Most Americans lack access to affordable health care and believe abortion should be legal, but that hasn't stopped some uber-chic fashionistas from daring to break the rules! We've hand-picked five key ways you can wear the most essential anti-choice trends from the runways — er, courtrooms and Senate floors. Let's get prepped for a fun and flirty spring!!
According to a new report by the Guttmacher Institute, nearly half of all reproductive health related bills introduced in just the first quarter of 2013 would ban or severely limit access to abortion, even though polling finds that 70 percent of Americans oppose efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade. We're totally loving this blast from the past! Here's your cheat sheet to the hottest and biggest trends of spring 2013, including some old standbys and new favorites.
"TRAP" (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) Laws
All major trend forecasters agree that TRAP laws, which impose unnecessary, costly and often impossible-to-meet restrictions and are usually intricately complicated — much like that elaborate hand-woven scarf you picked up in that adorbs little town during your last beach vacay — are smokin' this season. As noted It Boy Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a leading advocate for TRAP restrictions has said, these restrictions are designed to “make abortion disappear in America.”
Just take a look at Alabama, Mississippi and North Dakota; legislators in those forward (or backward) thinking states have successfully pushed laws that would drive the sole abortion provider in the state out of business by mandating that clinics meet unnecessary building requirements (curtain length specifics, hallways and recovery rooms of certain dimensions, etc.) and secure admitting privileges at local hospitals. Other states are following suit (so to speak), so you might want to snap these looks up fast; it'll only be a matter of time before you'll be able to find cheap-looking TRAP laws on sale at Forever 21! Sure, these rules are totally superflous and not exactly wardrobe essentials, but since when was fashion ever about reality?
Abortion Bans Prior to Viability
Nothing comes between us and our unconstitutional abortion bans; during the first three months of 2013, legislators in 14 states introduced provisions seeking to ban abortion prior to viability. Just yesterday, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law a measure that outlaws abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy because he thinks that's when a fetus can feel pain. He's definitely one to watch!
Worried that your body shape won't allow you to pull this look off? Shut it, girlfriend! These bans fall into three categories — measures that would prohibit all abortions, those that would ban abortions after a specified point during the first trimester of pregnancy and those that would block abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization — so you'll be able to don your own pre-viable ban whether you're an Apple or a Pear.
Of course, all of these measures are in direct violation of the U.S. Supreme Court; Roe v. Wade legalized abortion up until viability, which medical experts say is at 22-24 weeks. Sexy!! Every woman should have this daring yet straightforward look hanging in her closet next to her fave LBD.
Fetal Personhood Laws
Some trends just won't die; although personhood ballot initiatives are consistently rejected around the country, legislators in eight states (AL, IA, MS, ND, OK, SC, VA and WA) have proposed defining “personhood” as beginning at conception; if adopted, these measures would ban most, if not all, abortions. Last month, hip trendster Dalrymple (he's turned North Dakota into a major fashion player this season) signed a law that bans abortions as early as six weeks, since that's when a fetal heartbeat can be detected — it has the high honor of being the most restrictive anti-choice bill in the country and is slated to go into effect in August. Will this be the year that personhood finally takes off??
Medication Abortion Limitations
Legislators in eight states (AL, AR, IA, IN, MO, MS, NC and TX) have introduced provisions to restrict medication abortion. Some restrictions require physicians to be in the same room as the patient — retro! — while others require medication abortion to be provided in strict accordance with ancient FDA protocol that's since been replaced by more widely-used, simpler standards. We're really feeling this return to pre-technology times; be the first chica at ladies night to rock the look!
Nearly 750,000 teenagers in the United States will become pregnant this year alone. Let's buck tradition by ending teen pregnancy prevention programs and requiring that educators propagate misleading info. Super cute!
Legislators in North Carolina introduced a bill that would impose a requirement on North Carolina’s sex education curricula mandating that students be told of a risk of prematurity in subsequent births after an abortion, despite consensus from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, and many other medical experts that there is no such link.
Last week, the Arkansas Senate passed a bill that axed a state-funded HIV and STI prevention program administered by Planned Parenthood in Arkansas public high schools. Even Republicans are pissed off. Sassy!
Yesterday, the Ohio state budget was amended by the House Finance and Appropriations Committee to include new limits on sex education: "insturuction under this section shall not utilize the services of any individual or organization to assist in teaching the coursework if that individual or organization endorses student nonabstinence from sexual activity as an appropriate or acceptable behavior, or if that individual or organization promotes, endorses, advocates, or condones gateway sexual activity." Can't you see that on a $250 limited-edition t-shirt?
Spring has sprung, and we're oh-so-happy it has; we can't wait to strut our stuff in the latest warm weather trends! Ladies: you may not have control over your vagina, but you definitely have control over your style. It's shopping time!