Pennsylvania Ranked Third in Annual Pro-life List

Americans United for Life, a DC-based anti-abortion lobbying and advocacy group, just released their annual “Life List.” Pennsylvania ranks third place, sandwiched between Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Sounds about right. Pennsylvania has been ranked third every year on the list since 2010. In 2009, it took first place.

AUL is a key architect of the anti-abortion agenda in the post-Roe era. Rather than focus on overturning Roe v. Wade through the courts, advocates now spend time and money drafting boilerplate state-level legislation designed to restrict working-class and poor women’s access to abortion — and pushing those bills through state legislatures. As AUL’s’ Dr. Charmaine Yoest states in the report: “This analysis of cumulative successes across the country illustrates the effectiveness of AUL’s models, laying the foundation for rolling back and reversing Roe v. Wade.”

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 42 states and the District of Columbia enacted 122 provisions related to reproductive health and rights in 2012. One-third of these new provisions — 43 in 19 states —sought to restrict access to abortion services. This represents the second-highest number of restrictions in a single year in history, behind 2011.

Pennsylvania saw a fair share of these bills, including the passage of new regulations that directly led to the shrinking abortion services. At the beginning of 2011, Pennsylvania had 20 freestanding clinics providing surgical abortion. By the end — after the passage of Act 122 — that number was reduced to 14 after five of those clinics offered only medical (pill) abortion and one shut down.

From the AUL report:

“Pennsylvania’s efforts to protect women from the negative conse­quences of abortion have been ground-breaking, as memorialized in the landmark case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Pennsylvania has led the way for other states by enacting such measures as informed consent, parental consent, and state funding of abortion alternatives.”

Also from the report:

What Happened in 2011:

  • Pennsylvania enacted legislation requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers.
  • Pennsylvania enacted legislation funding abortion alternatives. The state also enacted legislation providing for stillbirth certificates.
  • Pennsylvania considered legislation limiting insurance coverage of abortion, Pennsylva­nia considered legislation protecting unborn victims of violence.
  • Pennsylvania considered legislation further protecting unborn victims of violence.
  • The state considered legalizing physician-assisted suicide, as well as a measure relating to advanced planning documents.
  • The state considered legislation that would have comprehensively protected the rights of conscience of healthcare institutions.

Top Priorities:

  • Abortion Mandate Opt-Out Act
  • Abortion Subsidy Prohibition Act
  • Women’s Health Defense Act
  • Women’s Ultrasound Right to Know Act
  • Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act
  • Unborn Wrongful Death Act (for pre-viable child)

The AUL report is released one week ahead of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which is January 22.

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