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10 States Where Abortion Is Virtually Illegal for Some Women

Thanks to increasingly restrictive state laws, we're seeing a return to pre-Roe back-alley abortions and criminal treatment of women.

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4) Louisiana. Using law enforcement creatively to get around the legal right to abortion is done in ways other than prosecuting women, of course. There’s also the practice of targeting abortion providers and hitting them with unnecessary, harassing regulations that aren’t applied to any other medical facilities.

Louisiana now has a law allowing abortion clinics to be shut down for any violation of any regulation, no matter how minor, even though it’s standard in most cases to let medical facilities stay open as long as they’re resolving the problem. To make it worse, Louisiana has a bunch of regulations  that apply only to abortion providers that can be used for this purpose; laws such as requiring abortion providers to have a board of directors, even though other ob-gyns who do similar procedures do not have similar restraints.

The law has already been used to shut the doors of one clinic in New Orleans; a major loss as there’s only seven providers in the entire state, four of whom are in New Orleans. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Louisiana is also looking to ban abortion outright and attempt to take the issue back to the Supreme Court.  

5) Kansas. It may still be legal to get or provide abortion in Kansas, but it’s become increasingly dangerous to do so. Human rights aren’t really being secured if trying to exercise them means facing threats of violence, as the civil rights activists of the past can tell you. Already one abortion provider in Kanas, Dr. George Tiller, has been assassinated, which dropped the number of providers in the state from four to three.  

Even though the assassin received a life sentence, the continued threats of terrorism in Kansas haven’t slowed down at all, but have escalated. When a family doctor named Dr. Mila Means announced her intention to start offering abortions in Dr. Tiller’s stead, the result was a barrage of threats and harassment. And when the Department of Justice attempted to get a restraining order on one anti-choice extremist who threatened to kill Dr. Means, a federal court judge refused the request. It remains to be seen if federal intervention can quell the escalating hostilities.  

6) Virginia. Virginia is quickly rivaling some of the more deep South states in the art of using legal harassment to run abortion providers out of business. Not only is the legislature trying to pass regulations  that hold abortion clinics to hospital-level standards, but anti-choicers are trying to  interfere with the Department of Health's decisions allowing abortion clinics to operate in the state. If anti-choice forces prevail, at least 17 of the 22 abortion clinics in Virginia will be forced to shut their doors. 

7) Mississippi. The legal battles continue over whether or not it’s legal for the state to issue a ballot initiative on the question of whether a fertilized egg should be legally considered a “person.” If civil liberties groups challenging the ballot initiative lose out, it will probably pass into law, which not only threatens abortion, contraception and IVF access, but  could result in legal actions taken against women who merely miscarry or give birth to stillborns.

The Jackson Women’s Health Clinic claims to be the only abortion clinic in the entire state.  

8) Indiana. Indiana has dropped from 15 providers in 2005 to 12 in 2008. Law enforcement in the state has been looking for creative ways to put women in jail for failing to bear live children.  A woman who attempted suicide while pregnant, only to give birth to a baby who didn’t survive, has been charged with murder. The state of Indiana doesn’t think Bei Bei Shuai suffered enough, even though she was abandoned by her boyfriend, had two mental breakdowns, tried to commit suicide, and lost a baby who only lived for four days after being born.  

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