The states remain a key battleground in the defense of life. State legislatures across the country continue to break new ground protecting women from the negative consequences of abortion and ensuring that the abortion industry is subject to medically appropriate regulation and oversight.
In 2015, AUL and AUL Action realized 15 significant victories for Life, providing the language for or helped to enact 10 new pro-life laws, providing the language for 3 pro-life resolutions, and helping defeat 2 anti-life measures. Notably, AUL significantly increased our involvement in successful abortion-related measures and resolutions in 2015, as compared to 2013 activity levels (the last year that all 50 state legislatures met in regular session). In 2013, AUL and AUL Action were involved in 13 of the 75 life-affirming, abortion-related measures enacted and/or resolutions adopted (or 17 percent). By contrast, in 2015, AUL was directly involved in 13 of the 44 life-affirming, abortion-related measures enacted and/or resolutions adopted (or 30 percent).
Recognizing that chemical abortions currently account for one-quarter of all abortions performed, states focused significant attention in 2015 on the regulation of dangerous abortion-inducing drugs. Of particular note, Arizona and Arkansas enacted innovative laws, based on AUL model legislation, requiring that women be informed that chemical abortions may be reversed.
Moreover, bans on abortions at five months, abortion facility regulations, and admitting privileges requirements continued to advance at the state-level. In response, abortion advocates continue to actively oppose such protective measures and, in 2015, spearheaded the consideration of at least 27 measures to roll-back recent pro-life gains at the state level. Notably, none of these measures were enacted.
Finally, in a disturbing trend, at least 25 states and the District of Columbia considered measures to legalize physician-assisted suicide, a more than three-fold increase in such measures. Much of the momentum supporting these measures derived from the publicity surrounding the assisted-suicide death of Brittany Maynard in November 2014.