State

Briefs

   Bioethics in Law & Culture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Winter  2022      vol.  5  issue  1

 

 

A summary of state legislation - October 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021

Joe Kral, M.A.

 

Alaska:

Physician Only Requirement (Abortion):

November 2, 2021 – An Alaskan Superior Court Judge temporarily enjoined Alaska’s law that requires only licensed physicians to perform abortions including medical abortions.

 

 

Arizona:

Eugenic Abortion Ban:

October 19, 2021 – US District Court Judge Douglas Rayes reiterated his September 28, 2021 order that the state may not enforce the Eugenic Abortion Ban. The law would prohibit abortionists from knowingly perform an abortion on an unborn child for eugenic reasons.

 

 

Arkansas:

Pro-Life City Resolution:              

October 12, 2021 – Marianna City Council passed a resolution declaring itself a Pro-Life City. The resolution is not enforceable as a law, but rather a statement of philosophy that it endorses pro-life policies.

 

October 22, 2021 – Russellville City Council passed a resolution declaring itself a Pro-Life City. The resolution is not enforceable as a law, but rather a statement of philosophy that it endorses pro-life policies.

 

November 9, 2021 – LaGrange City Council passed a resolution declaring itself a Pro-Life City. The resolution is not enforceable as a law, but rather a statement of philosophy that it endorses pro-life policies.

 

December 13, 2021 – Aubrey City Council passed a resolution declaring itself a Pro-Life City. The resolution is not enforceable as a law, but rather a statement of philosophy that it endorses pro-life policies.

 

Pro-Life County Resolution:

October 11, 2021 – Perry County Arkansas passed a resolution declaring itself a Pro-Life County. The resolution is not enforceable as a law, but rather a statement of philosophy that it endorses pro-life policies.

 

October 19, 2021 – Sebastian County Arkansas passed a resolution declaring itself a Pro-Life County. The resolution is not enforceable as a law, but rather a statement of philosophy that it endorses pro-life policies.

 

October 28, 2021 – Lee County Arkansas passed a resolution declaring itself a Pro-Life County. The resolution is not enforceable as a law, but rather a statement of philosophy that it endorses pro-life policies.

 

November 1, 2021 – White County Arkansas passed a resolution declaring itself a Pro-Life County. The resolution is not enforceable as a law, but rather a statement of philosophy that it endorses pro-life policies.

 

November 9, 2021 – Prairie County Arkansas passed a resolution declaring itself a Pro-Life County. The resolution is not enforceable as a law, but rather a statement of philosophy that it endorses pro-life policies.

 

 

Connecticut:

Pro-Life Gag Rule:

October 12, 2021 – Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center of Southeastern Connecticut filed suit in federal court challenging Connecticut’s Public Act 21-17, which states, “No limited services pregnancy center, with the intent to perform a pregnancy-related service, shall make or disseminate … any statement concerning any pregnancy-related service or the provision of any pregnancy-related service that is deceptive, whether by statement or omission.” In essence, it prohibits the dissemination of pro-life materials to abortion-minded women.

 

Delaware:

Humane Fetal Disposition:

December 14, 2021 – The City of Seaford passed a Humane Fetal Disposition Ordinance, 3-2. The ordinance requires that any abortion clinic within the city must bury or cremate the remains of an aborted unborn child.

 

Florida:

Resolution Affirming Abortion:

October 27, 2021 – Tallahassee City Commissioners voted in favor of a resolution that affirmed the so-called ‘right’ to abortion. The resolution does not have the effect of law, but rather is a statement of philosophy that endorses an anti-life stance.

 

Resolution Condemning Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law:

October 20, 2021 – Coral Springs City Council passed a resolution, 3-2, condemning the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law. The resolution also urges other cities to condemn the Texas law and directs city lobbyists to lobby against pro-life legislation.

 

Illinois:

Parental Notification Act Repeal:

October 26, 2021 – The Illinois Senate passed an amendment to a House Bill (HB 370), 32-22, that would repeal the Parental Notification Act. The bill must go back to the House to be concurred upon.

 

October 27, 2021 – The Illinois House concurred with the changes made to HB 370 thereby approving the repeal of the Parental Notification Act. The bill now goes to Governor J.B. Pritzker for either his signature or veto.

 

December 17, 2021 – Governor LB Pritzker signed HB  370 into law thereby repealing the state’s Parental Notification Act.

 

Indiana:

Abortion Reporting Requirements:

October 21, 2021 – The US Seventh Court of Appeals rejected Planned Parenthood’s request for an en banc hearing that the reporting requirement is constitutionally vague. The law will remain in effect. The law requires that the abortion clinic report complications due to an abortion.

 

Kansas:

Abortion Clinic Regulations:

December 7, 2021 – A Shawnee County Judge ruled that a law that mandates inspections of abortion clinics within the state is unconstitutional.

 

Dismemberment Abortion Ban:

October 21, 2021 – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt asked the Kansas Supreme Court to delay the appeal on the Dismemberment Abortion Ban until voters have voted on a proposed constitutional amendment that would amend the state constitution to recognize that there is no right to abortion.

 

Louisiana:

Judicial Bypass:

October 27, 2021 – District Court Judge Thomas Frederick issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting any court from issuing a “judicial bypass” for her daughter. The mother had refused to give consent to her for an abortion. The daughter, on a previous occasion, had gotten pregnant and obtained a judicial bypass and was injured during the abortion. The mother contends that the judicial bypass has become a rubber stamp process in Louisiana.

 

November 3, 2021 – The mother’s challenge to the state’s judicial bypass has dropped. This means that the temporary restraining order has been nullified.

 

Missouri:

Omnibus Pro-Life Laws Court Challenge:

October 4, 2021 – The US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on Missouri’s Fetal Heartbeat Law and Eugenic Abortion Ban until the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has reviewed the case en banc.

 

Montana:

Omnibus Pro-Life Laws Court Challenge:

October 7, 2021 – Montana District Judge Michael Moses extended his order blocking enforcement of Montana’s pro-life laws that were 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.

 

October 19, 2021 – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen has filed a notice of appeal to the Montana Supreme Court on District Judge Moses’ order blocking three pro-life laws from going into effect.

 

Nebraska:

Sanctuary City for the Unborn:

November 2, 2021 – The Village of Dunning passed on first reading 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 the ordinance until Roe has been overturned. However, a private citizen may sue those who violate the law.  The bill must pass two more readings before it becomes law.

 

 

New Jersey:

Repeal of Physician Only Requirement:

December 7, 2021 – Governor Phil Murphy announced he will be adopting the rules passed by the state’s Board of Medical Examiners. The new rules specify that advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives, and certified midwives may perform aspiration abortions.

 

New York:

Abortion Insurance Coverage:

November 1, 2021 – The US Supreme Court kicked back a case in which the Diocese of Albany is challenging a New York law that requires them to cover abortion in their insurance plan. Recently, the New York Supreme Court ruled against the diocese and they appealed to the US Supreme Court. In light of a recent decision regarding religious liberty the US Supreme Court recently made, the case was sent back to the lower court.

 

North Carolina:

Sanctity of Life Resolution:

November 2, 2021 – Wilkes County North Carolina passed a Sanctity of Life Resolution. The resolution recognizes the right to life from conception through all stages of development. The resolution further states that the federal judiciary had overstepped its bounds concerning the rights of the unborn.

 

Ohio:

Born Alive Infant Protection Act:

October 27, 2021 – The Ohio Senate passed SB 157, 25-6. The bill, if enacted, would mandate, that an abortionist provide the appropriate medical care to a child born from either an attempted or botched abortion for his/her gestational age. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

December 8, 2021 – The Ohio House passed SB 157. The bill moves back to the Senate for the Senate to concur with changes made in the House.

 

December 15, 2021 – The Ohio Senate passed SB 157. The bill now moves to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

December 22, 2021 – Governor Mike DeWine signed SB 157 into law.

Sanctuary City for the Unborn:

October 25, 2021 – Mason 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. There is no private mechanism within this ordinance. Rather, the guilty party will pay either a $1,000 fine or serve no more than six months in jail. The enforcement will immediately go into effect when the law goes into effect November 24th.

 

October 25, 2021 – Celina City Council voted down a proposal for a Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance.

 

November 23, 2021 – Opponents of the ordinance submitted a petition with over 2,000 signatures which put a halt on the implementation of the ban going into effect. The ordinance will now become a ballot initiative for the city in either May 2022 or November 2022.

 

December 13, 2021 – Mason City Council repealed its Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance.

 

Oklahoma:

Omnibus Pro-Life Laws Court Challenge:

October 4, 2021 – Oklahoma District Judge Cindy Truong ruled that 3 laws will go into effect while 2 will not. The laws that are not allowed to go into effect are: 1) Fetal Heartbeat Law (not Texas-Model) and 2) that abortions that don’t save the “life of the mother” or that don’t prevent substantial or irreversible physical damage to the mother can result in the physician losing his license for one year. The laws allowed to go into effect are: 1) Only Ob/Gyn state board certified physicians may perform abortions, 2 and 3) increased regulations regarding abortion pills.

 

October 13, 2021 – The abortion industry filed an appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court asking that the 3 remaining laws be blocked from enforcement.

 

October 25, 2021 – The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled to temporarily block the 3 pro-life laws from going into effect.

 

Oregon:

Abortion Bereavement Leave:

October 25, 2021 – Portland, Oregon announced a new city policy that will allow women to take bereavement leave for having an abortion regardless if that abortion was medically necessary or not.

Assisted Suicide:

October 28, 2021 – A doctor filed suit in a federal district court arguing that the state’s residency requirement for assisted suicide is unconstitutional.

 

South Dakota:

Informed Consent:

December 3, 2021 – South Dakota filed notice of appeal of a federal judge’s decision that ruled an informed consent law unconstitutional. The law mandated that a pregnant woman considering an abortion be consulted by a pro-life pregnancy center in order to obtain information about alternatives available to them.

 

Texas:

Fetal Heartbeat Law:

October 4, 2021 – The Texas Supreme Court refused a petition from Planned Parenthood to block enforcement of the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law.

 

October 5, 2021 – Abortionist Alan Baird, who is being sued by 3 people for violating the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law, has filed suit in an Illinois Federal District Court asking the court to merge the cases and to also declare the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law unconstitutional.

 

October 6, 2021 – US District Court Judge Robert Pitman (Austin, Texas) has issued a ruling temporarily blocking enforcement of the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an emergency appeal immediately after the ruling asking for the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals asking for a stay of Pitman’s ruling.

 

October 8, 2021 – The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling reversing Judge Pitman’s decision. The Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law will now go back into effect.

 

October 14, 2021 – The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Biden Administration’s motion for an en banc ruling to temporarily block enforcement of the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law. The law remains in effect.

 

October 22, 2021 – The US Supreme Court ruled it will fast track and review several lawsuits pending against the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law. It also ruled that the law would remain in effect. Oral arguments are set for November 1, 2021.

 

December 9, 2021 – State District Judge David Peeples ruled the law unconstitutional under both the state and US constitutions. Yet allowed the law to remain in effect. The ruling only blocks, Texas Right to Life, John Seago (Legislative Director for Texas Right to Life), and some others from enforcing the law as private citizens. Mr. Seago and Texas Right to Life plan to appeal.

 

December 10, 2021 – The United States Supreme Court ruled in an 8-1 decision to dismiss the Biden lawsuit against the Texas Fetal Heartbeat Law. The lawsuit from the abortion industry was allowed to continue but was severely restricted. The abortion industry cannot sue state judges or clerks.

 

December 16, 2021 – The United States Supreme Court sent the abortion industry’s lawsuit back the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

Sanctuary City for the Unborn:

October 5, 2021 – The City Council of Nazareth, Texas 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. 

 

October 12, 2021 – The City Council of Cisco, Texas 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.

 

November 8, 2021 – The City Council of Anson, Texas 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. 

December 13, 2021 – Slaton 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:

Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act:

October 20, 2021 – The Wisconsin Senate passed SB 591. The bill mandates that information be provided to the mother that would let her know that the process of the medical abortion can be stopped, if done by a certain time, thereby saving the life of her unborn child. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

October 26, 2021 – The Wisconsin House passed SB 591. The bill now moves to Governor Tony Evers desk for either his signature or veto.

 

December 3, 2021 – Governor Tony Evers vetoed SB 591

 

Defunding Abortion:

October 20, 2021 – The Wisconsin Senate passed SB. The bill would prohibit the abortion industry from being certified as Medicaid providers. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

October 26, 2021 – The Wisconsin House passed a bill that would prohibit the abortion industry from being certified as a Medicaid provider. The bill now moves to Governor Tony Evers desk for either his signature or veto.

 

December 3, 2021 – Governor Tony Evers vetoed this bill.

 

Eugenic Abortion Ban:

October 20, 2021 – The Wisconsin Senate passed SB 593. The bill would prohibit an abortionist from knowingly performing an abortion on an unborn child based upon, gender, race, or genetic abnormality. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

October 26, 2021 – The Wisconsin House passed SB 593. The bill now moves to Governor Tony Evers desk for either his signature or veto.

 

December 3, 2021 – Governor Tony Evers vetoed SB 593.

 

Prenatal Information Diagnosis Information Act:

October 20, 2021 – The Wisconsin Senate passed SB 592. The bill mandates that information be provided to parents, whose unborn children have tested positive for congenital disorders, to be given education and support resource materials. The bill moves to the House for consideration.

 

October 26, 2021 – The Wisconsin House passed SB 592. The bill now moves to Governor Tony Evers desk for either his signature or veto.

 

December 3, 2021 – Governor Tony Evers vetoed SB 592.