As Roe v. Wade Set to Turn 41, Pro-Life Movement Winning More Victories Than Ever

In a just-released report from the Guttmacher Institute, more pro-life laws have passed in various states over the past three years than during the entire previous decade. State legislatures enacted 205 abortion restrictions from 2011 to 2013, contrasted with the 189 provisions enacted during the entire previous decade.

Guttmacher laments, “This legislative onslaught has dramatically changed the landscape for women needing abortion.” Indeed, abortions are at historic lows. Further, public opinion has changed dramatically. According to Gallup, in 1996 more than half of Americans self-identified as pro-choice, compared to 33 percent who claimed to be pro-life. By 2013, pro-lifers exceeded the number of pro-choicers, 48 percent to 45 percent.

Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life, the legal arm of the pro-life movement, explained, “There is a movement afoot in our country today to hold the abortion industry accountable for their abuses.” Ms. Yoest cited pro-life accomplishments: “This past year, we saw a notorious abortionist convicted of infanticide and manslaughter. We saw an unprecedented number of abortion clinics closed. We saw Texas pass an omnibus pro-life bill against virulent opposition and a high-profile filibuster. We saw the first-in-the-nation ban on abortions for genetic abnormalities and sex of the unborn baby.”

Clearly, the relatively small pro-life organizations are winning the hearts of the American public — and its legislators — over the giant abortion industry and its powerful allies in the government and the media, and among the elites.

Penny Young Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, calls abortion “the seminal human rights issue of our time” and notes that since 1973, “the deaths of more than 54 million unborn children have been reported in the United States alone. Every year, approximately 1.21 million more unborn children will be aborted. And nearly 4,000 abortions are performed daily, as reported by National Right to Life. This is an injustice which must end.”

Americans agree and worked at the national and state level to see changes in legislation across the nation. During 2013, 70 abortion restrictions were enacted in 22 states. They also pushed forward on the political front. Guttmacher lamented, “In addition, the 2012 elections brought changes to the legislature in Arkansas and the governor’s mansion in North Carolina that created environments more hostile to abortion; after adopting no abortion restrictions in 2012, these two states together enacted 13 new restrictions in 2013.”

The legislative strategies of the pro-life movement — focusing on restricting access to the procedure — are effective. Guttmacher identified four specific restrictions that “dominated the legislative scene during 2013: abortion bans, restrictions on abortion providers, limitations on the provision of medication abortion and restrictions on coverage of abortion in private health plans.” The institute further noted, “Together, legislation in these four categories accounted for 56 percent of all restrictions enacted over the year. States also adopted a wide range of other major abortion restrictions in 2013, including those on parental involvement, public funding for abortion, waiting periods and counseling, and ultrasound.”

While the abortion restrictions are reasonable, desirable and reflect common sense and due caution in regard to girls’ and women’s health and well-being, Guttmacher is troubled that “more states are hostile to abortion.” In 2000, they report, only 13 states had abortion restrictions that they considered “hostile to abortion rights,” but by 2013, that number had increased to 27 states. Equally troubling to Guttmacher is the fact that the number of “middle-ground states was cut in half, from 20 to 10.” The most troubling factor to the pro-abortion forces, though, is the fact that the proportion of women living where abortion is readily available is dropping. Guttmacher reported, “The proportion of women living in restrictive states went from 31 percent to 56 percent, while the proportion living in supportive states fell from 40 percent to 31 percent over the same period.”

Appallingly, the supposedly pro-woman Guttmacher Institute praised California — the only state in more than seven years to pass a new state law to expand access to abortion — for “expanding the types of providers permitted to perform either medication or surgical abortions.” California now allows physician assistants, certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners to provide abortions during the first trimester — a move that will certainly put California girls and women at risk.

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, who is not pro-life, talked about the changing attitudes toward abortion on the Fox News Channel as the “story of the year, culturally.” He explained why the nation has become more pro-life. “The fact that people are becoming aware of how late-term abortions are so near to infanticide. And also how the new technology and the ultrasounds are giving people awareness of how much an infant has developed in the womb. So the movement has stopped, and I think reversed, especially among young people.”

Guttmacher is right: The abortion landscape has dramatically changed. Mr. Krauthammer is also right: It was the story of the year for 2013.

Obama Admin Told Catholic Nuns They Must Offer Free Abortion Drugs

The Obama administration told the Supreme Court that nuns running an elder-care facility should have to provide “free” abortion drugs through their health-insurance plan. Witness your tax dollars at work.

There is hope, though, that your hard-earned pay won’t be wasted on absurdities like this much longer. Religious freedom is so embedded in American law that Obamacare has suffered court orders against its mandate in 53 of 60 rulings so far.

Yet despite having many opportunities to promote abortion without involving people of faith, the Obama administration refuses to cut its losses. Instead it has doubled down ferociously – insisting on coercing even nuns to participate in its anti-life, anti-religious agenda.

In the first wave of the abortion-pill-mandate debate, President Obama promised Christian leaders that the rule would exempt religious groups. But the abortion extremists had their way and the White House “evolved” on the issue. The 2012 election year “solution” was to tell religious groups they would, in the words of Cardinal Dolan, get an extra year delay in order to “figure out how to violate [their] consciences.”

Then the Obama administration walked into court against religious families who earn a living in business. It insisted that those job-creating families don’t possess religious freedom. The government has deemed the world of business and healthcare “secular,” where religion is not allowed.

The administration had tried a similar maneuver the previous year at the Supreme Court, where it lost 9-0 arguing that education is inherently secular and that religious schools don’t have special First Amendment protection. But even a colossal failure like that doesn’t dissuade true believers.

So despite losing 35 of 41 cases so far against job-creating religious families, the Obama administration went on to declare that religious ministries aren’t religious enough to be considered “religious employers.” Instead the administration concocted a phony “accommodation.” This alleged compromise forced groups that provide insurance to their employees to transform that insurance into a free coupon for abortion pills and contraception. The government told the religious groups this accounting gimmick should satisfy their consciences, because government gets to decide what conscience means.

This led the Little Sisters of the Poor, after long reluctance, to sue the federal government to avoid being co-opted into the Obama administration’s abortion and contraception agenda. The administration’s response to their lawsuit has been its haughtiest move yet.

It declared in court that it didn’t understand its own “accommodation,” and that suddenly it had discovered that the accommodation might not apply in the same way to the Little Sisters.

This brings us to the government’s brief. The government actually misrepresents the facts before the Supreme Court. It asserts that all the Little Sisters have to do is file a form saying “they are non-profit organizations that hold themselves out as religious and have religious objections to providing coverage for contraceptive services.”

That’s untrue. The government deliberately added more language to the Little Sisters’ form. Because their plan is “self-insured,” in addition to stating their religious objection, the government requires their form to also specifically tell their insurance administrator that he has “obligations” to provide the abortifacient and contraceptive coverage himself.

The government added this language on purpose because it wanted to force self-insured entities to create a binding contractual duty for someone else to provide abortion pills – through the religious group’s own health plan – when the religious group doesn’t want to do that itself. Thus the government’s “compromise” for self-insured groups is akin to telling them: Don’t worry, you don’t have to assassinate that guy, you just have to contract a hit man to do it.

At this point the administration’s position went from the absurd to the surreal. The government now says that the Little Sisters must still submit their form. The form still requires the Sisters to explicitly tell someone else they have “obligations” to provide abortion pills and contraception. But the government says it overlooked the fact that the Little Sisters’ plan fits into a legal loophole where, if that third party abortion-pill guy doesn’t follow his “obligations,” there’s no penalty on him.

In other words, the Obama administration refuses to grant an injunction that would protect the Sisters from hiring someone else to do offensive things, and its refusal is based on the theory that the government’s coerced speech probably won’t work anyway. The government admits that its offensive coerced speech might not actually achieve the government’s goals, but the Little Sisters must speak it anyway.

The Obama administration has fought all the way to the Supreme Court to force the Little Sisters to do something that the government insists is pointless. If it’s pointless, the federal government shouldn’t be forcing people to do it against their will in the first place. But that lesson applies to all of Obamacare, and it seems that the administration just can’t resist the temptation to coerce.

More Abortion Restrictions Passed in 3 Years Than Past Decade, New Data Shows

Recent data released by the Guttmacher Institute finds that U.S. states have passed more abortion restrictions in the past three years than they have in the past decade.

Thousands rally on the National Mall for the start of the annual March for Life rally in Washington, D.C.

The data, released earlier this week, finds that from 2011 to 2013, states enacted a total of 205 new abortion restrictions, compared to 189 restrictions enacted from 2001 to 2010. Additionally, 22 states enacted 70 abortion restrictions during 2013, a number second only to 2011, when 83 anti-abortion laws were passed.

Several states, including Texas, North Dakota and Arkansas, passed laws this year that seek to illegalize abortions after a certain gestation time has passed. Ultimately, Texas passed a law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and Arkansas passed a law banning abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. North Dakota also passed a ban against abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected at approximately 6 weeks of pregnancy, but laws in both North Dakota and Arkansas were ultimately blocked from immediate implementation as they are being challenged in court.

Texas was one of the main states to gain national coverage on its abortion legislation in 2013 when Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) held a 13-hour filibuster to oppose a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require abortion clinics to meet higher standards of healthcare as used at surgical care centers, and require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Although Texas’ Republican Gov. Rick Perry ultimately called a special session to have the bill passed, Davis’ 13-hour filibuster gained her national media attention and she’s now running for the state’s democratic ticket in the 2014 gubernatorial race.

2013 also saw legislation seeking to crack down on the use of telemedicine to administer abortion medication, and the growing requirement of abortion clinics to meet surgical care center standards, and abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Some pro-life advocates have made a connection to the growing restrictions on abortion and the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor in Philadelphia, Pa. who ran a substandard, “house of horrors” abortion clinic where he performed late-term procedures in unsanitary conditions, including storing some fetal parts around his office after they had been removed from the womb.

In July 2013, when North Carolina’s Republican–controlled Senate was working toward passing a bill that would heighten requirements for abortion clinics in the state, one pro-life group voiced its support for tougher restrictions, saying it didn’t want North Carolina to become the “Gosnell of the South.”

“The bill today is about protecting women’s health. It’s about making abortion clinics safe. We don’t want to become the Gosnell of the South. We’re firmly behind the bill,” Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the NC Values Coalition, a pro-life group, told The News & Observer back in July in reference to the bill.

Additionally, Marilyn Musgrave, vice president of federal affairs for the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group, told The Washington Post earlier this year that 2013 “has been a year where the curtain has been pulled back, when people have taken another look at abortion” because of the Gosnell trial.

Obamacare Will Pay for Your Abortion But Not Include Your Baby in Your Health Insurance

Obamacare coverage “officially” began Wednesday and a new problem has cropped up: Obamacare will help pay for your abortion but getting you newborn baby covered under an Obamacare exchange health care plan is virtually impossible.

The Obamacare website was supposed to contain a computerized method of updating a family’s “change in circumstances,” such as adding a new baby to a policy. However, the Obama administration postponed that function as it attempted to fix the many other problems with the Obamacare web site.

As AP reports:

With regular private insurance, parents just notify the health plan. Insurers will still cover new babies, the administration says, but parents will also have to contact the government at some point later on.

Right now the website can’t handle such updates.

It’s a reminder that the new coverage for many uninsured Americans comes with a third party in the mix: the feds. And the system’s wiring for some vital federal functions isn’t yet fully connected.

It’s not just having a new baby that could create bureaucratic hassles, but other life changes affecting a consumer’s taxpayer-subsidized premiums. The list includes marriage and divorce, a death in the family, a new job or a change in income, even moving to a different community.

Such changes affect financial assistance available under the law, so the government has to be brought into the loop.

“It’s just another example of ‘We’ll fix that later,’” said Bob Laszewski, an industry consultant who said he’s gotten complaints from several insurer clients. “This needed to be done well before January. It’s sort of a fly-by-night approach.”

“We are currently working with insurers to find ways to make changing coverage easier while we develop an automated way for consumers to update their coverage directly,” responded an administration spokesman, Aaron Albright.

A Dec. 31 circular from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services addressed the problem.

In questions and answers for insurers, the government said that the federal insurance marketplace will not be able to add a child until the system’s automated features become “available later.” It does not provide any clue as to when that might take place.