WASHINGTON, D.C., July 18, 2013 ( – While the nation's eyes have focused on a state bill in Texas, which Governor Rick Perry signed into law today, pro-life laws advanced in North Carolina and Missouri last week. However, the pro-life movement has faced setbacks in New England – and Arkansas.

Rhode Island


Governor Lincoln Chafee vetoed a bill that would allow the state to produce license plates with the message “Choose Life.” The funds would have gone to support the efforts of crisis pregnancy centers. Chafee wrote, “It is my belief that state participation in the transmission of funds to this organization would violate the separation of church and state,” which he called “one of the fundamental principles upon which our state was founded.” The former Republican U.S. Senator – who was elected as an independent but joined the Democratic Party in May – served on the board of directors of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee Executive Director Barth Bracy told the Providence Journal that Chafee's veto was “grossly out-of-step with other New England Democrats.” He added, “The 'Choose Life' plate is already available in Massachusetts and Connecticut...A man who speaks of tolerance while stifling the free speech of those who disagree with him can only be regarded as a hypocrite.”


On Tuesday, Arkansas State Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, a Democrat, rejected the language of a proposed Personhood amendment that would have gone before state voters in 2014. The measure, submitted by Preston Dunn Jr., the president of Personhood Arkansas, aimed “to revise Arkansas Constitutional Amendment 68 to ban abortion, protect the life of every unborn child, and other purposes.” It would have said the state must “protect the life of every unborn child from conception until birth.” McDaniel said the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade that the U.S. Constitution guarantees a woman's right to an abortion would strike down the measure as unconstitutional.


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A bill to ban therapists from offering sexual conversion therapy for minors struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction is moving forward with the support of the state's LGBT lobby. The state legislature has scheduled a hearing, open to the public, before its committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities tomorrow afternoon. California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a similar ban, and lawmakers in New Jersey have considered barring doctors from providing the practice, as well.