WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a year of pro-life triumphs that was rated the second highest in modern U.S. history, Americans United for Life (AUL) has ranked all 50 states over how well they protect the unborn.

The newly released report also provides 50 individual blueprints for how each state can advance the cause of life in the new year.

The effective pro-life organization examined 50 states and the District of Columbia's laws on abortion, protecting the unborn in the womb, and conscience rights for health care workers, as well as end-of-life and bioethical issues.

Researchers rated Louisiana the best for the second year in a row, after the legislature capped off the most successful pro-life session in memory.

AUL notes that the state “has a decades-long history of enacting commonsense limitations on abortion; it also comprehensively protects healthcare freedom of conscience and is one of only a small number of states that has enacted meaningful regulations on biotechnologies such as destructive embryo research.”

Top 10 states are Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Arizona, Nebraska, Indiana, Missouri, Georgia, and Virginia.

Five states – Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, Virginia, and South Carolina – made AUL's list of “all-stars” by significantly increasing their protection of the unborn.

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The top “all star,” Arizona, prohibited abortions at 20 weeks on the grounds of “fetal pain” and women's health, more effective implemented abortion clinic regulations, restricted abortifacient drugs, required ultrasounds, and asked that women be given information about perinatal hospice.

Virginia moved into the top 10 most protective states after a contentious year that involved a spurious public debate over “transvaginal” ultrasounds – something already required by abortionists, Governor Bob McDonnell signed new bipartisan health regulations for abortion facilities late last year.

Georgia passed a 20-week “fetal pain” abortion restriction, enacted a law requiring those employed in the abortionist industry to report child abuse, and made it a felony to participate in another person's suicide.

New Hampshire passed a ban on late-term abortions over Democratic Governor John Lynch’s veto.

The 10 worst in 2012 were Washington, California, New York, Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, Oregon, Maryland, Hawaii, and Montana.

Most of these also made the “states of shame,” states that go beyond federal protections of abortion-on-demand.

Washington State has topped the least protective states list for the fourth consecutive year as the most pro-abortion state in the union.

The state, AUL notes, “has no meaningful limitations on the abortion license, and permits physician-assisted suicide and the exploitation of those facing the end of life.”

In all, states enacted 60 new pro-life laws in 2012, 19 of them based on model legislation offered by AUL.

“The most popular abortion-related legislative measures,” he pro-life organization stated, “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.”

Pending end-of-life legislation doubled in 2012, as well.