Bioethics in Law & Culture Fall 2023 vol. 6 issue 4
A summary of state legislation - July 1, 2023 – September 3o, 2023
Joe Kral, M.A.
Pro-Life County Resolution:
August 31, 2023 – Columbia County passed a Pro-Life County Resolution. These resolutions are aimed to promote and protect the unborn child from abortion.
Abortionist Protection Act (Abortion Pill):
September 27, 2023 – Governor Gavin Newsome signed a bill into law that would protect those California individuals who send abortion pills to those in states where it is illegal.
Abortion Pill Reversal Prohibition:
September 25, 2023 – The Bella Health and Wellness Clinic filed suit challenging the law that prohibits pro-life pregnancy resource centers from distributing information on abortion pill reversal.
September 13, 2023 – Manatee County voted to block any funding to Planned Parenthood or any organization associated with Planned Parenthood.
TeleMed Abortion Ban:
August 1, 2023 – The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated Guam’s TeleMed Abortion Ban. The law requires in-person visits for the abortion pill.
July 31, 2023 – A US District Judge blocked a portion of Idaho’s Abortion Ban. The section in question regards doctors assisting in an abortion. The judge commented that it was infringement upon free speech.
Prohibiting Pro-Life Free Speech:
July 27, 2023 – Governor J.B. Pritzker signed SB 1909 which would stifle the free speech of pro-life pregnancy centers.
July 27, 2023 – The Thomas More Society filed a suit challenging the law.
August 3, 2023 – A US District Court Judge temporarily enjoined SB 1909.
August 1, 2023 – The ACLU asked the Indiana Supreme Court to keep the injunction in place while they file a new motion in the trial court that narrowly challenges the law’s provision regarding serious health risks to abortion. The injunction remains in place.
Fetal Heartbeat Bill:
July 11, 2023 – Both the Iowa House and Senate passed the Fetal Heartbeat Bill in a one-day special session. The bill proceeds to Gov. Kim Reynolds for either her signature or veto.
July 12, 2023 – Planned Parenthood filed suit challenging the Fetal Heartbeat Act. Governor Kim Reynolds has not yet signed the bill into law.
July 14, 2023 – Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the Fetal Heartbeat Act into law.
July 14, 2023 – County Judge Joseph Seidlin refused to issue a temporary injunction on the day of the hearing.
July 17, 2023 – County Judge Seidlin temporarily enjoined the Fetal Heartbeat Act.
July 26, 2023 – The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that Governor Reynolds may appeal the decision to temporarily enjoin the Fetal Heartbeat Act.
August 28, 2023 – County Judge Seidlin temporarily enjoined the Fetal Heartbeat Act again.
August 18, 2023 – The Louisiana First Court of Appeals permanently lifted the injunction off of the state’s Abortion Ban.
Abortion Until Birth:
July 6, 2023 – The Maine Senate passed LD 1619 which would legalize abortion for any reason until birth. The bill now proceeds to Governor Janet Mills for either her signature or veto.
July 19, 2023 – Governor Janet Mills signed LD 1619 into law.
Anti-Pregnancy Center Ordinance:
August 2, 2023 – The Easthampton City Council failed to override the mayor's veto on legislation that would stifle the free speech of pro-life pregnancy centers.
Repeal of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act:
August 1, 2023 – Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill that repeals the remaining portions of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.
Ballot Initiative (Abortion up until Birth):
September 25, 2023 – A district court judge ruled that the ballot measure cannot contain the term “unborn child” within it.
September 28, 2023 – The Missouri Secretary of State appealed the district court’s ruling.
Abortion Clinic Regulations:
September 28, 2023 – Montana District Judge Chris Abbott issued a temporary injunction against the state’s clinic regulation law. The law, which was set to take effect October 1, mandates that all abortion clinics must be licensed by the state and the state department of health is to set protocols for the maintenance of the clinic and safety protocols. The law mandates annual inspections of these clinics as well.
12-Week Abortion Ban:
July 19, 2023 – Lancaster County District Judge Lori Maret ruled against the request to enjoin the law.
August 11, 2023 – Lancaster County District Judge Lori Maret upheld the 12-week abortion ban.
August 18, 2023 – Planned Parenthood appealed Judge Lori Maret’s decision.
September 14, 2023 – The Nebraska Supreme Court rejected the motion to place a temporary injunction on the 12-Week Abortion Ban.
September 27, 2023 – Governor Jim Pillen signed an order extending Medicaid coverage to low-income women for a full-year after the birth of their children.
August 28, 2023 – The ACLU has filed suit challenging the state’s law that only allows Medicaid funds to be used to pay for abortions in the case of rape, incest, or life of the mother.
September 6, 2023 – Compassion & Choices has filed suit challenging the state’s assisted suicide resident-only requirement.
Buffer Zone Ordinance:
August 7, 2023 – Westchester County Board of Legislators voted to repeal their buffer zone law.
Constitutional Right to Abortion:
July 5, 2023 – Those backers proposing the ballot initiative to change the Ohio Constitution to include a “right to abortion” filed 700,000 signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State. If enough of the signatures are valid, the ballot initiative will be placed on the November 2023 ballot.
July 25, 2023 – The Ohio Secretary of State confirmed there are enough valid signatures for the initiative to be placed on the November ballot.
July 31, 2023 – A suit has been filed challenging the approval of the ballot initiative. The suit claims that the initiative is not clear on what laws would be rendered ineffective.
August 11, 2023 – The Ohio Supreme Court ruled to allow the ballot initiative to be placed on the November ballot.
Percentage to Amend Constitution:
August 8, 2023 – Issue 1 was defeated at the ballot box. The initiative, if passed, would have amended the state constitution to change the percentage of 50% + 1 to amend the constitution to 60%. It was expected, that if passed, it would have made the November pro-abort ballot initiative to make abortion a state constitutional right more difficult to pass.
Abortion Coverage Requirement:
September 6, 2023 – Oregon Right to Life filed suit challenging the abortion insurance coverage law.
Non-Resident Assisted Suicide:
July 20, 2023 – Governor Tina Kotek signed a law that would allow non-residents to partake in legal assisted suicide in the state.
Pro-Life Free Speech Restrictions:
August 18, 2023 – Governor Tina Kotek signed HB 2002 into law. The law would restrict the free speech of sidewalk counselors and those who would pray outside the clinic.
Repeal of Parental Notification:
July 18, 2023 – Governor Tina Kotek signed HB 2002. The bill allows any girl over the age of 15 an abortion. For those under the age of 15, an abortionist must have another medical provider (or abortionist) agree that informing the parents would not be in the girl’s best interest.
Fetal Heartbeat Act:
August 24, 2023 – The South Carolina Supreme Court upheld the state’s Fetal Heartbeat Act.
September 14, 2023 – Planned Parenthood filed another suit challenging the Fetal Heartbeat Act. This time arguing that the limit should be raised from 6 weeks to 9 weeks gestation.
August 5, 2023 – A Texas district judge ruled that a section of the state’s Abortion Ban concerning medical emergencies is vague and has allowed doctors to determine what a medical emergency is.
August 6, 2023 – The Texas Attorney General appealed the decision to the Texas Supreme Court. The law will remain in effect.
Omnibus Pro-Life Laws Challenge:
July 20, 2023 – A District Federal Court dismissed the Satanic Temples challenge to various pro-life laws. The judge stated the challenge on the basis of religious freedom was “willfully inadequate and deficient.”
Sanctuary City/County for the Unborn Ordinance:
July 15, 2023 – Mitchell County, Texas passed a Sanctuary County for the Unborn Ordinance.
August 28, 2023 – Goliad County, Texas passed a Sanctuary County for the Unborn Ordinance.
September 13, 2023 – The City of Chandler, Texas failed to pass a Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance.
September 28, 2023 – Cochran County passed a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance. The new law contains a provision that prohibits abortion trafficking on the roads within the county limits.
Abortion for Minors:
August 18, 2023 – America First Legal filed suit against the new law that allows minors to receive an abortion without their parents' knowledge.
Abortion Pill Ban:
August 25, 2023 – A local judge has upheld the state’s Abortion Pill Ban.