Arizona Ranked No. 4 among States Respecting Sanctity of Life

By Cathi Herrod, President, Center for Arizona Policy

Americans United for Life (AUL) released their annual “Life List” this week, and Arizona has continued to move up the charts.

Our state is now ranked the fourth most pro-life state in the nation, behind only Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. According to AUL, the Life List “ranks states by their overall actions on life issues.”

Personally, this announcement was a welcomed pick-me-up after the disappointment of the United States Supreme Court declining to hear arguments over Arizona’s Mother’s Health and Safety Act. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the portion of this law that prohibited most abortions after 20 weeks.

As I said in my statement after the Supreme Court’s decision, it is absolutely terrible that this important law will not be in effect. Arizona legislators passed and Gov. Brewer signed this law to protect women and preborn children from the dangerous and deadly practice of performing abortions after 20 weeks of a pregnancy.

Yet despite this sad outcome, the Life List announcement reminds me that we are winning.

All you have to do is look back at a few years to see how far we’ve come. In 2009, Arizona was ranked 29 – in the bottom half of states for protecting preborn children and their mothers.

Now for the second year in a row, we’re in the top 5. Our state was also named one of AUL’s Women’s Protection Project All Stars. This is so meaningful to me because when I look at the devastating impact of abortion, I don’t only see the tragic loss of preborn life, but I also see a hurting woman. It is an honor for our state to be recognized for standing up against the abortion industry’s lies to women.

It’s important to point something out when we look at these rankings too.

Something very critical happened in 2009 that changed the pro-life trajectory of our state. Arizonans elected a pro-life legislature and Governor Jan Brewer became Governor.

It’s been under Governor Jan Brewer’s leadership that Arizona has shot up the charts – jumping 25 spots.

Governor Brewer has done more than just sign the bills too. She’s gone out of her way to passionately defend life. I was incredibly encouraged to hear that our Governor addressed Arizona’s pro-life progress in her State of the State address Monday:

“And, as thrilled as I am with everything we’ve accomplished on behalf of Arizona businesses, I’m equally proud of the work we’ve done on behalf of Arizona families.

From school choice policies that give parents the power to decide their children’s education … To life-affirming legislation protecting the unborn … Together, we have  pursued and protected the values most important to Arizona’s families – and Arizona’s future.”

We should never take for granted a governor who stands for life. It was because Arizona had an executive that opposed the rights of women and preborn children that our state was initially ranked in the bottom half of the nation.

Please take time today to send Governor Brewer a short note, thanking her for her leadership.

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