Americans United for Life, a public-interest nonprofit with a conservative bent, has issued a new study that labels Louisiana as the second most pro-life state in the nation, second only to Pennsylvania. California, Hawaii, and Vermont ranked lowest, respectively.

While AUL's criteria covers states' treatment of all life issues, final rankings depend largely on each state's enactment of prudent and well-supported laws. Such laws fence in the abortion license granted by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade. Among the other laws AUL looks for are informed consent, parental involvement for minors, medically-supported regulation of abortion providers, and limitations on the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, AUL president, says the ranking offers every reason for optimism for conservatives in Louisiana, especially with the election of Democratic President Barack Obama, who is pro-choice. “Since the election, we have seen a huge outpouring of grassroots support for our work opposing the radically pro-abortion Freedom of Choice Act as well as hundreds of inquiries about life-affirming legislation," Youest says.

With Obama in office, the abortion issue seems to be heating up again. Lafayette Congressman Charles Boustany, a Republican, has sent a letter to the new president urging him to drop his support for the Freedom of Choice Act, which seeks to overturn pro-life laws nationwide. “During the campaign you talked about reducing abortions,” Boustany writes. “The Freedom of Choice Act would do the opposite. By overturning laws that require parental notification or consent before a minor girl obtains an abortion, the abortion rate will increase.”

The Freedom of Choice Act is pending legislation at this time, but once it reaches Obama’s desk, expect to hear even more from pro-life and pro-choice forces.

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