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Monday, March 13, 2017

2017 "Defending Life" legislative guidebook released


Americans United for Life has released the 2017 edition of Defending Life, a free resource that analyzes legal trends and offers model pro-life legislation. From AUL's press release:
“This year’s edition focuses on AUL’s innovative Mother-Child strategy which seeks to legally protect and advance the interests of both a mother and her unborn child and to effectively refute the abortion industry’s callous propaganda that a woman’s interests are often opposed to those of her child,” said Americans United for Life’s Vice President of Legal Affairs Denise Burke, the editor of Defending Life and the author of many of the featured pieces of model legislation. “The uniquely successful Mother-Child strategy, which has precipitated the enactment of scores of protective abortion-related laws, is encompassed in AUL’s Women’s Protection Project and Infants’ Protection Project and the 16 pieces of model legislation that compromise them.”
“AUL’s emphasis on these two initiatives is driven, in part, by the Supreme Court’s controversial and anti-woman ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, striking down a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety standards as other facilities performing invasive surgical procedures and mandating that individual abortion providers have local hospital admitting privileges to facilitate emergency care and the treatment of abortion complications.
“AUL’s model legislation has been updated and refined to directly address this tragic ruling, while also advancing the goals and objectives of the Women’s Protection Project and Infants’ Protection Project. These two highly effective initiatives are perfectly calibrated to advance the cause for life after Hellerstedt.”
While modern safety regulations hold the spotlight, Defending Life is also a valuable guide for legislation that has been around for a long time, like informed consent and parental notification. Just last week, Wyoming enacted its first pro-life laws in 28 years, requiring abortionists to offer ultrasound and banning experiments on the bodies of abortion victims. No state should be considered a lost cause. Defending Life offers a state-by-state analysis including recommendations for priority legislation in each.

I was an AUL legal fellow during my first year out of law school, and I cannot say enough good things about the organization. The model legislation in Defending Life has spared many families from abortion. Even if you aren't a lawyer, lobbyist, or legislator, it is worth a read to see the progress of the pro-life, pro-woman movement and where we are headed.

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