It’s almost-but-not-quite old news that New York’s Governor Cuomo signed radical pro-abortion legislation recently, and celebrated in garish fashion. Much has happened in the two weeks since. Abortion-friendly bills are coming up in state houses in Vermont, New Mexico, Virginia, and Rhode Island. In Washington, Senate and House look at legislation to protect children who survive attempted abortion, and the President in the State of the Union Address endorsed that measure.
It’s easy to look at New York and wonder how things got so bad for the right to life. It’s easy to be shocked at the sight of Democratic members of Congress sitting stone-faced as the President endorses protection for born-alive infants. But have you looked at your own state’s laws? Maybe you can’t do anything about the Land of Cuomo or the U.S. Congress, but you can act on what’s happening in your own back yard.
Good sources of information on life-issue laws nationwide are the annual Defending Life report from Americans United for Life and the research published by the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Do some digging and see what your own state’s laws say, what could be improved, and what needs to be changed.
Does your state have a born-alive law, requiring some level of care for children who survive attempted abortion?
Do your state public health officials keep track of abortion statistics? Do they report that data to the Centers for Disease Control? Do they know if women are experiencing complications from abortion? Here’s a hint: if you live in California, Maryland, or New Hampshire, your state isn’t telling the CDC anything about abortion.
Are women entitled to see a sonogram before obtaining an abortion?
How about conscience protections for health care professionals, including those serving in allied professions? Are people at risk of losing their jobs if they decline to participate in procedures that violate their consciences?
Is your state one of the few that still lack a fetal homicide law? Such legislation allows prosecutors the option of filing homicide charges against anyone whose bad actions – e.g. drunk driving – cause the death of a preborn child against the mother’s will.
With a nod to Justice Blackmun in Roe: does your state assert an interest in “potential” human life in the later stages of pregnancy?
Are abortions being paid for by Medicaid in your state?
Sure, New York’s new law is appalling. You can pray for change there. In your own state, you can work as well as pray. Learn, then act.