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   Bioethics in Law & Culture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Winter 2024      vol.  7  issue  1

 

 

A summary of state legislation - October 1 – December 31, 2023

Joe Kral, M.A.

Arizona

Eugenic Abortion Ban:

October 30, 2023 – The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a group of abortionists can sue the state over its Eugenic Abortion Ban since they are harmed by the law.

 

 

Colorado

Abortion Pill Reversal Ban:

October 23, 2023 – A US District Court judge has enjoined the Colorado law that prohibits pro-life doctors and nurses from giving pregnant patients progesterone to reverse the effects of the abortion pill.

 

 

Georgia

Abortion Funding:

October 6, 2023 – Fulton County was able to defeat a measure that would have provided $300,000 to Access Reproductive Care Southeast, a group known for facilitating abortions.

 

Fetal Heartbeat Act:

October 23, 2023 – The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the Fetal Heartbeat Act was constitutional and could remain in effect.

 

 

Guam

Recognizing Unborn Persons:

November 16, 2023 – The Guam Supreme Court ruled Public Law 20-134 was unconstitutional. The law, which was passed in 1990, acknowledges that unborn persons have protectable interests in life and well-being.

 

 

Idaho

Abortion Ban:

October 11, 2023 – The entirety of the US Ninth Court of Appeals ruled en banc to reinstate the partial injunction against the state’s Abortion Ban. The Biden Administration contends that the law is in violation of the Emergency Medical and Treatment Act since it won’t allow women to receive an emergency abortion if their life or health is at stake. As such emergency rooms will be allowed to perform abortions within the state.

 

Abortion Trafficking Ban:

November 9, 2023 – A federal judge has temporarily enjoined Idaho’s law that prohibits the trafficking of minors across state lines for secret abortions.
 

 

Illinois

Buffer Zone:

November 26, 2023 – A committee for the City Council of Chicago has advanced a proposed “quiet zone” ordinance that would prohibit the use of bull horns and amplifiers in designated buffer zone areas. The proposal now proceeds to the full council for consideration.

 

Sanctuary City for the Unborn:

October 10, 2023 – Quincy, Illinois failed to pass, 7-5, a Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance.

 

 

Indiana

Abortion Ban:

October 25, 2023 – US District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson dismissed the Satanic Temple’s lawsuit against the state’s Abortion Ban. She ruled that the Satanic Temple had no standing.

 

November 9, 2023 – The ACLU filed a suit challenging the state’s Abortion Ban in order to broaden the law’s exception rule.

 

 

Kansas

Informed Consent (Women’s Right to Know):

October 29, 2023 – Johnson County District Court Judge K. Christopher Jayaram enjoined the law that mandates abortionists inform pregnant women considering an abortion of the risks involving the procedure and alternatives available to them.

 

 

Massachusetts

Pro-Life Pregnancy Center Regulations:

October 23, 2023 – Worcester City Council defeated a proposal that would mandate pro-life pregnancy centers give referrals to abortion clinics.

 

 

Michigan

Abortion Until Birth:

October 17, 2023 – The Michigan Senate Housing and Human Services Committee passed, 8-3, several elements of the Reproductive Health Act. This will now proceed to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

October 20, 2023 – The Michigan Senate passed those elements of the Reproductive Health Act, 20-18, that passed out of the Senate Committee earlier in the week. The provisions proceed to the House for consideration.

 

November 2, 2023 – The Michigan House passed several elements to the Reproductive Health Act. It did however, fail to pass a portion of the bill that would repeal the pro-life 24-hour waiting period law. The measure proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

Constitutional Right to Abortion:

November 8, 2023 – Right to Life of Michigan filed suit in federal district court challenging Proposal 3 that would allow abortion up until birth.

 

Public Funding of Abortion:

December 11, 2023 – Governor Whitmer signed a bill that would force taxpayers to fund abortion through the state’s insurance exchange program.

 

 

Missouri

Constitutional Right to Abortion:

October 30, 2023 – The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals ruled that Attorney General Jay Ashcroft’s language regarding a ballot initiative to make abortion a constitutional right was partisan and misleading and kept the lower court’s language. Ashcroft’s language attempted to put the ballot language in terms that were not misleading and let the voters know how extreme the pro-abortion amendment was.

 

 

Montana

Constitutional Right to Abortion:

November 29, 2023 – Planned Parenthood Advocates filed a proposed ballot initiative to enshrine abortion as a state constitutional right with the Montana Secretary of State’s office.

 

 

Nevada

Constitutional Right to Abortion:

November 21, 2023 – A Nevada district judge ruled that the proposed language that would enshrine abortion as a state constitutional right violated the one-subject rule. In addition to abortion, the language would also enshrine birth control, maternal health care, etc.

 

 

New Jersey

State Funded Abortion Website:

October 24, 2023 – Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill that mandates the state create a website that gives information on abortion access within the state.

 

 

New York

TeleMed Abortion:

October 3, 2023 – New York City announced a TeleMed Abortion Program through its public health system. Abortion pills would be mailed to a New York City address.

 

 

North Carolina

12-Week Abortion Ban:

October 1, 2023 – A US district judge partially enjoined the state’s 12-weel Abortion Ban. The provision enjoined mandates that abortions that are to save the life of the mother, rape, or incest are to be performed at hospitals.

 

 

Ohio

Constitutional Right to Abortion:

November 7, 2023 – Issue 1 passed by the voters. The new amendment protects abortion for any reason up until birth for any female of any age.

 

 

Pennsylvania

Abortionist Protection Act:

November 16, 2023 – A bill passed the Pennsylvania House that protects abortionists from violating other states’ pro-life laws by directing enforcement agencies not to cooperate with investigations for violations. The bill moves to the Senate for consideration.

 

 

Texas

Abortion Funding:

October 3, 2023 – Tarrant County pulled funding from Girls, Inc, when it became known that the national organization supports abortion access.

 

Abortion Trafficking Funding:

October 17, 2023 – Texas Right to Life and the San Antonio Family Association filed suit against the City of San Antonio’s policy that allocates $500,000 in public funds to organizations that help with abortion trafficking.

 

Sanctuary City/County for the Unborn:

October 23, 2023 – Lubbock County passed a Sanctuary County for the Unborn Ordinance. The new law contains a provision that prohibits abortion trafficking.

 

 

Wisconsin

Abortion Ban (Clarifying Language):

October 17, 2023 – The Wisconsin Senate passed SB 343, 22-10. The bill clarifies that medical procedures intended to save the life of the mother and not intended to kill the unborn child are not abortions. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

December 5, 2023 – State Judge Diane Schlipper ruled that the state’s pre-Roe Abortion Ban was not essentially an Abortion Ban.

 

Pro-Life Pregnancy Center Funding:

October 17, 2023 – The Wisconsin Senate passed SB 345, 22-10. The bill would mandate that the state department of health award an ongoing $1 million annual grant to Choose Life Wisconsin, Inc. to assist in funding pro-life pregnancy centers statewide. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

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