Joe Kral, M.A.
A summary of pro-life activities on the state level for the last quarter of 2017.
November 15, 2017: Abortion Funding. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Planned Parenthood of Great Plains an appeal to the full 8th Circuit Court; meaning the original 8th Circuit judgment stands. This decision allows Arkansas to continue to refuse to fund the abortion giant through the use of state funds.
December 28, 2017: Abortion Funding. The California Senate is scheduled to debate SB 320. This bill would mandate that all California public universities and community colleges provide abortion drugs at their student health centers. It would also mandate that public university insurance programs pay the costs for student abortions.
November 13, 2017 – Personhood. Steven Wise filed a writ of habeas corpus in the Connecticut Superior Court asking the court to recognize 3 elephants as legal persons. December 28, 2017 - Superior Court Judge James Bentivegna has denied the petition to grant elephants ‘personhood’ status.
November 21, 2017: Woman’s Right to Know. The ongoing debate regarding Florida’s Woman’s Right to Know Act had another round of arguments in Leon County Circuit Court. This law has been in litigation for over 2 years. Previously, the Florida Supreme Court remanded the case back to the lower court for further constitutional consideration.
December 14, 2017: Parental Responsibilities. A woman, only identified as CC has asked the Hawaiian Supreme Court to reverse the ruling of a lower court that denied severing her legal responsibilities as a parent under the Hawaiian Uniform Parentage Act and Marriage Equality Act. The child born to her same-sex partner is not biologically related to CC, nor did CC know that her ‘wife’ consented to artificial insemination through a sperm donor.
December 28, 2017: Abortion Funding. Associate Judge Jennifer M. Ascher of Sangamon County’s Federal Seventh Circuit Court ruled in favor of the State in refusing to enjoin a new law, HB 40 that passed earlier this year that would force Illinois taxpayers to pay for abortions. The law was challenged on behalf of several Illinois citizens by the Thomas More Society. They are planning to appeal this decision.
December 26, 2017: Fetal Remains. Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled that the State law that prohibits the acquisition, receipt, sale, or transfer of aborted body parts is unconstitutional. Much of Magnus-Stinson’s decision argued that the term ‘transfer’ was vague. The decision did uphold the provision that prohibited the selling of aborted fetal remains.
December 26, 2017: Parental Consent. SB 404 passed the Indiana House by a 75-23 vote. Currently, Indiana has a parental consent law in effect with a judicial bypass provision. If the bill is signed into law it would notify parents if the minor girl seeks a judicial bypass. The argument for this bill is that parents are still responsible for the care of the child, especially if something were to go wrong after the abortion procedure.
December 15, 2017: Abortion License. The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled that a lower court was erroneous in dismissing a case in which the State alleged that Planned Parenthood had performed abortions without the proper license from the State. The three-judge panel stated that the allegations were sufficient in order for the trial to proceed. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is claiming that Planned Parenthood owes $900,000 in fees for the violations.
November 28, 2017: Abortion Funding. The Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals failed to reach a decision on efforts by the State to block funding for Planned Parenthood. The 7-7 decision allows a lower court ruling to stand which allows for the continued funding.
December 29, 2017: Pro-abortion License Plate. A petition sponsored by Planned Parenthood which has seemingly garnered enough signatures to compel the state to make “My Body, My Choice” license plates. These plates would cost $70.00 more than the average plate. This was done as a response to Nebraska passing the “Choose Life” license plate earlier this year.
November 14, 2017: Free Speech. The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey struck down New Jersey City of Englewood’s local ordinance which created buffer zones near abortion clinics prohibiting the free speech of pro-life activists.
November 15, 2017: Protection for Down Syndrome Children. The Ohio Senate passed SB 164, The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act, 20-12. This bill is designed to prohibit abortionists from knowingly aborting an unborn child that has or may have Down syndrome. The Ohio House passed a similar version earlier this year. The differences between the two bills will now be reconciled.
December 13, 2017 - The Ohio Senate passed HB 214 in a 20-12 vote. This bill is similar to SB 164 and would also prohibit an abortionist from knowingly aborting an unborn child that has or may have Down syndrome. The bill has been sent to Gov. John Kasich for either his signature or veto.
December 22, 2017 – Governor John Kasich signed HB 214 into law.
December 4, 2017. Dismemberment Abortion. The Pennsylvania State House Health Committee passed SB 3 a dismemberment abortion ban. The bill will move to the full House for a vote.
December 12, 2017 - The Pennsylvania House passed SB 3 with a bipartisan vote of 121-70.
December 18, 2017 - Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf vetoed SB 3. Even though the bill received strong bipartisan support, it does not look likely that there are enough votes in the Pennsylvania Legislature to override the veto.
December 29, 2017: Abortion Rate. Statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Health show that the abortion rate dropped by roughly 3% in 2016 as compared to 2015. Maria Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation attributed this drop to Pennsylvania’s pro-life laws, pregnancy resource centers, and scientific-technological advancements, such as 4D technology.
November 22, 2017: Dismemberment Abortion. The United States District Court for the District of the Western District of Texas struck down Texas’ Dismemberment Abortion Ban. The Texas Attorney General has filed an immediate appeal to the Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.