Ahead Of 2024 Election, Abortion Battles Heat Up Across Nation

March 29, 2024   |   Tags:
Ahead Of 2024 Election, Abortion Battles Heat Up Across Nation

Authored by Beth Brelje via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Getty Images, Shutterstock)

Parents could be charged with child abuse if they prevent their minor daughter from getting an abortion, according to an Illinois law proposed by Democrat state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray.

In South Carolina, a new bill would require taxpayers to pay all childhood expenses—up to age 18—for babies born to mothers who were unable to get an abortion.

And the New Hampshire Legislature is wrestling with a proposal to ban abortion at 15 days of gestation, effectively banning abortion in the state, where it is currently allowed up to 24 weeks.

These recently introduced measures are just a few among a flood of proposals and changes triggered by the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, which sent abortion regulation back to the states.

In November, voters in at least seven states will see abortion proposals on their ballots. Even in states where access to abortion isn’t on the ballot, voters may still cast votes for candidates who align with their beliefs on the issue.

Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, trigger laws in 13 states went into effect, completely banning or limiting abortions to very early pregnancy, with few exceptions. Last year, states without trigger laws, including Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina, enacted similar pro-life laws.

Many states also enacted or proposed “safety net” legislation to help new and expectant mothers meet the demands of motherhood.

Ohio state Sen. Sandra O'Brien, a Republican, introduced SB 159, a tax credit for donations to pregnancy centers.

In Indiana, SB 98 identifies an unborn child as a dependent for tax purposes. The bill was sponsored by Republican state Sen. Andy Zay. Another Indiana safety-net bill would increase the Medicaid reimbursement rates for prenatal and postnatal care services.

Then there’s Kentucky’s bipartisan “Momnibus” legislation, an omnibus bill offering tax credits for adoption, and tax credits and grants for pregnancy help centers. It includes provisions for mental health service, parenting classes, and online and home visits for new mothers without transportation.

The pro-abortion movement is working hard to counter these actions and is striving for legislation and ballot measures that allow for abortion up to birth in many cases.

You’re seeing a direct reaction from the other side that is panicking, based on the Dobbs decision,” Kelsey Pritchard, director of state public affairs at Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, told The Epoch Times.

“They are running as fast as they can to unlimited abortion funded by the taxpayer. And they’ve gotten so extreme on the issue.”

Pro-abortion activists mark the first anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, in front of the Supreme Court on June 23, 2023. (Nathan Howard/AP Photo, File)

Womb for Rent

Seemingly every state has some movement in its legislature regarding abortion policy.

In South Carolina, where abortion is banned at six weeks of pregnancy, state Sen. Mia McLeod, who left the Democratic Party and became an independent, has proposed the “South Carolina Pro Birth Accountability Act” which will require taxpayers to pay women who would have aborted their baby “reasonable living, legal, medical, psychological, and psychiatric expenses.”

The bill compares a woman’s womb to rental property and reasons that in the surrogacy market, “a woman’s uterus is not unlike rental property, as a commissioning couple agrees to pay a gestational surrogate certain compensation for carrying a fetus to term and giving birth to a child.” It continues to say that since South Carolina may not constitutionally use a citizen’s rental property without just compensation, “it may not constitutionally require a woman to incubate a child without appropriate compensation.”

The bill stipulates that after a baby’s heartbeat is detected, the mother would be automatically enrolled in public assistance programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and that those benefits could not be withdrawn until the child is 18.

The bill would pay a nurse to provide home visits from early pregnancy through the child’s second birthday; costs associated with health, dental, and vision insurance for the child until the age of 18; and a fully funded South Carolina 529 College Savings Plan for the benefit of the child. If the woman has a miscarriage, she may sue the state for compensation and damages.

In the case of an unmarried woman, the bill stipulates that if the biological father accrues more than $5,000 in child-support arrearage, he would be charged with a misdemeanor and, if convicted, could serve up to three years in prison.

(Left) Democratic state Sen. Mia McLeod speaks during debate on an abortion measure at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., on May 23, 2023. (Right) Demonstrators watch a live video feed of the state Senate proceedings. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

“The court may suspend any portion of the prison sentence if the man consents to a voluntary vasectomy and to payment of restitution to the woman in the amount of the child-support arrearages owed,” the bill reads.

“I just want to make sure that those of us who call ourselves pro-life, that we are doing something to help the living, and my bill does that,” Ms. McLeod said in a February video posted on social media.

It also gives my colleagues who refer to themselves as pro-life an opportunity to prove it by investing in South Carolina’s women and girls, and making sure that they have the resources and support that they need.”

Pro-life group South Carolina Citizens for Life opposes the legislation.

“Comparing a woman’s uterus to rental property and incentivizing men to have a vasectomy is really disturbing and vile language, and it’s intended to devalue members of our human family—born and waiting to be born,” Holly Gatling, the group’s executive director, told The Epoch Times.

“The intent of this bill is to obfuscate the fact that we have a vast network of pregnancy-care centers in South Carolina. ... where women are given free health care ... and diapers, formulas, job training, parenting classes, and assistance with getting back into a regular workforce and lifestyle by the time this baby is 2 years old,” she said. “So the bill is based on a false premise that we don’t do anything for mothers and babies after the child is born.”

In Pennsylvania, Democrat lawmakers say they want to “facilitate safe abortion access,” by reversing a 2011 state law requiring abortion businesses to meet all the same regulations as ambulatory surgical facilities, including submitting to unannounced inspections. It means abortion clinics, which sometimes fail health inspections, would no longer have to be inspected.

“Here in Pennsylvania, the pro-abortion extremism starts at the top with Gov. Josh Shapiro unilaterally eliminating the state contract for alternatives to abortion funding—a program that had bipartisan support and operated for 30 years under Republican and Democrat governors alike,” Michael Geer, president of Pennsylvania Family Institute, told The Epoch Times in an email.

Mr. Shapiro often expresses support for abortions in social media posts.

“Mifepristone will be available on the shelves in Pennsylvania,” he posted on March 1. “I'll continue working to protect women’s access to abortion across this Commonwealth.”

Holding a map showing the status of state abortion policies, Vice President Kamala Harris delivers remarks at an event at the White House complex in Washington on Aug. 3, 2022. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Mifepristone is a progesterone-blocking drug that causes a woman’s body to abort her baby outside a doctor’s office.

“As long as I’m Governor, abortion will be safe, legal, and accessible here in Pennsylvania,” Mr. Shapiro posted on March 4.

The Shapiro administration made available online a form solely for complaints against pregnancy resource centers.

“It’s an agenda that prioritizes the profits of the abortion industry over the well-being of women and children in Pennsylvania,” Mr. Geer said.

Other Bills

In West Virginia, the state Senate has approved a measure requiring students in eighth and 10th grades to watch “Baby Olivia,” a video on fetal development. The video already is shown in North Dakota classrooms, and it could be legislatively required in Iowa, Kentucky, and Missouri. Pro-abortion activists oppose the short film, calling it medically inaccurate.

House Bill 2749 in Kansas would require abortionists to ask women why they are terminating their pregnancies and to rank their top reasons for seeking an abortion, including financial or health concerns, or that the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.

In Oklahoma, where abortion is almost completely banned, House Bill 3013 would make trafficking abortion pills a felony, punishable by a $100,000 fine, 10 years in prison, or both.

A judge in Montana recently declared unconstitutional three laws passed by the state Legislature. The laws banned abortion after 20 weeks, required that pregnant women be given the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their baby before having an abortion, and required that abortion pills be administered in person rather than through telehealth. The laws were challenged by Planned Parenthood of Montana.

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Tyler Durden Fri, 03/29/2024 - 18:45


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