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9 States Where Awful GOP Policies Will Actually Drive Up the Abortion Rate

Republicans, who claim to find fetal life precious and abortion horrendous, also favor the very policies that drive increasing numbers of women to seek abortions.

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3) North Carolina. North Carolina took a look at what Kansas and Indiana were doing and decided to take part, becoming the third state to pass a law barring Planned Parenthood from accessing funds that lower the cost of birth control for low-income women. The Democratic governor vetoed the bill,  but increasing the rate of unwanted pregnancies was such a priority for the legislature that they overrode her veto. But North Carolina isn’t exactly welcoming to an increase in childbirth to go along with the increase in unplanned pregnancy. The state is cutting  funding for early education and about  $1 billion from schools. North Carolina Republicans have no problems with upping the rate of pregnancy by depriving women of birth control, but they just don't want to invest in the kids that will result. 

4) Wisconsin. Wisconsin is angling to be the vanguard in this new Republican experiment of supporting a rise in abortions while claiming to oppose abortion. Everything women need to avoid abortion, from affordable contraception to the ability to feed their families, is under prolonged assault by Republicans desperate to pack in retrograde policies before they’re recalled out of power. Under Gov. Scott Walker, Republicans are moving to  cut family planning, cut health services, throw poor people out of their homes, and of course, destabilize the unions that offer protection to Wisconsin families, putting rising numbers of women in a position where they can’t prevent unwanted pregnancies and they also can't take care of the children they do have.   

On top of it all, the Republicans are trying to require parental consent for minors to get contraception, even though many teenagers will turn to pull-and-pray rather than ask their parents for birth control. In case their desire to keep women from contraception wasn’t obvious enough,  Wisconsin legislators jumped in line to defund Planned Parenthood. Without contraception subsidies, poor women will struggle and often fail to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but without the traditional economic protections, they won’t be able to have their babies when they do get pregnant. When faced with this stark choice, many women will turn to abortion. 

5) New Jersey. Under the leadership of Republican Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey’s family planning centers have suffered major funding cuts. Christie slashed family planning funding without even pretending that abortion had any bearing on the decision. Instead he justified the decision as fiscal conservatism, even though  every dollar spent on family planning saves the government $4.  $7.5 million has been cut from family planning services, and there’s talk of cutting another $4.6 million from general community health services. As in Wisconsin,  New Jersey is also attacking benefits, including health benefits, for state employees.

As the Guttmacher Institute demonstrated,  the abortion rate is going up with poor women, no doubt in response to poor economic times. New Jersey’s policies will exacerbate these economic woes while raising the unwanted pregnancy rate. Despite Christie’s stellar record at creating the environment for an increased abortion rate, he was  invited to speak at a so-called pro-life rally.  

6) Texas. The state of Texas hasn’t received as much attention for their family planning cuts as Indiana and North Carolina, because of the daunting complexity of its anti-contraception legislation. The bill requires  reproductive health funding to go first to state, local and private clinics over Planned Parenthood. The hope is that funds will run out before Planned Parenthood has access to any. To make it worse, the bill has a caveat that if Planned Parenthood challenges the law, all the funding for family planning in the program will be cut. In much of Texas, especially rural Texas, Planned Parenthood is the only access many women have to contraception.  A million and a half women in Texas rely on subsidies for contraception, which means the number of likely abortions from loss of contraception services will be especially high in the state.  

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