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Last Updated: July 20, 2019
Abortion is in the news nearly every day. In 2016 it escalated with videos that exposed corrupt practices taking place at Planned Parenthood. Then earlier this year, Virginia’s governor made controversial statements supporting late-term abortion. Now several states have passed new abortion laws with more states on the way. Below you’ll find an in-depth look at abortion legislation across the country.
The Alabama Human Life Protection Act or House Bill 314 (HB 314) was signed into law on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by Governor Kay Ivey. It is set to go into action in November 2019.
The Mississippi Legislature took a stand for life this year by presenting a Heartbeat Bill (Senate Bill 2116) in their 2019 session. The bill was signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant on Thursday, March 21, 2019 and was set to go into effect on July 1st.
A preliminary injunction blocking the bill was later issued on Friday, May 24, 2019 by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, currently leaving the fate of the bill in the air.
The Ohio Senate and House passed a “Heartbeat” Bill (Senate Bill 23) on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 and it was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine the following day.
On July 3, 2019, Senior U.S. District Judge Michale Barrett issued a preliminary injunction on the bill temporarily preventing the state from enforcing the law. On July 11, 2019, the Heartbeat Bill officially became law with some amendments.
On Wednesday, May 29, 2019, Louisiana’s “Heartbeat” Bill or Senate Bill 184 passed the house vote 79-23. It was signed into law the following Thursday, May 30th, by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards. The law will only go into effect if the federal appeals court upholds the similar law passed in Mississippi.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act or House Bill 481 into law on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. The act is set to go into effect on January 1, 2020.
The Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act or House Bill 126 was signed into law on Friday, May 24, 2019 by Governor Mike Parson. The law is set to go into effect on August 28, 2019. The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri submitted a referendum petition to overturn the measure with a public vote in the November 2020 general election. The ACLU has until August 28th to gather more than 100,000 signatures needed for the petition.
Kentucky legislature was busy working to protect life during their last session. They ultimately passed four anti-abortion measures this year, all signed into law by Governor Matt Bevin.
House Bill 5: Abortion “Discrimination” Bill was signed into immediate law due to it’s emergency declaration on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. The ACLU quickly challenged the bill and U.S. District Judge David Hale placed a temporary block on the law until the ACLU lawsuit has been completed.
Senate Bill 9: The Fetal Heartbeat Bill was signed into immediate law due to it’s emergency declaration after midnight on Friday, March 15, 2019. At 7:40pm that same Friday, U.S. District Judge David Hale placed a temporary block on the law. The law cannot be enforced until the final ruling of the ACLU’s lawsuit against this bill.
Senate Bill 50: The “Abortion Reversal” Bill was signed into law on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 and went into effect on Thursday, June 27, 2019.
House Bill 148: The Human Life Protection Act was signed into law on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. The act is considered a “trigger” law, which means if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, there would be a triggered statewide ban on abortion.
Arkansas also worked to pass multiple pro-life laws this year. Three bills that Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law are being challenged in federal court by the ACLU and numerous abortion clinics and providers. The hearing is set to take place on Monday, July 22, 2019 in Little Rock.
The Cherish Act, Act 493, previously House Bill 143 was signed into law on Friday, March 15, 2019. It is most notably referred to as Arkansas’ 18-week abortion ban.
Act 700, previous Senate Bill 448 was passed on Friday, April 5, 2019. The act adds to the qualifications needed for abortion providers to perform abortions, and repeals the presumption of viability at 25 weeks.
The Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act, Act 619, previously Senate Bill 2 was signed into law on Monday, April 1, 2019.
Utah introduced an abortion amendment this year, House Bill 136. The bill would ban abortions after 18-weeks gestation and introduce new reporting laws for abortion providers. The bill was signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert on Monday, March 25, 2019.
Both Planned Parenthood of Utah and the ACLU of Utah filed lawsuits quickly after the bill was passed saying it violated longstanding U.S. Supreme Court precedents. In April, a federal judge placed an injunction on the law preventing the state from enforcing the restrictions and the Utah Attorney General filed a motion agreeing with the injunction. The law not be enforced.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed two pro-life bills into law this past April. The first of the bills was House Bill 1211, otherwise known as the ban on dismemberment abortions. The bill as signed on April 24, 2019 and is currently being challenged in the courts.
Texas introduced the Texas Heartbeat Bill or House Bill 1500, in February. The House Speaker referred the bill to the Public Health Committee where it failed to meet approval by the deadline.
One law that did pass in Texas this year was the Texas Born-Alive Infant Protection Act or House Bill 16. It was signed into law on Friday, June 14, 2019 and will go into effect on September 1, 2019.
North Dakota also passed multiple pro-life laws this year. Both bills were signed into law by Governor Doug Burgman, but are currently being challenged in the courts by the American Medical Association (AMA).
The first of the bills is House Bill 1336. It was signed into law on March 22, 2019 and addresses informed consent and abortion pill reversal information.
The second of these bills, House Bill 1546, was signed into law on April 10, 2019. The bill prohibits “human dismemberment abortions” and amends a 2007 law that triggers a statewide ban on abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
The second bill introduced, The Human Life Protection Act, or Senate Bill 1257, was signed into law on Friday, May 10, 2019 by Governor Bill Lee. The Act is considered a “Trigger” law that will only go into effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
The South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat Protection from Abortion Act or House Bill 3020 was introduced in the beginning of the year. The bill passed the house and was sent to the senate mid April late in the first year of the legislation session, but due to a two year session, the senate could consider it next year.
The Fetal Heartbeat Act or House Bill 2903 was introduced in February and is currently stalled in House Health and Human Resources.
Florida introduced a Fetal Heartbeat bill in January,House Bill 0235. The bill has since died in the Health Quality Subcommittee, but there is hopes it will be reintroduced next year.
The Commonwealth of Virginia and Governor Ralph Northam tried to push through multiple pro-choice bills this year.
Most notably was the failed late term abortion bill that sparked a lot of conversation, not only in Virginia but all over the country and even outside of the United States. The Repeal Act or House Bill 2491 was introduced on January 9, 2019.
On Thursday, June 6, 2019, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a bill “An Act Relating to Preserving the Right to Abortion” into law that took immediate effect.
On the 46th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the state of New York passed the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). It opens up a wider range for abortions and removes abortion from the state’s criminal code. It is referred to as one of the most agressive abortion laws in the counry.
On June 10, 2019, Maine passed the bill “An Act To Authorize Certain Health Care Professionals To Perform Abortions” that would expand the number of health care professionals who can perform abortions in the state.
All summaries provided are pulled directly from the bills/acts linked below each state.