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Anti-Abortion Forces Increase in the States

The fight against abortion has been heating up in the states since the 2010 elections. Prior to the midterm elections, 21 governors were considered anti-choice. Now 29 governors are against a woman’s right to an abortion and 15 states have both anti-abortion governors and legislatures, up from 10 last year. Several measures have been introduced this month alone that, if passed, would limit women’s access to sexual and reproductive health services.

In Kansas, Representative Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe) introduced the Abortion Reporting Accuracy and Parental Rights bill in the state’s House of Representatives requiring the consent of two parents for girls under 18 to obtain an abortion. Proponents say the two parent notification requirement would only apply in cases in which the nuclear family was intact and without abuse but experience shows that such consent laws are extremely harmful to young girls, especially victims of abuse. The change would alter current Kansas law, in which the minor needs the consent of only one parent to have an abortion.

Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in Florida and state Senators Annette Dub (D) and Beau McCoy (R) in Nebraska proposed bills that would ban abortion coverage in insurance policies sold in state health insurance exchanges. The state exchanges are scheduled to begin operating in 2014. Representative McCoy’s bill, which was endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life, also proposes prohibiting private health plans from covering abortion services unless the women’s life is threatened.

Nancy Northrup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights, stated, “At a time when politicians should be focusing the country’s energy on delivering jobs and improving the economy, anti-choice lawmakers are fixated on interfering with a woman’s personal, medical decisions.”

Sources:

New York Times 1/29/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/24/11, 1/10/11; Center for Reproductive Rights 1/05/11