Despite making some “positive progress,” reproductive rights at the state level have suffered many more “ongoing assaults,” according to a report released last week by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.
The first, and much shorter, part of the report describes the “progress” which pro-abortion activists have made in state legislatures. The developments mentioned include increased contraceptive insurance coverage, easier access to contraceptives without a prescription, and new measures focusing on opioid use among pregnant women.
Only one insubstantial paragraph at the end of the section even mentions abortion:
Three states also moved to protect access to abortion. Delaware enacted a comprehensive new law that affirms the legality of abortion until fetal viability, allows abortion after viability when the woman’s life or health would be at risk or when there is a diagnosed fetal anomaly, and repeals several outdated and unenforced abortion restrictions. Idaho officially repealed its ban on providing abortion via telemedicine; the law was struck down by a federal court in 2016. Finally, New York adopted regulations requiring private insurance plans to cover abortion services.
Notice that for Idaho’s “progress,” Gutmacher had to dig back to a change which actually happened last year. So, really, they can only claim two pro-abortion improvements.
But these small “victories” are miniscule compared to the pro-life measures introduced so far this year in 34 states, which the report goes on to detail:
During the first half of the year, legislators in six states introduced measures to ban all abortions, and legislators in 28 states introduced measures to ban abortions under some circumstances.
After Kentucky and Iowa passed laws banning abortion after the 20th week, the total amount of states with such legislation now stands at 18. Montana would have been the 19th had Democratic Governor Steve Bullock not vetoed the bill.
Additionally, so far this year, two states (Arkansas and Texas) have enacted laws banning dilation and evacuation abortions. This same ban has passed one legislative body in two more states, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
Eight states have introduced measures to ban sex-selective abortions. Eleven more states have adopted 17 other “major abortion restrictions” — such as requiring counseling, a 72-hour waiting period, or an ultrasound before having an abortion.
Arizona, Kentucky, and South Carolina joined a growing number of states — 8 in the last 2 years — which have restricted taxpayer funds to clinics like Planned Parenthood which perform abortions. Additionally, Iowa and Missouri opted to terminate their joint federal-state programs in order to exclude abortion providers from their state Medicaid funds.
What this report shows is that, even according to Planned Parenthood’s own research organization, the abortion lobby is losing and life is winning at the state level. As the Guttmacher Institute notes, “over 30 percent of all abortion restrictions enacted since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade came in just the last six years.” Hopefully, pro-life legislators will be able to continue to build off such astounding success in the next six years and beyond.
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