As God is the Author of life, Family Research Council recognizes and respects the inherent dignity of every human life from conception until death. We work to pass federal and state legislation that highlights this principle, including laws that protect the unborn.
The maps below illustrate progress in the states on key pro-life laws. FRC educates 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.
Born-Alive laws require that medical care be provided to infants born alive during an attempted abortion. In 2002, Congress passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which clarified that infants who survive abortion are persons under the law but did not include any legal enforcement. In the ensuing years states have passed varying levels of born-alive protections to make up for the lack of federal enforceability.
Currently, 34 states have at least some born-alive protections. However, only 15 states have the three elements of strong born-alive protections, which are reflected in the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, currently pending in the House of Representatives (H.R.962) and the Senate (S.130):
- a requirement that practitioners must exercise professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life of infants who survive abortion;
- a health care requirement (providing for hospitalization of the surviving infant and/or requiring the presence of a second physician during the abortion); and
- legal penalties for abortionists who do not comply.
At this moment, federal law and 35 states do not adequately protect the lives of infants who survive abortion.
Click on a state to see its born-alive protections.
Most Americans would be shocked to discover that 22 states allow abortion on demand right up until the day of birth. (In 15 of these, nominal restrictions on abortion have a “mental health” exception that ends up being the exception that swallows the whole; in these states, abortionists can certify the mental health “medical necessity” of almost any abortion.)
Click on a colored state to see the legal authority for its "birth day abortion" policy.
Abortion on-demand throughout pregnancy
Abortion on-demand throughout pregnancy(using a mental health exception which effectively allows almost all abortions)
Abortion is dehumanizing to both mothers and their unborn children. State fetal dignity laws use a variety of means to promote and protect the dignity of the unborn. The need for such laws is clear: Whether it's abortionists like Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Pennsylvania and Dr. Ulrich Klopfer in Illinois (who were caught hoarding the remains of the unborn they had aborted), or America's foremost purveyor of abortion, Planned Parenthood (who was caught on tape in 2015 selling aborted baby body parts), the abortion industry's horrific practices dehumanize and desensitize all of us.
Fortunately, many states have stepped forward to enact laws which recognize the inherent dignity of the unborn by reaffirming their basic humanity. This map tracks five types of state laws:
- Prohibiting the transfer of fetal tissue harvested from the unborn during an abortion
- Requiring the remains of the unborn after an abortion to be buried or cremated
- Banning public funding for aborted fetal tissue research
- Prohibiting the sale or profit of aborted baby body parts
- Providing death certificates for stillborn and miscarried babies
All five types of laws are important to recognizing and protecting the dignity of unborn children. Click on a state to see whether and how it protects fetal dignity. For more information, read our Issue Analysis “Respecting the Unborn through Fetal Dignity Laws” (frc.org/fetaldignity).