States Have Actually Passed Fewer Abortion Restrictions This Year

But more than 200 restrictions have been enacted in the last three and a half years.

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 22: A pro-life activist holds a sign as she participates in the annual 'March for Life' event January 22, 2009 in Washington, DC. The event was to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court abortion ruling. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
National Journal
Sophie Novack
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Sophie Novack
July 8, 2014, 10:05 a.m.

Is the “War on Wo­men” com­ing to a cease-fire?

Un­likely. But ac­cord­ing to a new re­port, the num­ber of abor­tion re­stric­tions en­acted by states is de­clin­ing.

Few­er laws lim­it­ing abor­tion ac­cess were passed in the first half of 2014 than by this point in any of the pre­vi­ous three years, ac­cord­ing to new data from the Guttmach­er In­sti­tute re­leased Tues­day.

Thir­teen states have passed a total of 21 abor­tion re­stric­tions so far this year, says the re­pro­duct­ive-health non­profit. This is about half the num­ber passed by this time last year, and one-quarter of the num­ber passed by this time in 2011.

These laws in­clude re­quire­ments that doc­tors have ad­mit­ting priv­ileges at nearby hos­pit­als, man­dated wait­ing peri­ods, bans on abor­tion after a cer­tain num­ber of weeks, and lim­its on med­ic­a­tion abor­tion. Chal­lenges to these re­stric­tions are on­go­ing in sev­er­al states.

Yet the num­ber of re­stric­tions still vastly out­paces the num­ber of abor­tion pro­tec­tions passed. Three states have moved to pro­tect abor­tion ac­cess, while four states and the Dis­trict of Columbia have worked to in­crease ac­cess to oth­er re­pro­duct­ive health ser­vices.

This year’s num­bers do not ne­ces­sar­ily in­dic­ate a change in sen­ti­ment or strategy. Guttmach­er at­trib­utes the de­cline largely to cyc­lic­al trends: States his­tor­ic­ally have a short­er le­gis­lat­ive ses­sion dur­ing elec­tion years, and some of the states that have been most act­ive on abor­tion le­gis­la­tion are not in ses­sion dur­ing even years, in­clud­ing Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Texas. Oth­er health care is­sues have also moved to the fore­front in state le­gis­latures, per­haps ec­lipsing the fo­cus on abor­tion is­sues.

The sev­er­al-year de­cline could in­dic­ate the surge of abor­tion re­stric­tions is com­ing to a close, though this could be be­cause so many have already been en­acted. A total of 226 state abor­tion re­stric­tions have been passed since 2011.

What We're Following See More »
WILL U.S. RESPOND?
Russia Accidentally Bombs U.S.-Backed Syrian Forces
1 hours ago
BREAKING
CARSON UP NEXT
Zinke Confirmed As Interior Secretary
3 hours ago
BREAKING
GOODLATTE SENDING LETTER TO SESSIONS THIS WEEK
House GOP Blocks Dems on Trump Ethics
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

On a party-line vote, "the House Judiciary Committee defeated a Democratic effort Tuesday to obtain any information the Justice Department has on possible conflicts, ethical violations or improper connections to Russia by President Donald Trump and his associates. The committee’s Republican chairman, Bob Goodlatte, opposed the resolution, even as he acknowledged the Justice Department hasn’t acted on his own request for a briefing on alleged Russian interference with the U.S. election and potential ties to the Trump campaign." He said he'll be sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting him to pursue "all legitimate investigative leads" into those matters.

Source:
WAITING FOR NEWS CYCLE TO REFRESH
Trump Holds Off on New Travel Ban
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump won’t sign a revised travel ban on Wednesday as had been anticipated, two senior administration officials confirmed. One of the officials indicated that the delay was due to the busy news cycle, and that when Trump does sign the revised order, he wanted it to get plenty of attention."

Source:
BUT THEY MUST PAY
Donald Trump Affirms Support For NATO
16 hours ago
UPDATE

Near the end of his speech Tuesday, Donald Trump made a firm proclamation affirming his support for NATO. "We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two World Wars that dethroned fascism, and a Cold War that defeated communism," Trump said. However, he continued on, "our partners must meet their financial obligations."

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login