Record Number of Anti-Choice Provisions in 2011-2012
According a recent report issued by the Guttmacher Institute, 2012 saw a record of anti-abortion provisions enacted into law.
The report found that of 122 provisions that related to reproductive health and rights enacted last year, 43 of those were specifically targeted at restricting abortion access. Though the 43 anti-choice provisions came from a total of 19 states, half of the provisions came from only six states: Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Provisions included in the report covered issues such as mandatory ultrasounds, TRAP laws, parental consent, mandatory waiting periods, restrictions to healthcare coverage of abortion, and bans on abortion past 20 weeks.
2012 saw the second highest number of anti-choice provisions enacted in a year on record. The highest was in 2011 with 93 provisions restricting abortion access enacted. However, these totals reflect provisions enacted during a calendar year, not legislative session. When considering the 2011-2012 legislative session, 136 anti-choice provisions were enacted.
In addition, 2013 and the 2013-2014 legislative session are already seeing anti-choice provisions being introduced in state legislatures and in some cases enacted by state governors. Texas has prohibited state funding from being used by any organization affiliated with abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed a TRAP law into effect which requires abortion facilities to meet the same building codes as new hospitals. In the Virginia state legislature, State Senator Thomas Garrett has introduced legislation to prohibit Medicaid funding for an abortion in cases of severe fetal abnormality and Delegate Bob Marshall has proposed legislation to prohibit sex selective abortions and restrict insurance coverage for contraception. In addition, anti-choice provisions that failed in the 2011-2012 legislative session may now be brought forward again with the beginning of a new session.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 1/4/2013; Guttmacher Institute 1/2013; Feminist Newswire 1/2/2013