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Abortion laws 2013
The Guttmacher Institute reports that the number of newly enacted legislative abortion restrictions is the second-highest ever at the mid-year point. Forced-birthers have proved increasingly adept at spreading versions of laws that have passed in one state on to another.

For instance, bills requiring that physicians at abortion clinics obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital or that clinics meet the standards of hospitals (while not requiring out-patient clinics handling other procedures to do the same) have been passed in several legislatures. It's not just abortion the forced-birthers are going after. Efforts to cut state funding for Planned Parenthood and axing grants for family planning have not died down.

You can read the institute's updated assessment of new laws here, the status of current state policies at the legislative, administrative and judical level here and a chart of state legislation enacted in 2013 here.

The key factor in the forced-birthers' approach is relentlessness. If one kind of restrictive proposal runs into too much opposition, in the courts, for example, they don't give up but rather bend that proposal until it does work or move on to some fresh approach.  So far this year, states have passed 43 new laws restricting abortion, according to the institute:

Early in the 2013 legislative year, it appeared that anti-abortion activity would focus on banning abortion early in pregnancy, either by declaring that personhood begins at the moment of conception or by banning the procedure outright. Indeed, provisions banning early abortion were enacted in two states in March alone: First, the Arkansas legislature overrode a veto by Gov. Mike Beebe (D) to ban abortions occurring more than 12 weeks after a woman's last menstrual period; in May, a federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the law. Later in March, North Dakota enacted a ban on abortions occurring after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which generally occurs at about six weeks after a woman's last menstrual period; although a legal challenge has been filed, the law is scheduled to go into effect in August.

Although the momentum for banning early abortion appears to have slowed, the same cannot be said for bans on abortion later in pregnancy.

Amid all the bad news, there have been a few encouraging developments, with a few states extending the reach of comprehensive sex education, expedited treatment of partners in cases of sexually transferred infections and Plan B contraception for women who have been sexually assaulted. Please read below the fold for more

But, overall, the male-led attack on women reproductive rights that should have ended 40 years ago continues on many fronts with no signs of letting up. Accessible abortion, family planning advice and birth control measures are all under attack.

While the forced-birthers only get a small fraction of the legislation they introduce passed into law each year, over time their relentlessness has accumulated a vast array of restrictions making it ever more difficult for women and their physicians to make decisions that should be left to them alone. These laws are, of course, a class-based attack since affluent women have always been and will always be able to obtain abortions.

Abortion restrictions

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 09:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by Abortion, Pro Choice, Badger State Progressive, and Daily Kos.

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