If you took one look at the Guttmacher Institute’s new report and analysis on the state of abortion rights in America, you’d think women were being held hostage in the South.
After Republicans swept the congressional elections in 2010, they introduced scores of pro-life laws around the country. Guttmacher, which (it’s no surprise) has long been sympathetic to abortion rights, explained the effect the legislation has had on 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.
In total, 231 abortion laws have been enacted in the last four years, Guttmacher reports. These included such regulations as banning early abortions, additional counseling requirements, and striking down buffer zones around abortion clinics, which would require pro-life activists to keep their pamphlets and life saving messages at a distance. On the other hand, there were also many anti-life legislation measures enacted in the past four years, namely North Carolina’s decision to strike down a law that would require women to view an ultrasound before having an abortion. Overall, though, it’s been an incredible four years for the pro-life movement.
One look at the newly elected 114th Congress suggests this pro-life trend won’t be slowing anytime soon. In addition to a number of pro-life men who were elected in convincing victories this November, such as Cory Gardner (R-CO), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), the 2014 midterms were also an historic election for pro-life women. For the first time ever, 21 women who define themselves as pro-life will be serving in Congress.
The more hostile a state is to abortion, the safer it is to mothers and their unborn babies. I, for one, am encouraged by these graphs so reluctantly published by Guttmacher. Abortion is a dangerous procedure in which women must be informed of the consequences before making a rash decision. These laws will help to slow down that process and maybe (hopefully) even give mothers to chance to change their minds and give their children life.
For more information on these ‘hostile’ laws, watch my preview of the lifesaving legislation set to take effect this year: