If Congressmen are spending time in their home states, maybe FRC should too. After big gains in November, floods of pro-life and pro-marriage bills are sweeping through the state houses, where a "perfect storm" of conservative governors and leaders have been a force for new policy. You can be a force too by contacting your state representatives about the bills in your own backyard!
-- In Illinois, leaders are fighting the national heavyweight in Planned Parenthood. The abortion giant is pumping money into the state to kill HB 2093 that would tighten reporting requirements for sexual abuse--a law Cecile Richards's organization routinely ignores in dozens of states.
-- If Gov. Gary Herbert signs the bill on his desk, Utah would become the sixth state since ObamaCare to block insurance plans from paying for abortion. (Minnesota may be the seventh, after its bills--SF 103, SF 264, and SF 265 passed out of committee last week.)
-- Embryos are people too! And in Oklahoma, the House proved it by voting 86-8 to criminally charge people who destroy them for research or any other purpose (HB 1442).
-- After the gruesome discoveries in Kermit Gosnell's clinic, Maryland delegates are trying to keep these horrors from happening in their state by passing legislation (HB 23 and SB 505) that would order abortion clinics to comply with the same safety standards as surgical facilities. A similar proposal just became law in Virginia.
-- There's been a major surge in legislation across America to ban abortion after the 20th or 21st week of pregnancy, when babies feel pain. Following in Nebraska's footsteps, 17 states are considering similar bills--including Minnesota, which has nine pro-life measures up for consideration this session alone! Yesterday, Idaho's Senate approved the 20-week abortion ban, S 1165--not to be outdone by Kansas, where our friend and new Governor Sam Brownback is limbering up his signing arm to make the fetal pain bill law.
-- In what is now the longest abortion waiting period in the country, South Dakotans are celebrating their new law, which requires women to wait three days before ending their pregnancy.
-- Parents in the Buckeye State have plenty riding on SB 8. If Ohio's legislature approves the bill, the loophole that lets kids bypass the parental consent process on abortion will be eliminated.
-- Florida deserves a bullet point all its own for everything the Sunshine State has done to advance life in the last two months. Trailing only West Virginia (30) in the number of pro-life bills, Florida's new governor and legislature have combined to file 18 measures protecting the unborn--everything from mandatory ultrasounds to "Choose Life" license plates and taxpayer-funded abortion bans. For a complete list of bill numbers, click here.
As for marriage, there's plenty brewing on the state level--but not all of it is positive. A few minutes of your time could be all it takes to tip the issue our way. (Don't believe me? Just ask Maryland!
-- Two states on opposite sides of the country are taking a big risk by introducing bills that would create counterfeit marriage. In Rhode Island, the Senate Judiciary Committee is gearing up to hear a whole menu of same-sex "marriage" bills, including S 0029 (gender-neutral marriage), S 0376 (legalized civil unions), S 0377 ("reciprocal beneficiary agreements" for homosexual "marriage"). To counter the siege, Republicans are pushing to protect marriage in the state constitution with a bill that would leave the issue to voters, S 0162. Closer to the West Coast, Colorado pushed the state one step closer to civil unions after the Senate voted to give homosexuals the same benefits as married couples (SB 172). Fortunately, SB 172 is expected to face a tougher battle in the House, where Republicans hold the slimmest one-vote majority.
-- Now for the good news! After years of warring with the Indiana Senate President, who bottled up the proposals, the legislature (HJR 6) is one step closer to passing a marriage protection amendment in the Hoosier State. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to bring the measure before the full Senate. (It overwhelmingly passed the House earlier this year.) And while President Obama may not believe in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Missouri certainly does. The House beat back the administration's attack on DOMA in a formal resolution (No. 45) that signals its support for the federal marriage law.