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NRLC’s “The State of Abortion in the United States—11th edition”: Part Two

by | Feb 20, 2024

By Dave Andrusko

On Monday, National Right to Life unveiled its 11th annual “The State of Abortion in the United States”. We piggybacked on National Right to Life’s great summary with a few thoughts of our own. We are continuing that examination today and will conclude tomorrow. 

Before I go any further let me simply state that its 76-pages are a must read for all pro-lifers as NRLC’s roster of experts looks back at 2023 (and before) and ahead to 2024 (and beyond).

Yesterday, we discussed NRL President Carol Tobias’s inspiring introduction and the exhaustive examination of “Fifty Years of Abortion in America: Abortion Statistics Before and After Dobbs.” 

Today we’ll tackle “Federal Policy & Abortion”; “The Hyde Amendment–Recent Attacks and Background”; and “State Laws & Abortion.”

It’s a good reminder that it was largely the 1973 Roe decision that “federalized” abortion, not acts of Congress.

Certainly, in the five decades since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in 1973, there have been many proposals in Congress to overtly challenge or overturn the Roe doctrine by statute or constitutional amendment, or conversely, to ratify and reinforce the Roe doctrine by federal statute, but neither approach has ever been enacted into law. 

However, 

that does not mean that the Congress has not played an important role in shaping abortion-related public policies. Certainly, Congress has enacted laws that have impacted the number of abortions performed. For example, the Hyde Amendment…

This 8-page section covers the waterfront: Federal Law and Abortion; Judicial Federalization of Abortion Policy; Congressional Action on Federal Subsidies for Abortion; Federal Subsidies for Abortion Providers; International Abortion Funding; Congressional Action on Direct Protection for Unborn Children; Federal Conscience Protection Laws; Attempts in Congress to Protect “Abortion Rights” in Federal Law; and the so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act.”

The section on the Hyde Amendment details how this limitation on federal funding of abortion has likely saved well over two million unborn babies. It will refresh your memory how, against all odds, pro-life champion Henry Hyde worked his magic. The Hyde Amendment was ultimately passed in Congress and okayed by the Supreme Court which ruled that the law did not contradict Roe

The pro-abortion Biden administration has attacked the Hyde Amendment— which has enjoyed bipartisan support for 40 years and has been supported by Congresses controlled by both parties as well as presidents from both parties—with unparalleled ferocity.

The section entitled “State Laws & Abortion” shows us the relentlessness that pro-lifers have displayed which has had “an impact not only on the abortion numbers, but also on educating and reaching the heart and minds of the American public.”

In 2023—the first full year post-Dobbs—there were pro-life victories and disappointing anti-life setbacks in state legislatures across the country. Pro-life legislators and activists pursued many protections for unborn children and their mothers, but our challenges were great, including the passage of radical pro-abortion amendments to state constitutions. As NRLC President Carol Tobias said, 2023 was like “drinking from a firehose.” This coming year may bring more of the same. National Right to Life and our network of state affiliates worked closely with lawmakers to enact upwards of 60 bills that protect mothers and children in over a dozen states. The positive working relationships our affiliates have with lawmakers always yield compassionate and purposeful protections and assistance for mothers, unborn children, and families in need.

Pro-abortionists have their strongholds in states like Illinois, New York, and California, to name just three. They have passed dreadful bills, in addition to amendments to their state Constitutions which have enshrined an unlimited right to abortion throughout pregnancy. But…

Pro-lifers know that we will continue to face trials in our fight for mothers and their unborn children—we have faced obstacles for over 50 years of fighting for life. But we know that these trials yield perseverance, and perseverance yields results.

 You can read the entire report for yourself here. Tomorrow, we’ll bring you Part Three. See you then.

Categories: NRLC