Anti-Abortion Bills Appear in 12 State Legislatures after Recent New York Decision To Decriminalize Abortion
by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Anti-abortion legislation has been proposed in 12 states within the last few weeks, as social conservative lawmakers seek to respond to the Reproductive Health Act that decriminalized abortions in New York last month.
Lawmakers in Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, Minnesota, and Tennessee have all introduced “heartbeat bills” that ban abortions after 6 weeks or after a heartbeat is detected in a fetus, while in Alabama, North Carolina, and Texas, harsher criminal penalties have been proposed for doctors who perform abortions or else fail to provide emergency medical care to babies born in spite of botched abortion attempts.
“A six-week ban is absolutely unconstitutional,” said Elisabeth Smith, Chief Counsel for State Policy for the Center for Reproductive Rights, referring to the 1973 Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision that established abortion as a constitutional right for women under the privacy clause of the 14th amendment.
Terri Collins, the Alabama representative whose bill last week compared the “50 million babies [that] have been aborted since the Roe decision” to “German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin’s gulags, Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide” in terms death toll, expressed hope that the slew of recent “heartbeat” bills might propel a case to the federal level like Roe and redefine the constitutionality of abortion.
“Hopefully it completely takes it all the way to the Supreme Court, eventually to overturn [Roe V. Wade],” she said.
While the current set of proposed bills seem to have been stalled in Mississippi and Kentucky, Georgia governor Brian Kemp plans to sign a “heartbeat bill” by May 12th, and advocates hope Ohio governor Mike DeWine will follow through with promises he made in January to “absolutely” sign any similar bill that crosses his path.