NC Improved Pro-Life Ranking
Special Report - January 24, 2012
North Carolina is ranked as the 25th most pro-life state in the nation, moving up four spots from a 2011 ranking as the 29th most pro-life state, according to a new report from Americans United for Life (AUL). The report is part of AUL’s seventh annual “Life List,” a yearly publication that ranks states “based on the way each deals with a comprehensive list of life issues from abortion to euthanasia.” For the second time in three years, Louisiana earned the highest ranking, followed by Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Arkansas. The states earning the lowest rankings were Montana, Vermont, Hawaii, California, and Washington.
In addition to moving up four spots to the 25th most pro-life state, North Carolina was also named one of the five “most improved” states, along with Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, and Utah. North Carolina’s recognition comes at the end of one of the most pro-life sessions of the General Assembly in the State’s history, as legislators took action this past year on a number of pro-life issues.
During the 2011 “long session,” North Carolina lawmakers passed “Ethen’s Law,” which provides that criminals who injure or kill an unborn child as part of committing a crime against a pregnant woman should be charged and punished for separate offenses for injuring or killing each victim. Additionally, legislators passed informed consent legislation to help ensure that complete and accurate information is provided to women considering abortion, with a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed. The General Assembly also approved “Choose Life” license plates, with part of the proceeds to be distributed to non-profit, pro-life organizations located around the state that provide compassionate alternatives to abortion and help for women facing unplanned pregnancies, including counseling and other free-of-charge services. The Legislature also passed a budget provision that states: “No State funds may be used for the performance of abortions or to support the administration of any governmental health plan or government-offered insurance policy offering abortion, except that this prohibition shall not apply where (i) the life of the mother would be endangered if the unborn child were carried to term or (ii) the pregnancy is the result of a rape or incest.” Another budget provision prohibits the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services from providing “State funds or other funds administered by the Department for contracts or grants to Planned Parenthood, Inc. and affiliated organizations.”
“Ethen’s Law” went into effect on December 1, 2011, and the abortion funding prohibitions went into effect January 1, 2012. The other three landmark pro-life laws, specifically the informed consent for abortion law, the “Choose Life” license plates, and the budget provisions defunding Planned Parenthood, are all currently facing legal challenges. The informed consent law went into effect October 26 with the exception of the portion of the law that would require an ultrasound and the presentation of certain information relating to the ultrasound to a woman before she could procure an abortion.
“The remarkable gains for Life at the state level reveal that many state legislators are creating a blueprint for legislative changes when Roe v. Wade is ultimately overturned,” said AUL CEO and President Dr. Charmaine Yoest in a press release. “2011 was a watershed year in the defense of life.”
2011 Legislative Review - June 22, 2011
Mixed Reviews on Pro-Life Status - January 25, 2011
N.C. Scores Low in Pro-Life Rankings - January 23, 2008
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