WASHINGTON, D.C., February 24, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of the nation’s most effective pro-life advocacy groups is topping off a year of legislative triumphs by unveiling this year’s agenda.
On Thursday, Americans United for Life (AUL) pre-released the seven top proposals from the forthcoming Defending Life 2012. The publication, issued annually since 2005, contains proposals to move beyond defunding Planned Parenthood to tighten the regulation of abortionists, require parental consent, and assure the president’s health care reform cannot fund abortion.
“Many of these initiatives simultaneously lay the groundwork for the ultimate reversal of Roe v. Wade,” while “eliminating taxpayer funding of abortion providers,” and protecting women and girls from “the increasingly predatory practices of the scandal-ridden abortion industry,” the publication says.
The seven bills AUL will promote in the upcoming year include:
- The “Defunding the Abortion Industry and Advancing Women’s Health Act of 2012.” The model legislation not only defunds abortion “but also eliminates the manipulation and misuse of other state funding sources by abortion providers.” A joint report issued by the Alliance Defense Fund and the Susan B. Anthony List discovered nearly $99 million of potential fraud at Planned Parenthood affiliates, often through “unbundling” services performed as part of an abortion.
- The “Abortion Mandate Opt-Out Act.” Although Barack Obama signed an executive order on March 24, 2010, about funding abortion as part of ObamaCare, AUL notes the order could allow funding of abortion providers after states establish their local insurance exchanges. Twelve states have already passed opt-out bills based on AUL’s statutory language, assuring their states comply with the Hyde Amendment. Another 18 have introduced or plan to introduce similar legislation.
- The “Women’s Health Defense Act,” bans abortions conducted on babies at 20 weeks of development or beyond, based on the harm those abortions cause to mothers, as well as the child’s ability to feel pain. Five Supreme Court justices upheld a challenge to Roe on the grounds that women had come to rely on abortion as part of their health care. “AUL’s model is the only one to directly attack the Supreme Court’s primary rationale for affirming Roe v. Wade – the ‘reliance interest,’” the press release states.
- The “Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act” would end “telemed” prescription of the abortion pill. Often doctors only confer with women seeking a pharmaceutical abortion remotely; this bill will require the doctor to respond in person.
- The “Parental Consent Act” requires notarized, written parental consent before an abortion clinic can perform an abortion on a minor girl.
- The “Abortion Patients’ Enhanced Safety Act,” requires abortion clinics – which often bill themselves as “medical facilities” – to “meet exacting and medically appropriate standards of patient care” and would mandate “regular inspections by state health inspectors.” Abortion mills such as Kermit Gosnell’s “house of horrors” are the true “back alley abortion clinics,” AUL writes.
- The “Health Care Freedom of Conscience Act” is bill as the “most comprehensive and protective legislation of its kind,” protecting “all individuals, institutions, and health care payers.”
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of AUL, says her organization is offering this first-ever preview of its agenda “because the time is right for building on a foundation of success.”
“Last year we saw unprecedented levels of pro-life activity in state legislatures across the country,” she said in a statement sent to LifeSiteNews.com. “AUL’s model legislation provides the tools to address these challenges effectively and pursue defending life in law.”
Last year, 86 bills were introduced in 32 states that were based on AUL’s model language, with the organization’s active advice and consultation.
“The passage of 28 pieces of pro-life legislation based on AUL’s models was a significant pro-life victory, and represents increasing strength in the pro-life movement,” said Dr. Yoest.
2011 was a record year for pro-life legislation. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 83 pro-life laws passed last year, more than triple the previous record.
The final Defending Life 2012 report will include a section demonstrating the physical harm and substandard conditions of abortion clinics, a comprehensive ranking of all 50 states’ protection of the unborn, a thorough discussion of the legislative issues facing the pro-life movement, and 42 pieces of model legislation.
Model legislation is available upon request to lawmakers now. The extended releases include a ban on coerced or sex-selective abortions, ending assisted suicide, and protection of health care workers’ conscience rights.