This year has already clearly demonstrated that the battle over abortion is raging in state legislatures across the country. But 2019 is just starting, and three states are set to make February a pro-life month to remember.
Pennsylvania is set to reintroduce the Down Syndrome Protection Act in the House of Representatives. The bill will make it illegal to abort your unborn child based solely on a Down Syndrome diagnosis. Passed in the House by an overwhelming and veto-proof majority during last year’s legislative session, the bill lost traction in the Pennsylvania Senate.
In Arkansas, a bill is headed to the desk of Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) that would ban the majority of in-state abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Referred to as the Arkansas Human Life Protection Act, this “trigger bill” was passed by the Arkansas House 72-20 on Thursday. The only allowed exception would be abortion in order to save the life of the mother.
Finally, a fetal heartbeat bill has been passed by the Kentucky Senate and will now be taken up by the House of Representatives. While all argument over abortion is emotional, the debate on Senate Bill 9 has been particularly moving. One example is action taken by April Lanham, a pro-life constituent of the bill’s sponsor, Senator Matt Castlen (R).
Lanham is 18 weeks pregnant with her fourth child and attended a committee meeting as a witness. Using an electronic monitoring system, she projected her unborn child’s heartbeat for the entire room to hear. “That child in her womb is a living human being,” Castlen later commented. “And all living human beings have a right to life.”
Even after a big fight from pro-abortion groups, pro-lifers won over the Senate 31-6. As the Kentucky House has a Republican majority, the odds that they will also pass the bill are favorable.
New York and Virginia’s recent dehumanization of unborn children served to remind all of us that state legislatures hold much power in determining the future of abortion in America. The actions of those two states were devastating, but it is encouraging to see other states step up in defense of our nation’s unborn.
Photo: Pennsylvania State Capitol Building by Ad Meskens (CC-By-3.0)