State-level pro-life progress and regress
- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill last week that will force health insurance companies to cover abortion if they already cover prenatal care. The law also designates funding for free abortions for women on Medicaid or those with no health insurance.
- The Louisiana legislature is considering a bill that would protect the lives of the unborn after 15 weeks gestation. Abortionists caught violating the law could face up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Gov. John Bel Edwards said last week he would probably sign the bill if it passed. The bill mirrors a recent Mississippi law signed by Gov. Phil Bryant but halted by a federal judge after that state’s only abortion center filed suit.
- Hawaii voted to legalize assisted suicide last week, becoming the sixth state in the nation to do so. But Connecticut thwarted yet another attempt to legalize the practice, letting a bill die in committee as the legislative session comes to a close.
- Nebraska’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood has led to heated budget debates. Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts requested a budget provision requiring Title X funding recipients to prove they don’t perform or refer for abortions, but the measure fell three votes short of the 33 needed to approve it. The legislation could now come up in a special session.
- Kentucky passed a bill to end dismemberment abortions, sending the measure to Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk. In a statement last week, Bevin hinted he would sign it: “With every pro-life bill that becomes law, we send the same message: Kentucky stands for life.”
- Missouri legislators may increase their state’s protection for the unborn another two weeks, with a 20-week abortion bill passed by the House last week. —S.G.
Loss at fertility clinic larger than originally thought
More couples than originally thought are mourning the loss of eggs and embryos compromised last month at an Ohio fertility clinic when temperatures in a storage tank rose too high. Officials now say more than 4,000 eggs and embryos from 950 patients are no longer viable. Previous estimates placed the loss at 2,000 eggs and embryos.
Dozens of families have sued University Hospitals, and lawyers are trying to decide whether to file a class action lawsuit or advocate individual cases.
The clinic tried to regain patients’ trust by launching an internal investigation, purchasing new storage tanks, and installing a new alarm, but that offers little consolation for patients who lost offspring.
“How are you going to refund our five chances at children,” patient Jeremy Plants said. “We can’t get that back.” —S.G.
Boy Scout with Down syndrome sues to regain badges
The father of 15-year-old Logan Blythe filed suit against the Boy Scouts of America last month after the group allegedly rescinded its approval of his son’s Eagle Scout project. The Utah boy has Down syndrome, and his project involved creating kits for babies with special needs. The group also revoked the teen’s merit badges, something it later denied. Chad Blythe said the group’s move left his son “distraught.” —S.G.
Argentina marches for life
With a referendum in the works to legalize abortion in Argentina, the country saw an outpouring of pro-life protests last month during its annual Great Rally for Life. Hundreds of thousands marched in more than 200 cities on the National Day of the Unborn Child. —S.G.