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Fr. Mark Hodges

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REVEALED: The most pro-life and most pro-abortion U.S. states. Where does your state rank?

Fr. Mark Hodges
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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 10, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Oklahoma stands at the top and Washington ranks at the bottom of the Americans United for Life’s annual "Life List" released Tuesday that ranks the most pro-life and pro-abortion states in the U.S.

The rest of the top five behind Oklahoma, which was at the top for the second year in a row, in order, are Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Arizona.

Washington remained the least protective state for the unborn for the eighth consecutive year. They are followed by California, Vermont, New Jersey, and Oregon. 

2016 was a record-breaking year for pro-life legislation, with 43 states proposing more than 360 abortion restrictions, including tax funding for women's health centers that perform abortions, limits on late-term abortions of viable babies, informed consent and ultrasound requirements, outlawing abortions on handicapped babies, banning aborted baby tissue trafficking, and prohibitions on sex-selection or race-selection abortions.

In a press release announcing the "Life List," AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs Denise Burke denounced the abortion industry for "fighting the kinds of common-sense regulations that protect women."

The "Life List" and its state-by-state details can be found here.

Meanwhile, the Planned Parenthood-backed Guttmacher Institute gave a far more dismal year-end review. "2016 was a bad year for women's health," the Guttmacher report states, pointing out 50 new abortion restrictions in 18 states. "A total of 338 laws that restrict reproductive rights have been enacted since the Republicans took control of the majority of state governments in 2010."

The Center for Reproductive Rights, while reporting on the pro-life gains, noted that the strongest pro-life bills were stopped by the courts. "State or federal courts ultimately blocked many of the onerous provisions, a circumstance that underscores how important the judiciary is in protecting women’s rights."

The most devastating blow to pro-life laws in 2016 was the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Texas' safety regulations for abortion clinics, requiring emergency access, and hospital admission privileges.

Burke says, however, that the high court's ruling is not insurmountable. "When the Supreme Court rejected Texas’ abortion safety standards, abortion advocates celebrated, but they ignored the fine print,” she said. “In fact, the Court found that such laws could survive a legal challenge if well-supported by medical evidence."

AUL is working to provide that evidence, creating research statistics and pro-life resources for lawmakers to successfully make their case and win in court. The organization's new and unique report, entitled, "Unsafe," documents substandard conditions in abortuaries across the country.  

"This groundbreaking report will equip legislators as they argue for better and more comprehensive pro-life protections," Burke explained. Additionally, AUL has formulated model legislation for states that addresses the Supreme Court's reservations.

The “Unsafe” report documents 227 abortion businesses in 32 states that were cited for more than 1,400 health and safety violations between 2008 and 2016. “Unsafe” also exposes more than 750 significant violations of state laws regulating abortion.

“Legislators … will be empowered in 2017 with new and updated model legislation, new analysis in Unsafe, and new tools for exposing substandard abortion care and remedying it through better inspections and more comprehensive health and safety mandates,” Burke said.  AUL has also drafted a model letter for lawmakers to call for inspections of abortion businesses in their states.

Ultimately, the tragic reality that abortion supporters will never view pro-life laws the same way those who value the sanctity of innocent human life do was summed up by Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky:

“The law does not value life,” the pro-abortionist said, “it (only) values birth.”

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