Anti-life and Pro-life States are Both Preparing for the End of the Roe v. Wade Abortion Era

March 11, 2019

Brace yourselves. Bad news is coming. Unfortunately, New York’s most recent law allowing abortion up to birth and declaring abortion a “fundamental right” was just the beginning. Other States are following suit. For instance, last Thursday, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted “yes” on a bill that mimics New York’s.

Certain States are heavily pushing pro-abortion laws because they know Roe v. Wade (the 1973 Supreme Court case that made abortion legal in all 50 States) has a good chance of being overturned by our current Supreme Court. As a New York Times headline proclaimed, “Roe v. Wade Is at Risk. Here’s How to Prepare.” The article warned that the “anti-abortion movement understands the high stakes of this moment.” It encouraged pro-abortion advocates to realize the high stakes as well. 

Well, unfortunately, they’ve realized. And they’re preparing. They’re trying to make sure State laws and constitutions declare abortion legal, so that abortion stays legal no matter what happens on a national level by the Supreme Court.

Keep in mind that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, that doesn’t mean abortion is automatically illegal in every State. It means the federal government will no longer be able to force States to make abortion legal—each State will again get to decide for itself whether abortion is allowed, as States did before 1973. 

Various States still have abortion bans included in their State laws. For instance, Rhode Island’s State law declares human life and “personhood” begins at the instant of conception, so the 14th amendment (which guarantees the right to life) applies to the unborn. New Mexico’s State law makes committing an abortion a criminal act (if it’s not a justified medical termination). 

But those laws against abortion are currently useless. Since Roe v. Wade came along and forced all 50 States to make abortion legal, the State laws banning abortion were no longer enforceable or were declared unconstitutional. However, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, the State laws banning abortion won’t be useless anymore. The abortion bans could potentially go back into effect immediately. 

That’s why various States are now in a mad rush this legislative season to get rid of any abortion bans that are still on the books and add abortion as a “fundamental right” to State law: 

  • In New Mexico, a bill that repeals the State abortion ban was passed by the House and now awaits a vote from the Senate.
  • In Rhode Island, a House committee just approved a pro-abortion bill, and now the House is moving to a vote on it. Like New York’s bill, this bill will allow abortion in all stages of pregnancy to preserve the “health or life” of the pregnant individual. (Here’s the scariest part: “health” can be interpreted broadly to include “age, economic, social and emotional factors.” That could potentially mean if a woman loses her job and no longer has “economic health” the day she goes into labor, it’s legal for her to have an abortion.)
  • The bill just passed by the Vermont House is even more extreme than the other bills. The Vermont bill allows abortion up to birth for any reason at all! The bill declares there can be no restrictions on the “fundamental right…to have an abortion.” The bill awaits a Vermont Senate vote, and it’s expected to pass because of the Democrat supermajority. 
  • The proposed bill in Illinois might be the worst. The bill is being fast-tracked, so the House and Senate may vote on it by the end of this month. If passed, not only will this bill remove the ban on partial-birth abortions, but it will also get rid of the “Abortion Performance Refusal Act,” which offers protections to doctors who do not want to perform an abortion. With that protection repealed, a doctor can be sued or have his or her license revoked if the doctor refuses to do an abortion due to religious or moral beliefs! 

That’s a lot of bad news. Let’s end on a positive note, because it’s not too late for pro-life advocates to be prepared for the end of Roe v. Wade. There’s 4 states (Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota) who started preparing in the early 2000s by passing pro-life “trigger laws.” Those laws make abortion illegal and are “triggered” (as in, they become effective) the moment Roe v. Wade disappears. Fortunately, other States are now enacting trigger laws, too. For example, Arkansas passed one last month. In Kentucky, a trigger law passed the House and awaits a Senate vote. Same in Missouri. Georgia has one in the works, along with Tennessee. 

What about Colorado? Well, Colorado legalized abortion even before Roe v. Wade legalized it nationwide, so it’s pretty ingrained in Colorado law. Some are predicting Colorado could become the “abortion hub” if other surrounding States outlaw abortion. We can’t lose hope, though. We can still work to replace laws of death with laws of life. 

Together, we can be prepped and ready to go if Roe v. Wade is overruled, and Colorado will then decide for itself whether to allow abortion. When that decision becomes ours again, let’s hope our State will be one that chooses life.

In Service,

Colorado Citizens Coalition

Gary Gates started the non-profit Colorado Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Colorado citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a conservative perspective.

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