Thursday, June 3, 2010

Abortion Foes Advance Cause at State Level

A New York Times article released yesterday discusses the recent wave of measures implicated by several states which aim to limit women’s reproductive rights. Many of these states are acting on provisions in the new health care plan which allows states to prohibit insurers from covering abortions. In this past year, at least 11 states have passed laws regulating or restricting abortion. Just to name a few:                                                               

*Arizona has passed 4 laws this year which include a ban on coverage of abortion in state employees’ health plan and stricter reporting requirements for doctors who perform abortions.

*Oklahoma has passed 7 laws in the past year. One of the most alarming is a law which requires a woman to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before receiving an abortion. There is no exception for women who have been sexually assaulted. Another new law protects doctors from being sued by parents for withholding information about fetal abnormalities during pregnancy.

*Nebraska ban on all abortions after 20 weeks.

While pro-choice supporters breathed a sigh of relief with the return of a pro-choice administration, anti-choice activists rallied. It is clear that attacks on reproductive freedom have become more severe. Pro-choice advocates need to remain vigilant to ensure their voices are heard and values are represented.

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