By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A rush to restrict abortion in the wake of the passage of President Obama’s abortion-expanding health care bill has led to a flurry of pro-life legislation on the state level, a fact that USA Today acknowledged in a front-page article Monday.
Although abortion emerged as the decisive factor at every major turning point in the federal health care bill’s journey toward law, the mainstream media largely resisted giving the issue center stage during the debate about the bill, focusing attention on conflicting reports of the bill’s price tag, among other issues.
Weeks later, however, the jarring effect of Congress having passed the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade has engendered visible repercussions among local legislators, giving rise to a new motivation to seek protection for the unborn.
“Dozens of states are passing or debating new restrictions on abortion, a trend fueled in part by passage of the nation’s new health care law,” reported USA Today’s Alison Young, who claimed that “both sides of the hot-button issue are seeing new approaches to reduce abortions.”
Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, admitted to the newspaper that, “This year, particularly in the past couple of weeks, it’s really turned into a free-for-all on trying to restrict abortions.” Mary Spaulding Balch of the National Right to Life Committee confirmed that 2010 has been “very successful” in terms of pro-life legislation.
Perhaps the most prominent piece of legislation was a bill recently passed in Nebraska that bans abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation based on scientific data that unborn children feel the pain of being killed at that age. The law is the first directly to challenge Roe v. Wade’s sanction of all abortion until viability at around 22 weeks, and throws a wrench in late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart’s business at his Bellevue, Neb. abortion facility.
On Tuesday, the Oklahoma legislature overrode a governor veto of two abortion-restriction bills. One requires abortion-bound women to be shown an ultrasound image of their baby within an hour of the procedure, while the second bans so-called “wrongful life” lawsuits, launched against doctors for failing to report an unborn child’s deformity in time for him or her to be legally killed.
A Kansas bill that would have forced late-term abortionists to document the medical justification for each abortion according to state law was vetoed on April 15 by Gov. Mark Parkinson, the successor of the deeply pro-abortion Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, although legislators will attempt to override the veto.
And North Dakota’s Secretary of State last week approved a petition for a ban on decapitating and crushing the skulls of unborn children, which is now in the signature-gathering stage.