With pro-life legislators winning sizeable majorities in state legislatures across the country, abortion supporters are coming to grips with the reality that they’re about to see even more records being broken in the number of abortion restrictions being enacted in the U.S.
Writing for Politico, Paige Winfield-Cunningham says that with Republicans now holding two-thirds of the state legislative bodies in the country, the ground is being primed for another historic wave of legal restrictions on abortion. They now have complete control of the legislature in more than half the states in the U.S. Pro-life legislators also gained two more governorships which brings the total number of governorships – with their crucial veto power – to 31 next year.
Even though Republican leaders on the Hill are promising to take up the abortion issue in 2015, perhaps voting on a House-passed bill that will limit abortions to 20 weeks, they may not reach the 60 vote threshold required to pass the bill. Which means that, once again, pro-life lawmakers on the state level will be the main movers of abortion law in the months ahead.
“We came out of Nov. 4th with a lot of momentum,” said Chuck Donovan, president of the research and education arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. “I think we’re about to get another uptick” in the number of pro-life measures proposed in the states, he told Politico.
This will only add to the slow but steady dismantling of the U.S. abortion industry that has been occurring since the 2010 election.
“Thirteen states have passed bans on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy,” Winfield-Cunningham writes, “and a couple have enacted earlier limits tied to when a fetal heartbeat is first detected, which can be six or seven weeks into a pregnancy. Several of these state laws are being contested in court, and the arguments may eventually end up in the Supreme Court. But that hasn’t deterred more states from eying such legislation; in Ohio, a House panel approved a fetal heartbeat bill just a few days ago.”
In the days ahead, “Women seeking abortions may face mandatory waiting periods or ultrasound requirements,” she continues. “Clinics may face stricter building codes or hospital admitting privilege rules they can’t satisfy. Dozens of clinics have shut down in multiple states. Texas, for instance, has fewer than 10 abortion clinics now. A year ago, it had 40.”
And it’s about to get considerably worse for abortion supporters.
“Arkansas, for instance, already has strict anti-abortion laws. But with a Republican governor succeeding a Democrat who had vetoed two measures that would have banned most abortions beyond a certain stage of pregnancy, lawmakers plan to seek more restrictions — such as barring doctors from administering abortion drugs through telemedicine,” Winfield-Cunningham reports.
“Republican gains in the West Virginia Legislature will redouble pressure on Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to accept a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks, which he has previously deemed unconstitutional. And Tennessee voters approved a ballot initiative that removes a 15-year barrier to legislation limiting abortion legislation in that deeply conservative state.”
The Tennessee ballot initiative, which affirms that the state’s constitution does not protect abortion rights, will be pivotal in paving the way for passage of new abortion restrictions, such as requiring mandatory ultrasounds and three-day waiting periods before an abortion.
Pro-life groups have every intention of using the power they have to save the lives of as many unborn Americans as they can and are particularly happy to do so in states that now enjoy a pro-life advantage in the state house.
“In some states where we’ve had success in the past we’ve gotten stronger, and in some states where we weren’t able to pass anything we were able to improve our vote count,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, state legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee.
Abortion industry giants such as Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards can read the writing on the wall and believes 2015 will bring a new rash of abortion restrictions across the country.
She told Politico that she expects “state legislative attacks on women’s health, even though the vast majority of the public wants elected officials to protect and expand access to safe and legal abortion, birth control and preventive health care.”
Her stats are not exactly current. The days of overwhelming public support for abortion rights is long gone. Ever since 2009, polling giant Gallup says Americans are consistently split on the issue, with 47 percent saying they’re pro-abortion and 46 percent identifying as pro-life with the trend leaning toward the pro-life position.
The only aspect of abortion that receives overwhelming support from Americans these days is the belief that taxpayers should not be required to pay for abortions – a stat the highly paid Ms. Richards ($400K per year) is only too happy to ignore.
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