As the country opens back up, state legislatures are beginning to get back into action. While not much has been happening on the abortion law front in Illinois, other states have seen some notable legislative pieces cropping up. There are currently several influential pro-life laws working through various legal systems:
Georgia abortion ban returns to court on June 22
Last year, Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation. It banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around the sixth week of pregnancy. Though originally set to take effect on January 1st of this year, a district judge blocked the law last fall from being implemented while it played out in the courts. A federal judge is set to hear the case on Monday, but said not to expect a ruling until the Supreme Court rules on the Louisiana abortion case, June Medical Services vs. Russo, which it heard in March. This case revolved around a 2014 state law that required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and whether or not this requirement posed an undue burden on women seeking an abortion. “I think it would be not wise for me to issue a ruling,” said Judge Steve C. Jones. “I think that case would have some bearing on my decision.”
Iowa adds waiting period amendment to state abortion laws
The Iowa state legislature added a series of amendments to state abortion laws that would require a 24-hour waiting period, an ultrasound, and adoption information for women considering an abortion. This would prevent a woman from receiving an abortion during their initial visit, which may be when she first finds out she is pregnant. The House passed the amendments late Saturday, June 13, and worked through the night to pass them around 5:30 on Sunday morning. The bill now heads to Governor Kim Reynolds’ desk. “Iowans want to see unborn lives protected,” said Rep. Sandy Salmon, R-Janesville. “This bill is a big step in that direction.”
Mississippi introduces bill making illegal abortions on basis of race, sex, or disability
The Mississippi Senate debated legislation on June 17 that would prevent abortions from being performed for reasons based on the sex, race, or genetic abnormalities of child, with an exception for medical emergencies. The bill was passed by the House 33-11. While the bill is unclear on what specifically is meant by genetic abnormalities, Senator Joey Fillingane mentioned Down’s Syndrome as one of the protected cases. Violations of the bill would impose penalties on the doctor who performs the abortion rather than the mother seeking the abortion. “We are simply saying all these rights that have been won over the years in the area of racism or sexism should be applied to the unborn in Mississippi,” said Fillingane.
Michigan pro-lifers fail to collect enough signatures to ban abortion procedure
The Michigan Values Life committee, in cooperation with Right to Life Michigan, failed to collect enough valid signatures to introduce a veto-proof bill to ban a second trimester abortion procedure called “dilation and evacuation” (D&E). Even though the advocates submitted 380,000 signatures (more than the 340,000 required), the Michigan elections bureau estimated that only 333,000 signatures were valid. The bureau recommended that the Board of State Canvassers, which has final say over the issue, deny certification to the petition. Right to Life Michigan will make the case to the Board that the initial report on the validity of the signatures is wrong. The petition tactic is used to introduce bills to the state legislature that cannot be vetoed by the governor, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vowed to veto identical legislation introduced through the legislature.