In 2015, 46 of 50 states considered passing a total of 396 anti-abortion laws

photo-1433588616917-dcbcc63429f42015 was not a good year for abortion-rights and it doesn’t look like 2016 will be much better. Last year, 46 of 50 states considered passing a total of 396 anti-abortion laws. Of those 46 states, 17  actually passed 57 of those suggested. Of the restrictions passed, there are four main topics that lawmakers are targeting: counseling and mandatory delays, medication abortion, abortion after the first trimester of pregnancy, and targeted regulation of abortion providers.

Here are some of the anti-abortion laws that passed last year alone:

  1. Florida and Tennessee passed mandatory delay measures
  2. Arkansas, North Carolina, and Oklahoma lengthened mandatory delays
  3. Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, and Montana attempted to prevent women from obtaining abortion care via telemedicine
  4. Arizona and Arkansas adopted legislation that requires doctors to give women seeking abortion false information about the procedure.
  5. Kansas and Oklahoma enacted legislation that prevents women from obtaining a safe method of abortion after 14 weeks.
  6. West Virginia and Wisconsin passed legislation that bans abortion beyond 20 weeks.
  7. Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, and Oklahoma and Tennessee have enacted TRAP laws (Target Regulation Abortion Provider) which targets clinic closures and have nothing to do with protecting the health of women.

If are a woman who happens to live in Oregon or Maine, consider yourself lucky. In Oregon, women will now be able to obtain birth control pills without visiting a doctor first. And Maine plans on expanding the Medicaid coverage of family planning individuals who earn up to 209% of the federal poverty level.


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4 Current News Items Surrounding Repro Justice

march round up

Every day women’s health comes under attack in state legislatures and/or in Congress. It amazes me that in 2015, with all the international crises facing us, and internal economic and other problems that our state and local governments must address, Congress and so many states have decided that attacking women’s health should be their first priority.

No matter that improving women’s health, i.e. providing access to fertility control through contraception and abortion, would have a ripple effect – improving the well-being of families. Women remain the target of legislative agendas that are punitive and cruel. Below are four current news items surrounding the #reprojustice debate:

1. Planned Parenthood Sent A “Hudson Peconic Action Fund” Newsletter:

“It is safe to say that this year legislators have taken no time to ease in or ramp up. In their first two weeks back in session, Congress introduced 14 anti-women’s health bills restricting access to abortion and reproductive health care. Despite the fact that 68.7% of voters don’t want the government to interfere in a woman’s private decision about whether to have an abortion, the House GOP presented a bill that would ban federal funding for abortion. To add insult to injury, the bill was passed on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the federal law that protects a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body and guarantees her access to safe and legal abortion.”

My thoughts:

Somehow, lawmakers seem to feel that when it comes to women’s health, they have graduated from medical or nursing school, and have the knowledge to make laws mandating very specific actions by health care providers. They would never mandate laws requiring specific actions for doctors to take with patients who are diabetic or who are simply being seen for their yearly physical. It baffles me that anyone can take them seriously!

2. Some State Initiatives To Pay Attention To:

Mississippi 
Arkansas
In addition, the Alan Guttmacher Institute published a summary of state abortion laws. Here is the list as of February 2015:

http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_OAL.pdf

 

3. Some Good News– Advocacy Does Help:

Here is proof
And here too. 

4. An Important Interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg:

Watch this video of Ginsberg discussing the difficult state of abortion access today. The 30-minute interview is about many things but her comments on abortion begin about 3 minutes in and last for a few minutes.


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