By Dave Andrusko
The Guttmacher Institute express rolled out another report today, interesting not just because GI is a leading pro-abortion think-tank but also because of what it said and didn’t say.
The overall two-fold thrust is (1) the pace of the passage of pro-life legislation has slowed in 2014, but (2) the “landscape” is (from GI’s perspective) considerably rougher than it was in 2010.
Overall, GI tells us, 226 abortion “restrictions” have been passed since 2011, following the election of many pro-life state legislators and governors. (Bear in mind that what GI and other pro-abortion organizations score as “restrictions” usual vary from the tally provided by National Right to Life’s State Legislation Department.)
“So far this year, 13 states have adopted 21 new restrictions designed to limit access to abortion, about half the number (41) of similar restrictions that had been enacted by this point 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 flipside, pro-abortionists have passed three laws “to protect abortion services.” Sarah Kliff, writing at vox.com, conceded that the report shows that “abortion restrictions still hugely outnumber laws liberalizing access.” (Kliff is wired into the Abortion Establishment.)
GI offers several thoughtful explanations. The push of other issues (fights over the Common Core curriculum and implementation of ObamaCare, for example), the cyclical nature of legislative sessions “as states historically have shorter sessions in election years and 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” together “perhaps limit[ed] legislative attention to abortion.”
But having found (for GI) a possible bright spot, the report then begins by noting, “Nonetheless, access to abortion will become even more difficult in many states because of actions taken this year and, once again, restrictions known as targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP), are taking center stage.” TRAP is abortion-speak for requiring abortion clinics to meet the kind of minimal thresholds that are needed to increase safety of women.
GI laments, “Altogether, 26 states have some sort of TRAP law, a sharp increase from 2000, when only 11 states had such requirements. With the addition of these new laws, 59% of women of reproductive age live in a state that has enacted TRAP provisions.”
The report also examines three other categories of pro-life initiatives such as 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.
“Abortion access has changed dramatically,” Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute told Kliff. “The debate at the federal level affected what happened at the state level, and accessing abortion is much more difficult in 2014 than it was in 2009.”