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“Accessing abortion is much more difficult in 2014 than it was in 2009,” pro-abortion think-tank report concludes

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The Guttmacher Institute Express rolled out another report today, which is interesting not only because GI is a leading pro-abortion think tank, but also because of what it says and what it doesn’t say.

The overall thrust is twofold: (1) the pace of pro-life legislation has slowed in 2014, but (2) the “landscape” (from GI’s perspective) is considerably rougher than it was in 2010.

In all, GI tells us, 226 abortion “restrictions” have been passed since 2011, following the election of many pro-life state legislators and governors. (Note that what GI and other pro-abortion organisations count as “restrictions” usually differs from the tally provided by National Right to Life’s State Legislation Department).

“So far this year, 13 states have enacted 21 new restrictions designed to limit access to abortion, about half the number (41) of similar restrictions enacted by this time last year,” according to “States Continue to Enact Abortion Restrictions in First Half of 2014, but at a Lower Level than in the Previous Three Years,” produced by GI’s Media Center.

On the other hand, pro-abortion lawmakers passed three laws “to protect abortion services”. Sarah Kliff, writing at vox.com, conceded that the report shows that “abortion restrictions still vastly outnumber laws liberalising access.” (Kliff is wired into the abortion establishment.)

The GI offers a number of well-reasoned explanations. The prevalence of other pressing issues, such as the ongoing debate surrounding the Common Core curriculum and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, has also contributed to the limited legislative attention on abortion. The cyclical nature of legislative sessions, with states typically having shorter sessions in election years, and the fact that some state legislatures that have been particularly active on abortion issues (Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas) are not in session in even-number years, have also likely played a role in limiting legislative attention to abortion.

However, the report notes that despite this potential positive development, the situation is likely to become more challenging for those seeking abortion services in many states. This is due to the introduction of new restrictions, known as targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP), which have been implemented in several states this year. TRAP is shorthand for the requirement that abortion clinics meet the minimal standards necessary to enhance the safety of women.

GI laments that, in total, 26 states have enacted some form of TRAP law, a significant increase from 2000, when only 11 states had such requirements. The introduction of these new laws has resulted in 59% of women of reproductive age residing in a state that has enacted TRAP provisions.

The report also examines three other categories of pro-life initiatives, including the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (without naming it), requirements that abortionists be in the same room as the woman when she receives her chemical abortifacients, and state laws that affirmatively prohibit coverage of abortions under the qualified health plans offered through the health “exchanges” established by ObamaCare.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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