2012 Had the Second Highest Number of Abortion Restrictionsâ€¦Ever
After 2011 saw the highest number of abortion restrictions ever passed in a year, 2012 was not much better for women in the states.
According to the Guttmacher Institute’s latest report, 42 states plus the District of Columbia enacted 122 provisions related to women’s health and rights — the vast majority of which sought to undermine women’s health by cutting basic health services and one-third of which sought to reduce access to safe and legal abortion.
Whether they were passing targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) legislation designed to shut down health centers or pushing for medically unnecessary procedures like the infamous transvaginal ultrasound, in 2012 politicians continued their relentless attacks on women’s health and rights.
When you look at the different restrictions enacted across the country over the years, the statistics are astounding:
- Eight states now require a mandatory ultrasound, prior to receiving a safe and legal abortion.
- Nine states restrict access to family planning services by imposing restrictions on providers.
- Eight states have exemptions to the birth control coverage mandate — allowing employers to deny insurance coverage for birth control.
- Twenty-six states now stress abstinence in sex education.
In spite of the near-record number of restrictions passed, 2012 could have been much worse. High profile fights in states like Virginia (over mandatory ultrasound) and Idaho (also ultrasound) sparked outrage from women’s health supporters who pushed back hard against the attacks and helped beat back some bad legislation.
The presidential election also played an important role: as women’s health issues became a major focus of the 2012 election, state-level restrictions on a woman’s health care choices became high-profile events. Ultimately, the elevation of women’s health issues in the campaign helped pro-women’s health advocates block dangerous and extreme legislation.
So while the number of attacks in 2012 was the second highest in history, we’re expecting 2013 to be another busy year.