Overview of U.S. Pro-Life Bills & Provisions Advanced in the States from January to April 2022: Preparing for the Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision on Abortion Laws

Genevieve Plaster, M.A.  

By Arina O. Grossu, M.A., M.S. and Genevieve Plaster, M.A.

 

This is issue 80 in CLI’s On Point Series. To view this report as a PDF, see: Overview of U.S. Pro-Life Bills & Provisions Advanced in the States from January to April 2022: Preparing for the Impact of the Supreme Court’s Decision on Abortion Laws

 

Introduction

 

As the Supreme Court nears its decision on the constitutionality of pre-viable abortion limits via the late-term abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, many states in the 2022 legislative session continued the positive trend in recent years[1] of introducing a dramatic number of pro-life protections of unborn children and support for women and families.

 

As of April 21, 2022, 42 states have introduced a total of 417 pro-life bills (or bills containing at least one pro-life provision)[2] in 2022 or the current legislative session. This includes 273 bills introduced in 2022, and 144 bills introduced in 2020-2021 for the current legislative session. These bills contain a total of more than 600 pro-life provisions.

 

Currently, 12 states have enacted 15 pro-life bills into law in 2022 or in the current legislative session. These protections can be expected to increase, however, since as of this writing, at least 24 states and the District of Columbia are still in legislative session, with many states adjourning for the year in later spring and summer. [3]

 

2022 Pro-Life Bills Advanced (By State)

 

As of April 21, 2022, approximately 417 pro-life bills had been advanced in 2022 in 42 states.

 

Table 1. Pro-Life bills introduced in the states in 2022 or current legislative session

 *No regular session in 2022

 

Most Common Types of Pro-Life Bills and Provisions Advanced in 2022

 

As of April 21, 2022, the following are the most common pro-life provisions advanced in state legislatures in 2022. Some bills include multiple pro-life provisions.

  1. Prohibiting all or most abortions
  2. Related to informed consent and counseling
  3. Regulating abortion centers
  4. Regulating abortion reporting
  5. Prohibiting abortion funding
  6. Regulating chemical abortion
  7. Protecting born-alive abortion survivors
  8. Pregnancy resource funding
  9. Requiring ultrasound
  10. Prohibiting non-physician abortions

Most Active States in Advancing Pro-Life Bills and Provisions in 2022

 

As of April 21, 2022, the following are the top states that have advanced the most pro-life bills in 2022 or the current legislative session:

 

1. Missouri (34)

2. West Virginia (23)

3. Minnesota (21)

4. Illinois (18)

5. (tied) Arkansas (17)

New Jersey (17)

Oklahoma (17)

8. (tied) Maryland (16)

South Carolina (16)

10. (tied) Arizona (15)

Rhode Island (15)

 

Pro-Life Bills and Provisions Enacted YTD as of April 21, 2022:

 

As of April 21, 2022, 15 new pro-life laws and provisions have been enacted since the beginning of 2022 across 12 states.

 

Arizona (1):

 

On March 30, 2022, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law SB 1164, which prohibits an abortionist from committing an abortion after 15 weeks gestation, except in a medical emergency. It also requires abortionists to report any instance of a post-15 week abortion, and directs the Department of Health Services to create the reporting form for abortionists to use. The law goes into effect 91 days after the legislative session ends.

 

Arkansas (1):

 

The Arkansas legislature passed SB 102 and delivered it to the governor on March 3, 2022. The bill appropriates $1,000,000 to establish new pregnancy center grants for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023.

 

Florida (1):

 

On April 14, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law CS/HB 5, which prohibits abortion at 15 weeks gestation, a point when science shows an unborn child can feel pain, unless the abortionist certifies that the abortion is for a medical emergency. It also requires abortionists to report the number of chemical abortion regimens prescribed or dispensed, and to report whether an abortion was due to human trafficking. It also requires hospitals that provide birthing services to participate in a minimum of two quality improvement initiatives. The law will take effect on July 1, 2022.

 

Georgia (2):

 

On February 10, 2022, the Georgia Senate adopted SR 456 and SR 457, both resolutions to recognize two pro-life leaders.

 

Idaho (2):

 

On March 23, 2022, Idaho Governor Brad Little signed into law H 521, which prohibits abortion unless performed in a hospital or abortionist’s office that is “properly staffed and equipped” for abortion and has made arrangements with at least one nearby acute care hospital for emergencies. The law also specifically prohibits second trimester abortions unless performed in a hospital, and third trimester abortions unless they are performed in a hospital and for the preservation of the life of the woman. The law went into effect on April 22, 2022.

 

On March 23, 2022, Gov. Little also signed into law S 1309, which amends the Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act, passed in 2021, that prohibits most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, except in the case of medical emergency, rape, or incest. While the law does not explicitly specify the gestational week, it is possible to detect the embryo’s heartbeat by six weeks gestation.[4] Although it can be detected as early as 5 weeks gestation.[5] The 2022 amendment gives women and their families the right to sue medical professionals who knowingly or recklessly attempt or perform an abortion in violation of the law.

 

Indiana (1):

 

On March 11, 2022, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law HB 1217, which requires that a pregnant woman seeking abortion be informed that coerced abortion is illegal, and requires that medical personnel offer a woman information on services, telephone use, and an alternate exit from the facility if they believe she is being coerced. The law also mandates reporting of a coerced abortion to law enforcement and requires law enforcement to respond immediately.

 

Kentucky (1):

 

On March 30, 2022, the Kentucky legislature passed HB 3, an omnibus bill with multiple provisions including a limit on abortion at 15 weeks gestation when the unborn child can feel pain, regulation of chemical abortion and drugs used to induce abortion, humane disposition of fetal remains from abortion, parental consent for minors seeking abortion, updating abortion reporting requirements to include more information such as noting whether coercion or trafficking were among reasons for the abortion, and requiring the reporting of complications or adverse events.  On April 8, Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed the bill; however, the Kentucky legislature overrode his veto on April 13 by votes of 76-21 in the House and 31-6 in the Senate.

 

Mississippi (1):

 

On April 21, 2022, Gov. Tate Reeves signed into law HB 1685, the Pregnancy Resource Act, which authorizes a $3.5 million business tax credit for donations to pregnancy centers, so that the pregnancy centers can support women and families at an even greater capacity than in previous years.[6]

 

Oklahoma (1):

 

On April 12, 2022, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law SB 612, which prohibits abortions from taking place except in a medical emergency. Medical emergency is defined in the bill as “a condition which cannot be remedied by delivery of the child in which an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness or physical injury including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.” For violating this law a person is subject to a fine up to $100,000 or a prison sentence up to 10 years – however the law explicitly states it cannot be used to criminalize the mother of the child. The law will go into effect in the summer of 2022.

 

South Dakota (2):

 

On March 23, 2022, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed into law HB 1318, which prohibits chemical abortion by telemedicine, limits chemical abortion to 9 weeks post-fertilization (11 weeks gestation), and increases the penalty for the unlicensed practice of medicine when committing a chemical abortion. It also directs the Department of Health to create a reporting form for abortionists that collects the method of the abortion, approximate gestational age as well as post-fertilization age, reason for the abortion, method of payment including a public health plan, a description of any complications, the medical follow-up required from any complications, method used to dispose of the fetal tissue and remains, and more.

 

On the same day, Gov. Noem signed HB 1113, a law that prohibits threats against a pregnant mother with the intent to coerce an abortion.

 

West Virginia (1):

 

On March 12, 2022, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed into law SB 468, the Unborn Child with a Disability Protection and Education Act, which prohibits an abortionist from attempting or committing an abortion that is sought because of the presence or presumed presence of a disability. It also requires the Bureau of Public Health to make available on its website “up-to-date, evidence-based information about any in-utero disability or diagnosis that has been peer reviewed by medical experts and any national disability rights organizations.” The law specifies that treatment options, life expectancy, and hotline information be included in this information, among other things.

 

Wyoming (1):

 

On March 15, 2022, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed into law HB 92, which prohibits most abortions in the state if the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade. Exceptions include abortion for preserving the life of the mother, preventing major bodily harm, and pregnancy due to rape or incest. It also prohibits taxpayer funding of most abortions. The law directs the attorney general to review final decisions of the Supreme Court and determine within 30 days whether the enforcement of this law would be fully authorized under that decision.

 

Conclusion

 

In addition to the incredible number of pro-life bills advanced in 2022, several states have also approved appropriations that either renewed or increased funding for their Alternatives to Abortion programs supporting women and families.[7] At an even more local level, 48 cities have also proactively passed ordinances establishing themselves as “sanctuary cities for the unborn” with the most recent city ordinance passed on April 20, 2022 in Texas.[8] Overall, the fact that almost all states have introduced a total of more than 400 bills in 2022 or in the current session emphasizes the urgency and excitement to prepare for a time when pro-life values of Americans across the country will be realized in the protection of unborn babies and support of their families.

 

Arina O. Grossu, M.A., M.S. is a guest contributor of the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Ms. Grossu is Founder and Principal of Areté Global Consulting and a Fellow with the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.  Genevieve Plaster, M.A. is Deputy Director of Policy and Administration with the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

 


[1] See Arina Grossu, “Overview of U.S. Pro-Life Bills and Provisions Advanced and Laws Enacted from January to May 2021: Pro-Life Banner Year as States Continue to Reject the Radical Abortion Agenda,” June 8, 2021, https://lozierinstitute.org/overview-of-u-s-pro-life-bills-and-provisions-advanced-and-laws-enacted-from-january-to-may-2021-pro-life-banner-year-as-states-continue-to-reject-the-radical-abortion-agenda/.

[2] Many of these bills contain multiple pro-life provisions. For the purposes of this research, each bill with at least one pro-life provision is tallied only once even if the bill contains multiple provisions. For the enacted laws, specific provisions are discussed individually in this paper. In addition, many bills cover a diversity of issues, where pro-life protections are one among many. For this paper, these bills are included in the term “pro-life bills” for ease of reference.

[3] https://www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/Documents/NCSL/2022_session_calendar.pdf

[4] “The Science Behind Embryonic Heartbeats – A Fact Sheet,” Charlotte Lozier Institute, Nov. 3, 2021, https://lozierinstitute.org/the-science-behind-embryonic-heartbeats-a-fact-sheet/.

[5] “The Texas Heartbeat Act: Where Sound Science Meets Strong Strategy,” Bioethics in Law and Culture , Summer 2021, https://www.societyofstsebastian.org/summer2021-tx-heartbeat-grossu-saenz

[6] In 2019, Mississippi pregnancy centers served over 12,300 women, men, youth, and families with medical and family services, and material support at an estimated value of $1.9 million, provided at no or low-cost to the client. See “Pregnancy State Impact Report: Mississippi (2019),” Charlotte Lozier Institute and Care Net, https://s27589.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2019-Mississippi-State-Impact-Report-2.pdf.

[7] For an overview of these programs, see Amanda Mansfield, “Alternatives to Abortion Programs: Support for Mothers and Families,” (Feb 2022), Charlotte Lozier Institute. https://lozierinstitute.org/alternatives-to-abortion-programs-support-for-mothers-and-families/. Florida recently approved its 2022-2023 budget, which increased funding from $4 million to $4.5 million for its Florida Pregnancy Support Services Program. https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/5001/BillText/er/PDF

[8] “Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn,” https://sanctuarycitiesfortheunborn.org/sanctuary-cities-1 (accessed April 26, 2022).

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