86% of U.S. Counties Are Without An Abortion Provider
A large decline in the number of abortion providers, along with a rise in effective contraceptive use, has been deemed the cause for the United States' abortion rate being the lowest in two decades, according to a study published by the Alan Guttmacher Institute.
The drop in providers is due to an increase in violence against abortion clinics and clinic workers. "When providers face harassment or violence from anti-abortion groups, and abortion is a very small part of their revenue, it may not be worth doing it," said Stanley Henshaw, author of an abortion book acclaimed by experts.
Between 1992 and 1996, abortions among women ages 15-44 dropped from near 1.5 million to 1.4 million. The rate of abortions has not been that low since 1975, when the rate was 22 per 1,000 women, equaling about 1 million American women. The rate in 1996 was 23 per 1,000 women.
Other Western developed countries still have much lower rates than the U.S. In 1995, Sweden's rate was per 1,000 was 18; 16 in Canada; 15 in England and Wales; and 6 in the Netherlands. Russia had 68 per 1,000 and Romania had 87 per thousand.
A decline in the number of facilities providing abortions totaled 14 percent in a four year period from 1992 to 1996. There are now 2,042 facilities providing abortions nationally.
Absolutely no abortion providers were located in 86 percent of U.S. counties. In rural counties, 95 percent lacked abortion services. Also, abortion was unavailable in 89 of 320 surveyed, or 27 percent.
The survey also determined that the greatest decline in services came from hospitals and physicians' offices, which now perform less than ten percent of all abortions.
While all states listed at least one provider, both North and South Dakota are especially vulnerable, with only one provider each.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .