Legislative Policies about Abortion in 2019

Pictured above: 3D image of an unborn baby at 19 weeks old.

As we begin the year 2020, it is tough to ignore or completely forget about states that introduced, and even passed laws in 2019, allowing extreme measures for abortions to occur. These states include: New York, Virginia, Maine, Illinois, Nevada and Rhode Island. Based on an article from The Daily Caller, here is an overview of the legislative policies that provided more access to abortion:

New York

  • Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Act in January 2019 on the anniversary date of Roe v. Wade.
  • The bill allows non-doctors to perform abortions and for women to obtain late-term abortions after 24 weeks in cases where “there is an absence of fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient’s life or health.”
  • It also removes abortion from New York’s criminal code.
  • Gov. Cuomo ordered that One World Trade Center glow in pink in order to celebrate the passage of the Reproductive Act.

Virginia

  • Kathy Tran, a Democrat who serves in the Virginia House of Delegates, introduced House Bill 2491 in January 2019, which would allow doctors to perform abortions while the mother is giving birth.
  • The state’s current law permits abortions in the second and third trimesters only if it preserves the health or life of the mother.
  • HB 2491 also removed the requirement for expectant mothers to have an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion, that three physicians conclude a third trimester abortion is necessary, and that the second or third trimester abortions take place in hospitals.
  • HB 2491 was “left in the Courts of Justice” on February 5.
  • Soon after the House Bill was introduced by Tran, Gov. Ralph Northam spoke about abortion up until birth, implying that if the baby survived an abortion and was delivered, then the child’s life would be discussed between the mother and physician.

Maine

  • Governor Janet Mills signed a bill on June 11, 2019, permitting non-doctors, physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to perform abortions.
  • According to Gov. Mills, this bill would provide access to abortion “especially those in rural areas” by health care professionals who are “…trained in family planning, counseling, and abortion procedures, the overwhelming majority of which are completed without complications.”

Illinois

  • Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act in June 2019, making abortion “a fundamental right” in Illinois.
  • It also allows non-doctors to perform abortions, removes the state’s parental notification law, forces religious and private health care organizations to provide abortions, and eliminates required investigations into deaths of mothers.
  • Additionally, the Reproductive Health Act eliminates requirements to publicly report abortion data including the number of abortions performed on underage girls or out-of-state women.

Nevada

  • Governor Steve Sisolak signed The Trust Nevada Women Act (SB179) into law on May 31, 2019, which removed the obligation to inform women about the “emotional implications” of abortion.
  • It also “removes the requirement that a physician certify a pregnant woman’s marital status and age before performing an abortion” and “removes the requirement that a physician certify in writing that a woman gave her informed written consent.”

Rhode Island

  • Governor Gina Raimondo signed the Reproductive Privacy Act (HB 5125) in June 2019, which protects abortion access within the state, legalizes abortion up until birth, and repeals pro-life laws.
  • This Act does not restrict a mother’s right to obtain an abortion before the baby is able to survive outside the womb. Rhode Island will also allow abortions after fetal viability if the mother’s health is at risk.
  • It repeals laws that charge doctors with murder and jail time for inducing miscarriages and declare dying admissions of women who die during abortion procedures to be used as evidence in homicides.

Although these states are not protecting the unborn, we remain hopeful that more lawmakers will recognize the sanctity of human life, and how each person—no matter how small—deserves an opportunity to achieve his or her American dreams.

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