Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

States across the nation are enacting pro-life laws at a record pace.  Approximately 30 pro-life laws, including four in Kentucky, have been enacted this year. More appear to be on the way. According to Steven Aden, general counsel of Americans United for Life “This has been the most active legislative year in recent memory.”

The tipping point came January 22 when New York’s State Senate erupted in applause after making it a constitutional right for people to end an unborn child’s life up to the ninth month in utero. Fueling the flames were Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam public comments about a baby surviving an abortion attempt. He said it was up to the mother and doctor to decide its fate.

Such conscience-jarring rhetoric pushed middle America onto a pro-life path. Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio have passed bills protecting unborn life as soon as a heartbeat is detected. Alabama outlawed all abortions, with no exceptions. Other states may follow suit later this year.

However, some states are stripping away pro-life protections for the unborn. Nine states are considering various proposals that would strengthen abortion “rights.” New Mexico, Nevada, and Rhode Island are among those considering bills to liberalize abortion.

Nonetheless, the tide is swiftly moving in a pro-life direction.

Currently, nine out of ten counties in the U.S. are without an abortionist, and six states, including Kentucky, have only one remaining abortion facility. Missouri may become the first state without a licensed abortion facility since the state didn’t renew its license in May.

The reason for the aggressive shift? Most Americans favor abortion restrictions in the second and third trimester. According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 65% oppose second-trimester abortion and 81% oppose third-trimester.  A NPR/Marist survey (May 31-June 4) found that nearly two-thirds favor 24-hour waiting periods and abortionist admitting privileges to hospitals. A majority (52%) also favors ultrasounds. Pro-lifers anticipate that a legal challenge will eventually make it to the U.S. Supreme Court. Many are cautiously optimistic that the Court’s new composition will be in their favor.