Progress: States have enacted dozens of pro-life laws so far in 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For the fifth year in a row, pro-life laws are continuing to be signed in large numbers at the state level.
According to a new report by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, 51 pro-life laws have been passed at the state level – 19 fewer than in 2013, but helping to create a total of 282 state laws since 2010 that protect life.
Americans United for Life Communications Director Kristi Hamrick said that while her organization counts the numbers differently – "Guttmacher counts each component of the law[s]," she told LifeSiteNews, while "AUL counts the law" as the sum of its parts – the state trend is undeniably pro-life.
Americans United for Life's attorney and Vice President of Legal Affairs, Denise Burke, told LifeSiteNews that AUL has counted 30 "pro-life, abortion-related laws" in 2015, and that 239 laws had been enacted since 2010.
"Each year since 2010, we have seen a higher number of life-affirming, abortion-related laws enacted" compared to 2010, said Burke.
That year, which saw Republicans take the U.S. House and state legislatures across the country, 29 laws were enacted. The lowest year since was 2012, with 38 laws, and the number of laws peaked at 70 in 2011.
Burke explained that "you see 'dips' in the even years (2012 and 2014), in part, because some legislatures do not meet in even-years."
This is also "probably because of election year calculations as to what legislators should be working on to please their constituents and not drum up too much controversy."
Four state legislatures only meet in odd-numbered years, and two states have laws that prevent non-budget issues from being considered every other year.
While 2015 may be on the low side in terms of pro-life laws, Hamrick told LifeSiteNews that "laws are like bricks: one builds on another, so more current laws rest on past accomplishments." Burke likewise said that "the abortion-related laws enacted prior to 2010 and those enacted since 2010 work in tandem, and both are necessary to protect women and their unborn children."
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"Many of the laws enacted before 2010 established the foundation for later enhancements and the application of increasingly rigorous maternal health standards to abortion and abortion providers," she said. "Examples of these phenomena include recently enacted ultrasound requirements that supplement and increase the effectiveness of previously enacted general informed consent laws, and recently enacted admitting privileges mandates that increase the protection provided by earlier abortion clinic regulations.”