Last Year, States Enacted 92 Abortion Restrictions, Shattering Records
2011 was not a good year for reproductive rights. According to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute, nationwide provisions aimed at reproductive health and rights reached record high levels last year, and the majority of them restrict abortions.
From the report:
In the 50 states combined, legislators introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions, a sharp increase from the 950 introduced in 2010. By year’s end, 135 of these provisions had been enacted in 36 states, an increase from the 89 enacted in 2010 and the 77 enacted in 2009.(Note: This analysis refers to reproductive health and rights-related “provisions,” rather than bills or laws, since bills introduced and eventually enacted in the states contain multiple relevant provisions.)
The new provisions present a serious threat to abortion access:
Fully 68% of these new provisions—92 in 24 states—-restrict access to abortion services, a striking increase from last year, when 26% of new provisions restricted abortion. The 92 new abortion restrictions enacted in 2011 shattered the previous record of 34 adopted in 2005.
According to the report, abortion restrictions took many forms, including bans, waiting periods, clinical regulations, changes in insurance coverage, and sick bullying: five states adopted provisions requiring women to see or be described an ultrasound of their womb, prior to obtaining an abortion.
For more on the nationwide legislation targeting women's reproductive rights, read the report.