1 month ago

Changes in abortion legislation are sweeping across the country. Here’s what you need to know


Abortion legislation has historically been a hot-button topic among liberals and conservatives alike, and 2017 was no exception, with a remarkable number of abortion restriction increases and changes in legislation across the United States.

Conservatives and pro-lifers should feel encouraged after 2017 saw more wins for pro-life legislation than pro-abortion legislation. Including those adopted in 2017, states have enacted 401 abortion restrictions since January 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Legislators in 30 states have introduced abortion bans, with six states enacting new laws in 2017.

A Mississippi House committee approved a bill Tuesday that seeks to outlaw most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. House Bill 1510 would ban women from having abortions after said time stamp, unless the unborn baby is not expected to survive outside the womb or if the woman’s life would be jeopardized by continuing the pregnancy.

Mississippi already outlaws most abortions after 20 weeks gestation. The measure will head to the full House for debate. No state currently bans abortion before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Twenty other states ban abortions after more than 20 weeks gestation.

A Missouri judge ruled in October that the state’s 72-hour waiting period is constitutional, rejecting Planned Parenthood’s emergency motion for a temporary restraining order on Missouri’s abortion laws. Missouri is also considering a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks gestation.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, signed House Bill 214 in December, effectively banning doctors from aborting babies testing positive for Down syndrome. The law penalizes doctors for performing abortions on pregnant women who receive a positive test that their baby will have Down syndrome, but does not fine or punish a woman who aborts her baby after receiving a positive test for the congenital disorder. The doctor who performs the abortion would be held responsible and would receive a fourth-degree felony charge, according to The Associated Press.

Down syndrome abortion bans have also been introduced in Oklahoma, Missouri, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Utah.

The Iowa state senate voted Thursday to approve Senate Study Bill 3143, that outlaws abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected upon ultrasound. A heartbeat typically becomes detectable between six and nine weeks gestation. Any doctor who performs or attempts to perform an abortion on a woman after a heartbeat is detected will be charged with a Class D felony and subject to five years in prison and a fine of $750 to $7,500. The bill does, however, allow abortion in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. No exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities are included in the bill.

“This may be what our culture is ready for,” said state Sen. Jason Schultz, an Iowa Republican. “Stopping a beating heart is never health care.” The Iowa House of Representatives is currently reviewing a similar bill, H.F. 2163.

The U.S. House approved the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in January, requiring health care practitioners to give the same care to a child born alive after a botched abortion as they would provide to any other child birthed at the same gestational age. They must also ensure that babies born after botched abortions are immediately admitted to a hospital.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, issued an executive order in August to exclude abortion providers from the state’s full-benefit Medicaid program. Nine states have taken steps to exclude abortion providers from either their full-benefit Medicaid programs or Medicaid family planning expansions since 2011.

The Ohio Supreme Court also revoked the license of an abortion clinic in Toledo, Ohio, Tuesday after years of inspection violations and a failure to meet the state’s abortion clinic standards. The state’s Supreme Court upheld the Ohio Department of Health’s order revoking the license of Toledo’s Capital Care abortion clinic because it repeatedly failed to produce a written transfer agreement with a hospital for emergency cases where women undergoing abortions need immediate transportation to a nearby hospital. State inspectors also found 24 violations at the abortion clinic in the past 10 years, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Toledo now hosts no abortion clinics.

“Efforts to be ready to protect life at the state level is exactly the kind of ground game that policy leaders should be championing across the country,” a Students For Life of America spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement, applauding 2017’s pro-life legislative efforts.

Abortion advocates, however, have seen wins in other legislative areas. The U.S. Senate failed to pass legislation in January that would prevent doctors from performing abortions on women who are 20 weeks pregnant or more. Fifty-one lawmakers voted for the measure and 46 voted against it, but the bill failed to pass the Senate requirement of 60 votes necessary for a debate on the bill.

Other states are also pushing for increased abortion access, even on college campuses. The California Senate approved a bill in January requiring the state’s public universities and colleges to offer abortion drugs at their health centers. Senate Bill 320, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Connie Leyva, requires the state’s community colleges and public universities to provide women with abortion pills for up to 10 weeks of pregnancy so that they don’t have to travel to get the pills. San Francisco’s Tara Foundation and an anonymous donor have agreed to cover implementation costs estimated between $14 million and $20 million, ABC reported.

In sum, 2017 has seen a large number of legislative successes for pro-lifers. Nineteen states have adopted 63 new restrictions on abortion access in 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute’s Jan 2, 2018 report. That total is the largest number of abortion restrictions enacted in a year since 2013. Twenty-one states, however, adopted proactive measures to expand access to reproductive health services or to protect reproductive rights in 2017.

Guttmacher senior manager, Elizabeth Nash, notes that 2017 has seen a “dramatic upsurge in proactive efforts to expand access to abortion, contraception, [and] other reproductive health services,” but that many of those efforts have been unsuccessful. Those efforts have largely been a “reaction to all of the abortion restrictions that have been moving,” Nash added, according to The Hill.

Twenty-nine states were “hostile or extremely hostile” to abortion rights in 2017, according to Guttmacher.

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13 hours ago

Alabama wins private property rights case against Obama-era regulations

In a victory for private property rights this week, the federal government agreed to reconsider rules adopted during the Obama-era that unreasonably restrict the freedom of Americans to use their land.

“We are encouraged that the Trump administration has agreed to revisit these rules, which threaten property owners’ rights to use any land that the federal government could dream that an endangered species might ever inhabit,” Alabama Attorney General Marshall said in a statement.

Why this matters: Under these rules, unelected federal bureaucrats could designate a piece of private property as “critical habitat” for an endangered species even if the land doesn’t contain that particular species and, moreover, doesn’t even contain some of the features needed to support that species. Use of the land would then be severely limited. 


The details:

— The state filed a lawsuit, Alabama v. National Marine Fisheries Service, in November of 2016 challenging the rules, calling them “an unlawful federal overreach.”

— Nearly 20 other states joined the lawsuit, along with four large trade associations.

— The settlement forces federal agencies to submit revised rules for public review within 60 days and retains our freedom to file another lawsuit if their new rules are as excessive as the old ones.

@jpepperbryars is the editor of Yellowhammer News and the author of American Warfighter

13 hours ago

Jeff Sessions is right to sue California for ignoring federal immigration laws

America may be a country of immigrants, but it’s also a country of laws. No one is exempt from those laws regardless of what some local officials in sanctuary cities may think.

As you may have seen on the news recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced a lawsuit against the State of California for failure to completely cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officers.  I stand with AG Sessions’ decision.

From the mayors and local politicians disregarding federal immigration law to the illegal immigrants they are prioritizing over American citizens, it’s about time we hold these lawless individuals accountable.


The “leaders” in these cities are violating their oath of office and the Constitution.  They should be immediately removed from their positions and the illegal immigrants they are protecting should be deported. Period.

I agree with President Trump that we need to strengthen our borders.  We should build the wall and we should continue to support law enforcement’s crackdown on violent foreign gangs like MS-13.

These efforts mean nothing though if illegal immigrants and criminals can continue to seek refuge in some of our country’s largest cities.

It boils down to fairness, safety and what it means to be a sovereign nation.

A country without borders is hardly a country at all. I’m fed up with seeing the tax dollars from hard-working families across East Alabama go to cities who snub their nose at the very ideals that make America great.  Congress should withhold funding from sanctuary cities that refuse to uphold federal law.

President Trump has proven his tough stance on illegal immigration is much more than just campaign rhetoric. He has already done so much to curtail our illegal immigration crisis but he can’t do it alone.

Elected officials – from the state and local level to Members of Congress – must do their part.

And if they refuse, then they aren’t fit for public service.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers is a Republican from Saks.

(Image:U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Flickr)

14 hours ago

WATCH: Cam Newton’s leadership message resonates with Boy Scouts

When Cam Newton speaks, people listen.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback had the full attention of the audience at the 11th annual American Values Luncheon.

Boy Scouts were among attendees that filled the meeting room at the North Exhibition Hall of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.


Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn joined Newton during a question and answer session. Famous for leading the Auburn Tigers to the 2010 National Championship under Malzahn’s leadership, Newton’s talk followed in the tradition of several other football greats, including Nick Saban, Shaquille O’Neal and Bo Jackson.

Dr. James Andrews, Dr. Jesse Lewis Sr. and Jimmy Rane were honored at the luncheon for their contributions to the community.

Newton shared his life experiences and lessons learned.

(Courtesy Alabama News Center)

15 hours ago

Celtic Pride! Joel Blankenship shares his Irish roots with The Ford Faction

Joel Blankenship makes his weekly return to The Ford Faction to talk the St. Patrick’s Day parade held in Birmingham and what the holiday means to him.  Joel mentions the law that can be passed to put Police K9’s in schools to help sniff out guns or drugs.  He provides feedback on what this could mean for schools and how it will benefit the need for police K9’s.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

16 hours ago

VIDEO: Alabama Rep. Roby thanks Air Force secretary for decision to bring F-35s to Montgomery

U.S. Representative Martha Roby participated in a defense appropriations subcommittee hearing this week where she expressed her appreciation to Secretary Heather Wilson for the Air Force’s decision to base F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Dannelly Field in Montgomery.

Roby also discussed other military-related programs in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, including helicopter training at Fort Rucker near Enterprise and the professional education programs at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery.

(Image: Representative Martha Roby/YouTube)