AUL says State Government Gains and Gubernatorial Leadership Mean More
Pro-life Gains Likely
Above: Election night photograph of Mrs. Florence Strobel (mother of Deb Fischer), Senator-Elect Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), and former Nebraska Gov. Kay Orr.
In spite of the status quo results in the Presidential and Congressional election, the experts at Americans United for Life say that there is a path for pro-life victories through the results. AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted victories would be possible “because at the grassroots level, new pro-life leaders are taking their seats in gubernatorial offices and state houses across the country.”
Four pro-life governors won election last week. Among those is Indiana where pro-life hero Congressman Mike Pence is the new incoming Governor. In Congress, Mike Pence was a prominent pro-life leader working year after year in an effort to completely defund Planned Parenthood at the federal level. Pro-life incumbent governors won by big margins as well.
State Legislatures made the switch to life-affirming leadership. Due to changes in some state legislative chambers, new pro-life gains are now probable in states like Arkansas, which had an historic change of power. Also other states like Indiana and North Carolina picked up more pro-life seats so they are now at or near supermajority level.
“The balance of power we see in most states means AUL and our allies can continue to make significant legislative gains for life, as we have in the last few years,” said Dr. Yoest.
In a recent profile in The New York Times magazine, reporter Emily Bazelon noted what such state dynamics have meant to the work of AUL and Dr. Yoest. Legislative gains helped “push through the greatest number of abortion restrictions since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. In 2011, after Republicans made gains in statehouses across the country, 24 state legislatures passed 92 abortion restrictions — more than double the total for any previous year. The pace slowed in the first half of 2012, with 40 new provisions passed in 17 states. Around one-third of the bills, with names like the Abortion Patients’ Enhanced Safety Act and the Women’s Health Defense Act, were written by AUL.” To read the entire article, click here.
Yoest observed, “Over the last two years, we saw over 160 new pro-life laws enacted in the states. We expect bills such as clinic regulations, regulation of abortion-inducing drugs, defunding abortion providers, and conscience protections to top the list of what states are doing next.”
AUL’s specialty of creating life-affirming model legislation that can be employed across the country is having an impact, even as Washington, D.C. remains deadlocked. This is a grassroots effort, flexible, transportable, and powerful. With your support, AUL will go from state house to state house, helping newly elected legislators to make their mark on the laws of their states.
On the Ballot: A Round of Up
of Life-Related Initiatives
Citizens in several states voted on life-related ballot initiatives on November 6th. Below is a summary of the results, and why they are important.
A Win for Protecting the Ill and Elderly:
Massachusetts Q 2 – “Death with Dignity” Initiative
Citizens of Massachusetts rejected the legalization of physician assisted-suicide, a decisive action that will protect vulnerable individuals facing the end of life. The so-called “death with dignity” initiative failed to provide even basic safeguards and would have opened the door to a litany of abuses and dangers. Massachusetts’ citizens should be commended for standing by the principle that physician-assisted suicide does not affirm the life or the dignity of individuals facing serious illness or death.
A Win for Protecting Vulnerable, Young Girls and their Children:
Montana Legislative Ref. No. 120: “Montana Parental Notification Measure”
A determined effort to protect Montana’s young girls prevailed Tuesday, when citizens voted to enact a law requiring parental notification prior to an abortion for minors 15 years of age and younger. Prior attempts to protect pregnant, underage girls and their unborn children in Montana were thwarted by courts. By voting for L.R. 120, Montanans acted to protect girls from sexual abuse and exploitation and from dangers inherent in abortion, while standing up for parental rights. Research shows that when parents or guardians are involved in making an abortion decision, the abortion rate drops.
A Win for Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans:
Alabama Amendment 6, Wyoming Constitutional Amendment A, Montana Legislative Referendum No. 122, and Missouri Senate Bill No. 464
Voters in three states — Alabama, Wyoming, and Montana — voted for state law amendments providing that their citizens should not be compelled to participate in any healthcare system (a similar measure failed in Florida). By doing so, they voted to protect the freedom of conscience of individuals, employers, and healthcare providers who object to providing or paying for certain services that are included in a particular healthcare system, such as abortion or “contraception” with life-ending mechanisms of action.
Voters in Missouri supported a measure prohibiting the establishment of a health insurance Exchange — required by Obamacare — by any means other than a legislative bill, an initiative petition, or a referendum. Through this vote, citizens may successfully prevent Governor Jay Nixon, who is pro-abortion, from instituting new anti-life policies through the state’s Exchange.
Six States Challenge the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate in Court
AUL attorneys filed a brief this week in Nebraska v. Health and Human Services, a case initiated by the state of Nebraska and six other states challenging the Obama Administration’s “HHS Mandate,” which requires that employers provide insurance coverage for all forms of FDA-approved “contraception,” including life-ending drugs and devices classified as “emergency contraception.” To read more on AUL’s effort, click here.