9 States Where Awful GOP Policies Will Actually Drive Up the Abortion Rate
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7) Minnesota. Minnesota’s legislature passed deep cuts to Planned Parenthood, which uses the vast majority of the state’s Title X funding. The result is the closure of six clinics that mainly serve more rural areas where options for low-cost birth control are otherwise nonexistent. In theory, women could drive many hours to other cities to get birth control, but with gas at $4 a gallon, the drive alone could wipe out the affordability for many.
In case this doesn’t do enough to separate women from their contraception, Minnesota lawmakers are also considering a bill that would require teenagers to obtain parental consent for contraception. Liberal approaches to contraception have lowered the Minnesota teen pregnancy rate for years, but expect it to go up if this bill passes, and with a spike in teen pregnancy, there is usually a spike in abortions.
8) Tennessee. Fights to kill off family planning funding in Tennessee have been numerous and diverse, occurring on the local and state level. Chattanooga-Hamilton County officials attempted to block funding directly to their clinics, which ended in a confused failure. Despite this, the fight went statewide, with a redirect of the funding that goes to Planned Parenthood toward other clinics in the area. The rub? Those clinics can’t actually handle the amount of traffic that goes through Planned Parenthood on a regular basis. In Tennessee, the money may be there, but women will still be denied access to contraception. The Tennessee unemployment rate lingers at around 10 percent, and the poverty rate is at 17.2 percent, putting a lot of women in a position where they can’t afford contraception, but when they get pregnant, they really can’t afford to have a baby.
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. Presumably,
Republicans don’t have a problem with this because they also seek to make abortion harder to get, and figure that it will all even out in the end. But in reality--as many abortion providers will attest--women will go to great lengths to get abortions, even in cases where they were negligent with contraception. The emergency nature of an unwanted pregnancy motivates in a way that potential pregnancy simply cannot, and women will beg, borrow and steal to get abortions if the chance they took skimping on contraception didn’t pay off.
The only workable way to prevent abortions is to make sure women have the means to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but this method is the one that Republicans are increasingly loathe to support.