State

Briefs

Bioethics in Law & Culture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Fall  2021      vol.  4  issue  4

 

 

A summary of state legislation -July 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021

Joe Kral, M.A.

 

Arizona:

Eugenic Abortion Ban (Down Syndrome):

August 17, 2021 – The ACLU filed suit against enforcement of Arizona’s Eugenic Abortion Ban, which would prohibit the abortion of an unborn child who has Down syndrome.

 

 

Arkansas:

Abortion Ban:

July 20, 2021 – US District Court Judge Kristine Baker issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of Arkansas’ Abortion Ban. The law would prohibit all abortions except to save the life of the mother. It was passed and signed into law to directly challenge Roe v. Wade.

 

August 25, 2021 – The Arkansas Attorney General has appealed the decision to block enforcement of the Arkansas Abortion Ban to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

Pro-Life County Resolution:

July 15, 2021 – Washington County, Arkansas passed a resolution, 10-4 declaring itself a “Pro-Life County.” This is merely a resolution (statement of philosophy) and not the same as a Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance.

 

August 12, 2021 – Cleburne County, Arkansas adopted a resolution declaring itself a “Pro-Life County.”

 

August 16, 2021 – Crawford County, Arkansas adopted a resolution declaring itself a “Pro-Life County.”

 

September 2, 2021 – Pope County, Arkansas adopted a resolution declaring itself a “Pro-Life County.”

 

September 9, 2021 – Jackson County, Arkansas adopted a resolution declaring itself a “Pro-Life County.”

 

September 20, 2021 – Saline County, Arkansas adopted a resolution declaring itself a “Pro-Life County.”

 

September 21, 2021 – Faulkner County Arkansas adopted a resolution declaring itself a “Pro-Life County.”

 

 

California:

Abortion Insurance Coverage:

September 22, 2021 – Governor Gavin Newsome signed legislation into law that would allow insurance companies to keep abortions secret of children who are on their parent’s medical insurance plans.

 

 

Indiana:

Abortion Clinic Regulations (Abortion Reporting):

August 2, 2021 – The US Seventh Court of Appeals upheld Indiana’s law requiring abortionists to report when they have to treat women for complications arising from abortions.

 

Omnibus Pro-Life Laws Court Challenge:

August 10, 2021 – Federal District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker enjoined the state from enforcing its telemedicine ban on abortion, it’s information on the ability of the unborn child to feel pain at 20 weeks gestation, and it’s information for mothers that they can recover to baseline mental health more quickly with childbirth than with abortion.

 

August 19, 2021 – Federal District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker denied a motion to allow the state to enforce the laws while they appeal to the US Seventh Circuit of Appeals.

 

September 8, 2021 – The US Seventh Court of Appeals ruled that Indiana’s TeleMed Abortion Ban and other pro-life laws may remain in effect during proceedings determining their constitutionality.

 

 

Kentucky:

“Buffer Zone” Ordinance:

July 20, 2021 – The City of Louisville agreed to not enforce the ordinance, which prohibits the practice of sidewalk counseling within 10 feet of an abortion clinic until a court rules on the constitutionality of the law.

 

 

Louisiana:

Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act:

July 2, 2021 – Governor John Bel Edwards signed HB 578. The law mandates information be provided to the mother that would let her know the process of the chemical abortion can be stopped, if done by a certain time, thereby saving the life of her unborn child.

 

Parental Consent:

August 5, 2021 – Louisiana District Court Judge Timothy Kelley dismissed a lawsuit brought by Lift Louisiana challenging the state’s modified judicial bypass provision to the parental consent law. The new law limits the minor to file a judicial bypass within her parish of residence and closes the old laws loophole that would allow pro-abortion advocates to “judge shop” around the state. Judge Kelley ruled Lift Louisiana did not have standing.

 

 

Michigan:

Alternatives to Abortion Funding:

September 29, 2021 – Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed SB 82 and HB 4400. These bills would have provided public funds for pro-life pregnancy centers, provided funds to produce pamphlets that promoted adoption over abortion, and help create a navigator program where non-profits can help women find alternatives to abortion.

 

Sanctuary City for the Unborn:

August 2, 2021 – Hillsdale City Council sent the proposed Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance to its Operations and Review Committee. This ordinance would make it illegal for anyone to perform, procure, aid, or abet in an abortion within the city. The city has two mechanisms of enforcement. The city cannot enforce until Roe has been overturned. However, a private citizen may sue those who violate the law. 

 

 

Missouri:

Eugenic Abortion Ban (Down Syndrome):

July 14, 2021 – The US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to rehear the case involving the constitutionality of Missouri’s Eugenic Abortion Ban (Down syndrome) en banc. The law would prohibit the abortion of an unborn child diagnosed with Down syndrome.

 

 

Montana:

Omnibus Pro-Life Laws Court Challenge:

August 16, 2021 – Planned Parenthood filed suit against several of Montana’s pro-life laws that are scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2021. Those laws are: a late-term abortion ban (20 weeks), an ultrasound law, a ban on telemedicine abortions, and prohibit insurance plans that cover abortions from being offered on the federal exchange.

 

September 30, 2021 – District Court Judge Michael Moses’ blocked enforcement of the challenged laws.

 

 

Ohio:

Sanctuary City for the Unborn:

August 23, 2021 – Celine City Council passed a motion to for a Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance legislation to be drafted and introduced for a future council meeting, 5-2.

 

 

Oklahoma:

Omnibus Pro-Life Laws Court Challenge:

September 2, 2021 – Planned Parenthood filed suit to block five pro-life laws from going into effect. The laws are: 1) Fetal Heartbeat Law (not Texas-Model), 2) Only Ob/Gyn state board certified physicians may perform abortions, 3) that abortions that don’t save the “life of the mother” or don’t prevent substantial or irreversible physical damage to the mother can result in the physician losing his license for one year, & 4 and 5) increased regulations regarding abortion pills.

 

 

 

South Dakota:

Informed Consent:

August 20, 2021 – Governor Kristi Noem is appealing a Federal District Court decision enjoining a South Dakota law that mandated that a pregnant woman who was considering an abortion be consulted by a pro-life pregnancy center in order to obtain information about alternatives available to them.

 

TeleMed Abortion Ban:

September 7, 2021 – Governor Kristi Noem signed executive order 2021-12 which prohibits telehealth abortions. This EO mandates that abortion pills may only be prescribed in-person by a licensed physician. It also prohibits mail-in prescriptions of the abortion pill.

 

 

Tennessee:

Waiting Period:

August 5, 2021 – The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in an en banc decision ruled that Tennessee’s 48 hour waiting period was constitutional.

 

 

Texas:

Abortion Pill Regulation:

July 15, 2021 – The Texas Senate Health and Human Service Committee passed SB 4, 5-0. The bill requires that abortionists provide the abortion pill in-person and prohibit mail delivery services. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

July 16, 2021 – The Texas Senate passed SB 4, 19-3. The bill now moves to the Texas House for consideration. However, given the fact that the Texas House Democrats have fled to Washington, DC to avoid a quorum for the Special Session, it is unlikely that the bill will be heard prior to the end of this particular special session.

 

August 8, 2021 – The Texas Senate Health and Human Service Committee passed SB 4. The bill requires abortionists provide the abortion pill in-person and prohibit mail delivery services. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration. This is the second special session this bill will be considered.

 

August 11, 2021 – The Texas Senate passed SB 4. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration. At present, the House has still not reached a quorum to even have committee hearings for this second special session.

 

August 23, 2021 – The Texas House Public Health Committee passed SB 4, 6-2. The bill must go to the Calendars Committee to be placed for floor debate.

 

August 31, 2021 – The Texas House passed SB 4, 81-42. The bill now proceeds to Governor Greg Abbott for either his signature or veto.

 

September 6, 2021 – The Satanic Temple filed suit against SB 4 prior to it going into effect. Their claim is that it violates their religious practices by violating their abortion ritual.

 

September 20, 2021 – Governor Greg Abbott has signed SB 4 into law.

 

Abortion Trigger Ban:

July 21, 2021 – Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1280 into law. The bill has the capacity to ban abortion, or rather trigger a ban immediately when the US Supreme Court allows for specific bans to take place.

 

Dismemberment Abortion Ban:

August 19, 2021 – The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Texas’ Dismemberment Abortion Ban. The law prohibits the dismemberment of a living unborn child.

 

Fetal Heartbeat Law:

July 13, 2021 – The ACLU filed suit in federal US District Court to block enforcement of the Fetal Heartbeat Law. Like the Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinances, the law forbids the abortion on the child when a fetal heartbeat is detectable but has a private mechanism for enforcement.

 

August 23, 2021 – An attorney, Michelle Tuegel, filed suit in federal US District Court to block enforcement of the Fetal Heartbeat Law. Her suit is based on the assertion that she cannot advise clients about abortion due to the wording of the law.

 

August 29, 2021 – The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals canceled emergency hearings on blocking enforcement of the Fetal Heartbeat Law.

 

August 30, 2021 – The abortion industry appealed to the US Supreme Court to issue an emergency stay of the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law.

 

August 31, 2021 – US District Court Judge ruled that Michelle Tuegel cannot be sued. The law is still scheduled to go into effect.

 

September 1, 2021 – The US Supreme Court did not issue an emergency stay and the Fetal Heartbeat Law was allowed to go into effect. This is the first heartbeat law that has been allowed to go into effect.

 

September 6, 2021 – The Satanic Temple filed suit against the Fetal Heartbeat Law. Their claim is that it violates their religious practices by violating their abortion ritual.

 

September 9, 2021 – The Biden Administration filed suit against the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law. Their claim is that it violates the FACE Act.

 

September 10, 2021 – The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals again rejected an attempt to stop enforcement of the Fetal Heartbeat Law in a 3-0 decision.

 

September 16, 2021 – US District Judge Robert Pitman ruled against the Biden Administration’s motion to temporarily block enforcement of the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law.

 

September 20, 2021 – Arkansas Attorney Oscar Stilley filed suit against abortionist, Alan Braid, for violating the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law. It appears this is the case that will judge the constitutionality of the law.

 

September 30, 2021 – The Austin City Council passed a resolution condemning the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law and to investigate and look for ways to challenge the law.

 

Sanctuary City for the Unborn:

July 9, 2021 – Centerville, Texas City Council voted to become a Sanctuary City for the Unborn. This ordinance makes it illegal for anyone to perform, procure, aid, or abet in an abortion within the city. The city has two mechanisms of enforcement. The city cannot enforce until Roe has been overturned. However, a private citizen may sue those who violate the law.  

 

August 4, 2021 – Eastland Texas City Commission passed a Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance. This ordinance makes it illegal for anyone to perform, procure, aid, or abet in an abortion within the city. The city has two mechanisms of enforcement. The city cannot enforce until Roe has been overturned. However, a private citizen may sue those who violate the law.

 

August 9, 2021 – Leona, Texas City Council passed a Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance. This ordinance makes it illegal for anyone to perform, procure, aid, or abet in an abortion within the city. The city has two mechanisms of enforcement. The city cannot enforce until Roe has been overturned. However, a private citizen may sue those who violate the law.

 

August 10, 2021 – Crawford, Texas City Council passed a Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance. This ordinance makes it illegal for anyone to perform, procure, aid, or abet in an abortion within the city. The city has two mechanisms of enforcement. The city cannot enforce until Roe has been overturned. However, a private citizen may sue those who violate the law.

 

August 17, 2021 – Brownsboro, Texas City Council passed a Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance. This ordinance makes it illegal for anyone to perform, procure, aid, or abet in an abortion within the city. The city has two mechanisms of enforcement. The city cannot enforce until Roe has been overturned. However, a private citizen may sue those who violate the law.

 

September 12, 2021 – Impact, Texas City Council passed a Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance. This ordinance makes it illegal for anyone to perform, procure, aid, or abet in an abortion within the city. The city has two mechanisms of enforcement. The city cannot enforce until Roe has been overturned. However, a private citizen may sue those who violate the law.

 

 

Wisconsin:

Born Alive Infant Protection Act:

September 28, 2021 – The Wisconsin Senate passed SB 16, 19-12. The bill, if enacted, would mandate, that an abortionist provide the appropriate medical care to the child born from either an attempted or botched abortion for his/her gestational age. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.