From the SFLA Blog

What the Future Looks Like for Pro-Life States

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Caroline Wharton - 09 Mar 2022
What the Future Looks Like for Pro-Life States
Guest post by Students for Life of America Contributing Writer Anna Reynolds

GUEST POST: If the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) overturns Roe v. Wade, pro-life states are prepared to protect life. The pro-life movement has always been about protecting life at every stage, and the Pro-Life Generation is making that explicit. The goal is to end abortion. 

Contrary to how the abortion industry has fearmongered, reversing or significantly revising the Roe v. Wade decision would not mean that abortion is illegal everywhere. Decisions about the legality of elective abortion would be returned to the states, and individual states would decide.  

Pro-abortion states have already made clear what the future will look like for their children: constitutional amendments enshrining abortion, taxpayer-funded abortions, and abortion tourism. It should come as no surprise that the future looks deadly for the states that have embraced the killing of preborn babies. On the other hand, pro-life states have given some indication of where they are headed, and their future looks bright!  

Here are some trends we can expect to continue: 

Expanded Protections for Preborn Babies 

In recent years, states like Mississippi have enacted limits on abortion based on gestational age. In the case of Mississippi, the law (which is currently enjoined by lower courts and is awaiting a SCOTUS decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson case) is that abortions are prohibited after 15 weeks. With a growing knowledge of how preborn babies develop in the womb, pro-lifers have persuasively argued to protect babies who can undeniably feel the pain of abortion or are fully developed

Other states are taking a bolder approach and bringing attention to the vulnerable children in the womb even at the earliest stages of development. Measures like the Texas Heartbeat Law protect preborn babies from the time they have a detectable heartbeat, around six weeks.  

Still others are passing restrictions on Chemical Abortion pills, which are responsible for killing more preborn babies than any other abortion method. Most recently, South Dakota passed legislation restricting Chemical Abortions, an important step towards recognizing and protecting preborn life. 

Through many different avenues, pro-life states are expanding the parameters for protecting babies. Stronger restrictions on abortion mean more lives saved. 

Trigger Bills Outlawing Abortion When Roe Falls 

It’s no secret: Pro-lifers want to end abortion. A growing number of states have passed legislation that would ban abortion as soon as Roe v. Wade is reversed. Labelled as “Trigger Laws,” these measures do not affect current pro-life protections in the states but will forcefully expand them when the ability to fully protect life is returned to the states.  

States with Trigger Laws in place include Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Idaho, and Utah. These states will be effectively abortion-free when the Supreme Court reverses the unjust and unconstitutional Roe decision. 

Life at Conception Bills 

Another legislative effort currently underway in pro-life states is Life at Conception Bills. These measures recognize the right to life of the preborn child from the moment of conception. We know that the moment the egg and sperm meet, there is a new and distinct life

The legal recognition of human life from conception ensures that all babies are protected from the violence of abortion. SFLAction Political Operations Manager Lily Branham explained, “Our strategy champions a law that reflects what the pro-life movement actually desires – saving as many babies from abortion as possible – because we know that life begins at conception.”  

Life at Conception Bills do not undermine or replace other pro-life measures. Instead, they can create strong legal protection for preborn children. 

Funding Alternatives to Abortion 

What about mothers? The pro-life movement unequivocally advocates for babies and their mothers. Women are not empowered by abortion, and their lives are not made better by abortion. In fact, violently ending the lives of preborn babies hurts women. In addition to expanding protections for babies, pro-life states are actively working to ensure mothers in crisis situations have resources and support. 

What the abortion industry does not mention is that the reason mothers seek abortion is due to difficult circumstances. Many mothers turn to the abortion industry because they think they have no other choice (ironic for the abortion industry that still tries to bill itself as “pro-choice”) due to financial constraints and lack of support.

When states fund elective abortion with taxpayer dollars, the financial coercion to choose abortion is even greater. 

In contrast, pro-life states have secured funding for life-affirming alternatives to abortion that address mothers’ needs throughout pregnancy and often through the child’s first years of life. This strategy is possible, as we saw in Texas which secured $100 million in funding for alternatives to abortion for programs which address women’s needs and protect babies. 

This is an exciting time for the pro-life movement as we make significant strides in many states to fully protect babies and help mothers. The Pro-Life Generation rejects a “kids menu” of legislative offerings; we want the biggest and best protections every state legislature has to offer, and we proudly own our goal of abolishing abortion. After almost fifty years of contending with Roe v. Wade, there is wide speculation that it will be reinterpreted or even reversed in the Dobbs ruling, and that states will finally once again be able to exercise their right to fully protect their children. Without a doubt, the future looks bright for life.  

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