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How Pro-Life Is Your State? Here Are the Top — and Bottom — Ten

On the eve of the 2019 March for Life, Americans United for Life (AUL) released a comprehensive report on how pro-life issues fared in 2018. Their report, released Monday, detailed the ten best and ten worst states for pro-life protections.

"At no point in the last four decades have we been closer to building a national consensus about the radical overreach of Roe v. Wade and the perils of a culture that allows and celebrates on-demand abortion for any reason," Catherine Glenn Foster, AUL's president and CEO, said in a statement.

"Science is on our side. The law is on our side," she added. "And, as our new Defending Life report shows, so too are increasing majorities of the American people who are supporting and enacting changes protecting life across the country."

AUL spearheaded 21 significant victories for life, providing the language for or helping enact 19 new pro-life laws and two pro-life resolutions and defeating eight anti-life measures, the group reported.

Without further ado, here is the ranking. First come the bottom ten states, then the top ten states. While the red states proved more pro-life than the blue states, different states have different ways of protecting or undermining life from conception until natural death. Besides the major issue of whether abortion will remain legal if Roe v. Wade is overturned, AUL considered conscience protections and many other issues.

10. Massachusetts (rank 41).

Massachusetts' state constitution goes further than Roe v. Wade in providing a "right" to abortion. The state prohibits cloning to produce children, but it permits cloning for biomedical research and destructive embryo research, so AUL has dubbed it a "clone-and-kill" state. Taxpayers must fund "medically necessary" abortions for women on the dole, as is the case for all the ten worst states except Nevada. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will be legal in Massachusetts throughout pregnancy.

Even so, state homicide law protects an unborn child who has reached viability and physicians have the right to opt out of performing abortion.

9. Connecticut.

Connecticut has laws protecting abortion even if Roe v. Wade is overturned. A "clone-and-kill" state, Connecticut does not prohibit fetal experimentation.

However, it also mandates that women considering abortion get counseling and holds abortion facilities to rudimentary safety standards. The state also allows "Choose Life" license plates, the proceeds of which fund pregnancy resource centers (PRCs).

The state considered, but did not pass, legislation targeting PRCs for "deceptive advertising." AUL fought this bill, along with a bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide, which also failed.

8. New York.

New York's state constitution protects abortion, and state law does not require parental notification if a woman under 18 seeks an abortion. It does not ban human cloning or destructive embryo research. In fact, the state funds destructive embryo research. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will be legal after 24 weeks.

However, the state does fund PRCs and other abortion alternatives, and state law considers the killing of a 24-week-old unborn baby a homicide. The state has a "Baby Moses" law, creating a safe haven for mothers to legally leave their infants where the babies will be cared for. The state prohibits suicide by physician. The state allows physicians to opt out of performing abortions.

7. Nevada.

Nevada voters passed a "Freedom of Choice" ballot initiative in 1990 protecting abortion even if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Abortionists must advise a woman before killing the baby, but the parental consent law was declared unconstitutional. The state does not ban cloning, destructive embryo research, or fetal experimentation.

Nevada law considers the killing of an unborn baby after "quickening" — first movement in the womb — to be homicide, and defines substance abuse during pregnancy as "child abuse." Doctors and nurses may refuse to take part in an abortion, except in a medical emergency.

6. Oregon.

Oregon was the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The state also does not mandate informed consent or parental involvement before abortion, it does not recognize an unborn child as a victim of homicide or assault, and it does not limit human cloning or destructive embryo research. This state also has no regulations for safety or cleanliness in abortion facilities, and no law insisting that only licensed physicians may carry out abortions.

Oregon does not require abortionists to give medical care to a baby that survives an abortion. Religious freedom protections for employers to opt out of covering contraception are limited.

Oregon does have a "Baby Moses" law. Doctors, employees, and hospitals can opt out of performing abortions. Last year, Oregon considered — but did not pass — legislation to prohibit public funding for abortion, legislation to prohibit late-term sex-selective abortions, and legislation that would have prohibited abortion after 20 weeks.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will still be legal in Oregon.

5. Hawaii.

Hawaii has a "Freedom of Choice" Act stipulating that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will remain legal. This state does not require informed consent or parental involvement in a minor's decision, and it does not require health and safety standards for abortion clinics. Its criminal code does not consider the killing of an unborn baby homicide. The state has no laws prohibiting cloning or destructive embryo research.

Last year, the state legalized physician-assisted suicide.

Hawaii does have a "Baby Moses" law, and it offers "Choose Life" license plates that fund PRCs. No person or hospital is required to participate in abortion. While Hawaii attempted to force PRCs to advertise abortion, a federal court struck that law down.

4. New Jersey.

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution provides a broader abortion right than the U.S. Constitution. That court struck down the state's parental notification law and restrictions on taxpayer funds going to abortion. Any state health benefits contract must cover abortion. Abortion would remain legal without Roe v. Wade.

State law does not recognize an unborn baby as a potential victim of homicide. It also does not require medical care for babies who survive abortion. A "clone-and-kill" state, it funds destructive embryo research.

New Jersey does have a "Baby Moses" law. Assisting in suicide is a felony. People can opt out of participating in abortion, but there is effectively no religious freedom on contraception coverage, even for abortifacients.

3. Vermont.

The Vermont Constitution provides a broader abortion right than the U.S. version, so abortion will be legal if Roe is overturned. The state has no informed consent, parental involvement, or ultrasound requirement. It does not even have safety regulations for abortion providers, and it does not require abortions be carried out by licensed medical professionals. Vermont law allows abortion after viability, even without a threat to the mother's life or health.

Vermont does not consider the killing of an unborn baby homicide, it does not require treatment for babies who survive abortion, and it does not prohibit cloning or destructive embryo research. Physician-assisted suicide is legal and there are very few requirements surrounding it.

Vermont has no religious freedom or conscience protection for healthcare providers who object to participating in abortion.

2. California.

California's state constitution provides a broader right to abortion than the U.S. version, and the state adopted a "Freedom of Choice" Act protecting abortion even if Roe is overturned. Non-doctor medical practitioners can carry out abortions. California protects "freedom of access" to abortion clinics, limiting pro-life activism. The state mandates abortion be taught as an option in sex education.

A "clone-and-kill" state, California protects the "right" to human cloning and destructive embryo research. It allows research on "fetal remains." Physician-assisted suicide is legal. California attempted to force PRCs to advertise for abortion, but the law was struck down by the Supreme Court in NIFLA v. Becerra (2018).

The state has an informed consent law and safety regulations for abortion clinics. It protects unborn babies under homicide laws and has a "Baby Moses" law.

1. Washington State (rank 50).

Washington's Freedom of Choice Act stipulates that if Roe is overturned, abortion will remain legal. Washington does not require informed consent, parental involvement, or health and safety standards for abortion clinics. The state protects physical access to abortion clinics and curtails the First Amendment rights of pro-life activists.

Health plans starting in 2019 must cover voluntary sterilization and coverage for abortion that matches maternity care coverage. The state does not ban cloning or destructive embryo research. Washington has physician-assisted suicide, and the law creates incentives for health insurance companies to deny life-saving coverage for vulnerable patients, pushing them toward suicide. Conscience protections exist for abortion but not for contraception coverage.

Washington protects unborn babies under homicide law and has a "Baby Moses" provision.

Now for the most pro-life states.

10. Nebraska.

Nebraska bans abortion after 20 weeks, and it requires informed consent with a waiting period, and parental consent for minors. The state mandates health and safety standards for abortion clinics, prohibits "webcam abortions," follows the Medicaid rules for abortion funding, and prohibits state funds from going to abortion. Private health insurance companies may not cover abortion unless necessary for the life of the mother.

Nebraska considers killing an unborn baby to be homicide at any age and has a "Baby Moses" law. The state does not ban human cloning or destructive embryo research but prohibits state funds from going to these practices. Assisting suicide is a felony, and no person is required to participate in abortion. Nebraska has prevented abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood from receiving Title X funding.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will be legal in Nebraska up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

9. Michigan.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will be illegal in Michigan, except to save the mother's life. Michigan has informed consent, parental notification, ultrasound, and other requirements. The state regulates abortion clinics, prohibits state funds from going to abortion, and follows the Medicaid rules on abortion funding.

The state protects unborn babies under homicide law, protects freedom of conscience, and has not legalized physician-assisted suicide. However, Michigan has legalized destructive embryo research and allows research on dead fetuses.

8. Georgia.

Georgia has banned abortion after 20 weeks, and has informed consent and parental notification laws, as well as an ultrasound mandate. The state follows Medicaid funding rules and bans abortion coverage from health care plans on the state exchange under Obamacare. It also offers "Choose Life" license plates which fund PRCs.

Homicide laws protect the unborn, conscience rights are protected, and physician-assisted suicide is illegal. Georgia has no laws regulating human cloning or destructive embryo research. If Roe v. Wade is struck down, abortion will be legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

7. Mississippi.

Mississippi bans abortion after 20 weeks, and has informed consent, parental consent (from two parents), and mandatory ultrasound laws. It prohibits partial-birth and dismemberment abortion, and requires abortion clinics to meet health and safety standards. It restricts abortion coverage in state health plans, prohibits abortion coverage on the state healthcare exchange, and allows "Choose Life" license plates that fund PRCs.

Homicide laws protect the unborn, physician-assisted suicide is illegal, and Mississippi's expansive health care freedom of conscience legislation was drafted by AUL. Planned Parenthood has brought legal challenges against Mississippi due to its abortion regulations.

The state only falls short on bio-technology, lacking bans on human cloning and destructive embryo research. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion may be illegal or it may be legal only until 20 weeks of pregnancy.

6. South Dakota.

South Dakota prohibits partial birth and sex-selective abortion. It also has informed consent and parental notification laws, along with health and safety regulations for abortion clinics. It bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and requires abortionists to offer an ultrasound before killing the baby. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will be illegal except to save the life of the mother.

South Dakota prohibits public funding for abortion unless it would save the mother's life, even though this violates federal law. It also offers "Choose Life" license plates that fund PRCs. Conscience rights are protected. Homicide laws protect the unborn, it is illegal to sell fetal body parts, and human cloning and destructive embryo research are banned.

5. Kansas.

While Kansas' state constitution protects a right to abortion, that issue is currently before the Kansas Supreme Court. The state bans sex-selective and partial-birth abortions, along with any abortion after 20 weeks. It also has informed consent and parental notification laws, along with safety regulations for abortion clinics.

Kansas follows the Medicaid rule on abortion funding, and prevents any abortion providers from receiving Title X funding. Homicide and other laws protect the unborn, and assisting suicide is a felony. No person or hospital can be forced to participate in abortion. Kansas has no ban on human cloning or destructive embryo research, however.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will be legal in Kansas up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

4. Oklahoma.

Oklahoma bans partial-birth, sex-selective, and dismemberment abortion, as well as abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will be illegal except to save the life of the mother, as it was under Oklahoma law before 1973. The state has informed consent, parental notification, and abortion clinic safety laws. No public funds can be used to encourage a woman to have an abortion, and health insurance cannot cover abortion unless a woman's life is in danger.

The state offers "Choose Life" license plates that fund PRCs, it has a "Baby Moses" law, and homicide laws protect the unborn. The Department of Health directs women to PRCs and other agencies to help a woman during pregnancy and childbirth. Oklahoma prohibits human cloning and destructive embryo research. Assisting suicide is a felony. Oklahoma has broad conscience protections for people and institutions.

3. Louisiana.

Louisiana has declared that an unborn child is a human being from conception, and if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will be illegal except to save the life of the mother. Abortion is illegal after 20 weeks, and the state has informed consent and parental notification laws. Louisiana mandates an ultrasound before any abortion, and requires the abortionist to show the mother the image and let her hear the heartbeat. The state also requires safety standards at abortion clinics.

Public funds may not be used for abortion, except under Medicaid rules, and Louisiana offers "Choose Life" license plates that fund PRCs. Homicide laws protect the unborn. The state prohibits the sale of fetal remains and requires burial or cremation of fetal remains from abortion.  Physician-assisted suicide is illegal, and conscience protections are strong.

2. Arkansas.

Arkansas' state constitution aims to protect every child from conception, and if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will be illegal, full stop. Currently, sex-selective abortion, partial-birth abortion, dismemberment abortion, and abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy are all illegal. Arkansas has hefty informed consent requirements, a parental notification law, and safety regulations for abortion clinics.

No public funds may go to abortion, except to save the mother's life or as allowed in the Medicaid rules. Coverage for abortion is banned from the state Obamacare exchange. The state offers "Choose Life" license plates that fund PRCs. Homicide and other laws protect the unborn. Arkansas has banned human cloning but not destructive embryo research. Physician-assisted suicide is illegal, and the state has strong conscience protections for those who object to abortion.

1. Arizona.

Arizona has banned abortions after 20 weeks, along with sex-selective abortion and partial-birth abortion. The state has hefty informed consent and parental notification laws, and requires an ultrasound 24 hours before an abortion. It also has comprehensive licensing requirements for abortion clinics. Arizona restricts public funds for abortion, but also for teaching abortion. A state law prohibits state funds from being used to pay for abortion unless it is necessary for a mother's life or health.

The state allows "Choose Life" license plates that fund PRCs, and state homicide and other laws protect the unborn. Arizona has banned cloning, destructive embryo research, and the creation of human-animal hybrids. Physician-assisted suicide is illegal. Conscience protections on abortion are strong, and religiously-affiliated employers can offer health plans with no contraceptive coverage.

Abortion will not be legal in Arizona if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.