Bioethics in Law & Culture Fall 2020 vol. 3 issue 4
A summary of state legislation July 1, 2020 – Septemeber 30, 2020
Joe Kral, M.A.
Due Date Too Late (Late-Term Abortion Ban -22 weeks)
June 8, 2020 – The Colorado Secretary of State announced that Ballot Initiative 120, a mandate that would ban abortions after 22 weeks gestation, had enough signatures to be placed on the November 2020 ballot.
Dismemberment Abortion Ban:
August 7, 2020 – The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a lower court ruling blocking the Dismemberment Abortion ban from going into effect. The law is expected to go into effect on August 28, 2020.
Gender Selection Abortion Ban:
August 7, 2020 – The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a lower court ruling blocking a ban on gender selection abortions from going into effect. The law is expected to go into effect on August 28, 2020.
Fetal Heartbeat Law:
July 13, 2020 – US District Court Judge Steve Jones ruled that Georgia’s law that prohibited abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected unconstitutional.
Abortion Clinic Regulations:
July 9, 2020 – US District Court Judge Richard Young partially struck down a clinic regulation law. The portion which was struck down was the mandate that abortion clinics report abortion complications which arise from the procedure. The portion that mandated annual clinic inspection was upheld.
September 10, 2020 – Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill will be appealing the decision that struck down the mandate that abortion clinics report abortion complications which arise from the procedure.
July 2, 2020 – The United States Supreme Court reversed an order by the US Seventh Court of Appeals denying en banc review of the Indiana law that requires an ultrasound be performed prior to an abortion. As a result, the law will have an en banc hearing.
August 21, 2020 – Planned Parenthood dropped the lawsuit conceding that it will not be able to win the case. The law is scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2021.
August 3, 2020 – The Hope Medical Group (formerly known as June Medical Services) dropped its suit against the state of Louisiana and its abortion clinic licensing law. There was no reason given why the suit was dropped. As a result, the law will remain in effect.
Dismemberment Abortion Ban:
July 20, 2020 – Right to Life of Michigan officially ended its petition drive to ban dismemberment abortions due to lack of valid signatures. If successful, the ban would have been on the November 2020 ballot and a simple majority would have dictated that if the legislature passed the initiative then there would be no need for the governor’s signature.
Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act:
July 1, 2020 – Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed the Life Equality Act (HB 1295) into law. The law would prohibit the abortionist from knowingly aborting an unborn child on the basis of race, gender, or disability.
Abortion Industry Funding:
July 1, 2020 – The Missouri Supreme Court ruled that prohibiting state funds from Planned Parenthood’s sex education program was unconstitutional.
Abortion Alternative Funding:
July 6, 2020 – Governor Mike Parsons signed a measure that will give over $6 million in public funds to agencies that promote alternatives to abortion.
Dismemberment Abortion Ban:
July 21, 2020 – The Nebraska Senate voted out LB 814 from the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 30-8. The bill mandates that no dismemberment abortion will be performed on a living unborn child. The bill will still need to be voted on in the Senate to pass.
August 5, 2020 – LB 814 overcame a Senate filibuster by a vote of 34-9. The Senate will now have the opportunity to vote for passage of the bill.
August 13, 2020 – The Nebraska Senate passed LB 814, 33-8. The bill now moves to Governor Pete Ricketts desk for either his signature or veto.
August 15, 2020 – Governor Pete Ricketts signed LB 814 into law.
Abortion Insurance Coverage:
July 2, 2020 – The New York State Appellate Division of the Third Department ruled, 5-0, that the Diocese of Albany must pay for abortion coverage in its insurance program. The diocese is suing the state because the law is a violation of religious freedom.
July 16, 2020 – The Rhode Island Legislature passed S 2136, which loosened its existing surrogacy requirements. The bill would allow non-genetic parents to forego an adoption process, requires a contract between the surrogate mother, and at least one intended parent must be a US resident.
Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act:
August 31, 2020 – A lawsuit was filed in federal court asking the court to block the Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act.
September 30, 2020 – A US District Court blocked enforcement of the Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act.
July 14, 2020 – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed HB 2263 into law. The law would prohibit abortions when a detectable heartbeat can be found, usually the sixth-week gestational mark.
July 14, 2020 – US District Court Judge Chip Campbell granted a temporary restraining order against enforcing the Heartbeat Law during the duration of the trial.
July 24, 2020 – US District Court Judge Chip Campbell ruled that it is likely that plaintiffs will win their case and so the temporary injunction will remain in place.
August 31, 2020 – The State of Tennessee appealed the injunction.
18 Week Gestational Abortion Ban:
July 13, 2020 – Planned Parenthood filed a motion with US District Judge Clark Waddoups to proceed with the case challenging the constitutionality of the 18-week abortion ban. Judge Waddoups halted the case in December in lieu of the impending June v Russo decision.