By FRC's Connor Semelsberger and Quena Gonzalez
FRC has been working with allies to advance pro-life policies in Washington, D.C. for years. But with congressional Democrats stalling progress in the nation's capital, the "action" has shifted to the states, where pro-life legislators have made huge gains in the past 10 years.
We're pleased to announce the release of our third in a series of state maps highlighting pro-life progress in the states. On Wednesday, the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, FRC published a first-of-its-kind Fetal Dignity Map. It documents how states are protecting and promoting the dignity of the unborn and ranking states on a scale from "No Protections" to "Best Protections." Born out of the undercover Planned Parenthood videos four years ago that showed the abortion giant profiting from the market for aborted fetal tissue, these measures emphasize the humanity of the unborn -- a truth that, try as they might, the abortion industry just can't erase.
This series of maps began one year ago when, on the 46th anniversary of Roe. v. Wade, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Reproductive Health Act legalizing abortion through all nine months of pregnancy and repealed existing protections for infants who survive abortion. This set off a flurry of action in state legislatures to both expand and restrict abortion. Our maps were created to showcase FRC's accurate, detailed analysis of key pro-life policies in each state: the Later term Abortion Map (showing which states allow abortion through all 9 months of pregnancy) and the Born-Alive map (highlighting which states protect abortion survivors, and how).
The maps are interactive. For example, the new "Fetal Dignity" map tracks five different types of state laws that prevent abortionists from treating fetal tissue from an abortion as medical waste or selling it for profit and provide death certificates for parents grieving the death of their miscarried or unborn child. The map also ranks states on how thoroughly their laws promote the dignity of the unborn, helping activists and legislators understand the progress their state has made since the undercover Planned Parenthood videos broke, and how far they have yet to go.
The data from these maps also provide a useful look at pro-life laws from a national perspective. For example, the "Born-Alive Protections" map shows that while 34 states have at least some born-alive protections, only 15 states have the same strong protections that are reflected in the Federal Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Actthat is pending before the U.S. House (H.R. 962) and Senate (S. 130). The later Term Abortion Map shows that fully 22 states allow abortion on demand right up until the day of birth, 15 of them using a little-understood "mental health" loophole. And the Fetal Dignity Map reveals that only 12 states have "Strong" fetal dignity protections, and only one has the "Best" level of protections.
For too long, the pro-life movement has not had a single, central location for pro-life maps. FRC is proud to contribute these maps to the pro-life cause. We aim to educate policymakers, grassroots activists, and the general public about the benefits of such laws in building a culture of life -- where every human life is valued as an intrinsic good, not something whose value is conditional upon its usefulness to others or to the state.