A study published last week by the Guttmacher Institute reveals that the last three years have seen more legislative attacks on reproductive rights than the entire previous decade.
Since 2011, 205 new restrictions on abortion have cleared state legislatures, while only 189 were enacted from 2001-2010. The most were passed in 2011, with 83, and 2013 came in second with 70. Twenty-seven states are now considered to be hostile to abortion rights, up from just 13 in 2000. These hostile states that limit access and rights to abortion are home to 56 percent of US women.
Almost half of the abortion restrictions enacted since 2011 fall into one of four categories: targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP), limitations on insurance coverage of abortion, 20 week abortion bans, and restrictions for medication abortion. States have also adopted restrictions involving parental notification, waiting periods, counseling and ultrasounds, among other issues. Pro-choice groups have been able to tie some of these measures up in court by filing lawsuits, but the outcomes for many are uncertain. The Supreme Court will soon take up an Oklahoma law that could outlaw all drug-induced abortions. Fortunately, some states, like California, have passed laws expanding abortion access and comprehensive sex education.
“The historic rise of these attacks on women’s health can be traced back to 2010,” Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told The Progressive, “when out-of-touch tea party politicians picked up key seats in legislatures across the country, promising to create jobs and boost our economy–but immediately focused on ending access to safe and limiting women’s health care options.”
Media Resources: Guttmacher Institute 1/2/14; The Progressive 1/3/14; Feminist Newswire 9/16/13, 10/3/13, 10/7/13, 10/10/13, 11/1/13, 11/27/13, 12/2/13, 12/12/13, 1/2/14