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Media Myth Exposed: Report Reveals 23 Pro-Life States Have Exceptions When Mother's Life is At-Risk

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A new report is shedding light on the misconception that anti-abortion laws in pro-life states don't have exceptions for pregnant women whose lives are at risk.

Researchers at the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that 23 states with the strongest pro-life laws permit abortion "in those rare and heartbreaking circumstances when it is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman."

The report points out that, "Abortion advocates are spreading the dangerous lie that life-saving care is not or may not be permitted in these states, leading to provider confusion and poor outcomes for women."

Those who authored the report say they hope the data will clear up any misunderstandings for doctors living in the 23 states who are uncertain about the laws where they practice.

"A plain reading of any of these statutes easily refutes the false and dangerous misinformation being spread by pro-abortion activists," the report reads. "Further, none of these laws prohibit a medical professional from acting as necessary when facing a life-threatening medical emergency. To claim otherwise is either ignorance of the law or willful misrepresentation at the expense of women and their unborn children who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect."

States with the toughest pro-life laws include:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

A summary of the report reveals that laws in those 23 states "allow necessary and timely medical treatment for miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and other procedures necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman."

Physicians in the 23 pro-life states can render a decision "based on their 'reasonable medical judgment'" as to whether or not an abortion is vital to save a mother's life. That criteria is "very common in the medical profession and used for any case involving medical malpractice litigation," the report says.

"Physicians are trained to use their best judgment to care for patients; however, it would be prudent for state medical boards, state medical societies, state boards of pharmacy, hospital quality committees, and hospital attorneys to provide more detailed guidance to doctors on how to reach a determination that abortion is necessary," their data shows. "Tragically, this type of guidance appears slow in coming."

Even though some of the laws in the 23 states "contain definitions and exceptions that more explicitly speak to certain situations," each law  "reviewed does not prevent mothers from receiving the medical care necessary."

Launched in 2011 as the education and research arm of Susan B. Anthony List, the Charlotte Lozier Institute is a hub for research and public policy analysis on some of the most pressing issues facing the United States and nations around the world.  The institute is named for a feminist physician known for her commitment to the sanctity of human life and equal career and educational opportunities for women.  

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About The Author

Andrea Morris

Andrea Morris is a Features Producer for The 700 Club. She came to CBN in 2019 where she worked as a web producer in the news department for three years. Her passion was always to tell human interest stories that would touch the hearts of readers while connecting them with God. She transitioned into her new role with The 700 Club in August 2022.