(Don Nelson/Nevada LIFE) – Thirty-eight years and 53 million abortions after Roe vs. Wade struck down abortion restrictions in all 50 states, pro-life is the “new normal,” and the recent elections and polling show a consensus that should be acted on right now.
Americans, including many who are pro-choice, oppose taxpayer and government funding of abortion, want more disclosure for women considering abortion, oppose late abortions and support a parent’s right to know. Here’s what needs to be done:
1. Pass government-wide prohibitions on abortion funding and subsidies. Obamacare’s abortion funding and subsidy provisions will lead to the largest increase in abortion since Roe. A 2010 Zogby/O’Leary poll found that 76 percent of Americans said that federal funds should never pay for abortion, or pay only to save the life of the mother. Opposition to Obamacare’s abortion funding and subsidies played a significant role in the Republican takeover in the House of Representatives.
The No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act is a government-wide prohibition on federal funding and subsidies for abortion, including Obamacare. It would end the yearly amendments and skirmishes to prevent federal funding of abortion at home and around the world.
The Protect Life Act prohibits funding and subsidies for abortion in Obamacare. It strengthens conscience protections for medical personnel and institutions and provides remedies for those who experience discrimination for refusal to participate in, refer, provide or undergo training or pay for abortions.
2. Pass more informed consent laws. Some states are proposing and passing laws requiring ultrasounds be performed for women considering abortion. They require that women have the right to see the ultrasound and hear a description of the unborn. Studies show that abortion has long-term physical, emotional and relational impact. Women considering abortion have a right to know.
3. Pass late-abortion bans. Nebraska’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act bans abortions from 20 weeks because of evidence that the unborn feels pain by 20 weeks. It has ended late abortions in Nebraska except for rare instances.
4. Pass and enforce more parental notification laws. Parental involvement laws have helped cut teen abortions in half. Nevada’s parental notification law has never been enforced. That means girls as young as 12 can have an invasive surgical abortion in Nevada without a parent’s knowledge.
The continuing scandals and recent allegations regarding abuses at several Planned Parenthood affiliates uncovered by independent journalists posing as sex traffickers for teen prostitution rings shows how badly we need Nevada’s law enforced and why the Pence Amendment to cut off all federal funding from Planned Parenthood is so necessary.
Don Nelson is president of Nevada LIFE, or Life Issues Forum and Education. This article originally appeared in the Reno Gazette Journal on March 13, 2011. – Ed.)