Politics
Pro- and anti-abortion activists square off. Getty Images. Pro- and anti-abortion activists square off. Getty Images.  

Groups rank the states based on anti-abortion records

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

Less than a week before the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Americans United for Life (AUL) released their annual “Life List” Wednesday, ranking all 50 states based on their record of “defending and protecting the lives of their citizens.”

According to the anti-abortion group’s 2013 list, currently the most anti-abortion state is Louisiana; the least is Washington state. The AUL’s most improved state was Arizona, which the AUL ranked at No. 5 — up from  its 14th rank last year. The AUL explained that this was due to Arizona being the first to implement the AUL-backed “Women’s Health Protection Act,” which outlawed abortions after 20 weeks.

Following Louisiana in the AUL’s top anti-abortion states were Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Arizona. The most pro-abortion states after Washington, according to the AUL, were California, New York, Vermont and New Jersey.

Days earlier, the pro-abortion NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation released their annual anti-abortion report, “Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States.” NARAL declared 2012 “another record year of anti-choice attacks” and gave the nation a “D” overall, citing two (unsuccessful) anti-abortion House bills and 42 anti-abortion measures enacted in 25 states.

They noted that Arizona instituted the most anti-abortion measures followed by Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Six states, according to NARAL’s calculation, enacted eight pro-abortion measures.

The reproductive choice group  noted that since 1995 states have enacted a total of 755 what they term “anti-choice measures.”

“This is why elections matter,” recently retired NARAL President Nancy Keenan said. “Women continue to face legislative hostility in states dominated by anti-choice politicians. We may have won some battles but anti-choice politicians attack this right relentlessly – if we allow them. It is incumbent upon us to educate the public on these anti-choice tactics and hold these extreme politicians accountable.”

AUL President and CEO Charmaine Yoest, on the other hand, forsees another year of pro-choice protections.

“I predict that we’ll see a large number of bills this year that also work to protect the First Amendment freedom of all Americans who do not want to be forced into business with Big Abortion,” Yoest said.

Ilyse Hogue, the former co-director of the Friends of Democracy super PAC, succeeded Keenan as president of NARAL on Monday.

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