abortions at or after 20 weeks gestation based on growing medical evidence of the risks of late-term abortions on women’s health as well as the pain experienced by an unborn child.
AUL is a major source for innovative, life-affirming legislation and will soon release Defending Life, its annual guidebook on abortion, bioethics, healthcare freedom of conscience, and the end of life, which includes AUL’s cutting-edge model legislation. Nationally, AUL helped enact 19 pro-life bills in 2012.
“LIFE LIST” ALL STARS: New this year, the AUL Life List All Stars commend legislative contributions during the 2012 state sessions. With outstanding track records of pro-life successes, the AUL All Stars are Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, Virginia, and South Carolina.
- Arizona became the first state to enact AUL’s “Women’s Health Defense Act,” prohibiting abortions at or after 20-weeks gestation based on the well-documented dangers of late-term abortions to women’s health and the pain experienced by unborn children.
- Georgia enacted a prohibition on abortions at or after 20-weeks gestation and revised the state’s reporting requirements for late-term abortions, requiring an abortion provider to report the medical diagnosis that necessitated the procedure. Georgia also enacted a measure that includes abortion clinics, or “reproductive healthcare facilities,” in the definition of mandatory reporters for suspected child sexual abuse. Planned Parenthood has been found in undercover videos to do nothing about an underage girl who came in pregnant by an older male, which is called statutory rape depending on age in various states.
- New Hampshire legislators overrode Governor John Lynch’s veto of a prohibition on partial-birth abortion, joining 19 other states that have also banned the dangerous and grisly practice where 90% of the baby has already been delivered prior to death.
- Virginia enacted an ultrasound requirement. This measure requires the performance of an ultrasound before an abortion and that the woman be given an opportunity to view the ultrasound, the self-evident truth of the humanity of her unborn child.
- South Carolina became the eighth state to enact AUL’s “Abortion-Mandate Opt-Out Act,” prohibiting insurance plans that cover abortions from participating in any Exchanges (required to be operational in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare”) operating within the state.
TRENDS IN LEGISLATION: 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. With American's now sensitive to both the national debt and tax increases, eliminating government funding for abortions is likely to gain attention and population as more citizens discover that taxpayer money has been going to Planned parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider. Planned Parenthood aborts an unborn baby every 97 seconds.
Measures introduced to protect healthcare freedom of conscience increased by 40% in 2012. Measures related to end-of-life issues increased nearly two-fold, as a result of a substantial increase in the number of bills related to pain management and palliative care.
AUL is a participant in this year's 40th annual March for Life in Washington DC, set for Friday, January 25th. The event marks the unconstitutional Supreme Court decision in 1973 allowing states to permit abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
For more on AUL’s “Life List” as well as for information on Defending Life’s model legislation, visit http://www.AUL.org