A new analysis from the Guttmacher Institute shows that U.S. states have passed 231 new abortion restrictions since the 2010 midterm elections. In what's probably just a huge coincidence, the 2010 midterms were also the ones were we elected all those Tea Party Republicans.
The new Guttmacher report finds an enormous upswing in abortion restrictions starting in 2010. Seriously, look at this shit:
Also from their report:
The large number of recently enacted abortion restrictions has dramatically reshaped the landscape for women seeking an abortion... In 2000, 13 states had four or five types of abortion restrictions in effect and so were considered hostile to abortion rights. In that year, no state had more than five types of abortion restrictions in effect. By 2010, 22 states were considered hostile to abortion rights; five of these had six or more restrictions, enough to be considered extremely hostile to abortion rights. By 2014, 27 states had enough restrictions to be considered hostile; 18 of these can now be considered extremely hostile. The entire South is now considered hostile to abortion rights, and much of the South, along with much of the Midwest, is extremely hostile to abortion rights.
Guttmacher says that 57 percent of American women now live in a state that is "hostile" or "extremely hostile" to abortion rights, compared with 31% in 2000. The very slim silver lining: fewer abortion restrictions were enacted in 2014 versus 2013, but Guttmacher's analysts believe that's largely because some states weren't in session, others had shorter sessions, and because abortion restrictions took a temporary backseat to debates over the Common Core and minimum wage.
But after the disastrous 2014 midterms, we're freshly screwed. Republicans now controls both legislative chambers in 30 states. In 23 of those states, the governor is also a Republican, meaning whatever wild shit the legislature passes will likely get signed into law. Democrats control the legislature and the governor's office in just seven states. Remind us again why Women on Waves doesn't operate here?
You can read Guttmacher's full analysis on 2014 trends here.
Update, 6:30 p.m.: Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood's president and CEO, has issued a statement calling the Guttmacher report proof "that the right to safe and legal abortion exists in name only for far too many women in America today." She also adds, grimly, that 2015 promises to be "another tough year for women's health." Here's her full statement:
This report shows that the right to safe and legal abortion exists in name only for far too many women in America today, particularly low-income women who are hurt most by these restrictions that require people to drive hundreds of miles and make multiple trips for no medical reason. We see firsthand the consequences of politicians inserting themselves into women's personal health care decisions, from women who come to Planned Parenthood health centers after traveling long distances or delay seeking care because they can't access it.
"Politicians are not medical experts, but politicians have written these laws with the ultimate goal of making safe, legal abortion hard or even impossible to access. These laws actually endanger women and are deeply unpopular with the American public.
"As we look ahead to what will surely be another tough year for women's health, our focus is on making sure women have access to the care they need and are able to make their own health care decisions. In the months ahead, we'll work alongside our supporters on the ground to defeat dangerous restrictions and instead pass laws to expand access for reproductive health care and affordable birth control.
A protester stands outside North Dakota's only abortion clinic, February 2013. Image via AP