July 30, 2014

THE CULTURE WARS ARE A ROUT:

Here's Proof That the Anti-Abortion Movement Is Winning : Anti-abortion restrictions slowed down in 2014. That's not good news. (Lane Florsheim, 7/30/14, New Republic)

Though the rate of passage for restrictive laws has slowed down this year, in certain states, this is because much of the damage has already been done. In these states, it seems, the pro-life movement is winning. Reproductive rights were one of many issues for which the 2010 midterms served as a turning point, thanks to the wave of newly elected conservative state legislators taking office around the country. "We've seen 226 abortion restrictions enacted over the past four years," Elizabeth Nash, State Issues Manager at Guttmacher, told me. "That speaks to some states enacting multiple restrictions, and perhaps the urgency in some of those states to adopt further restrictions is just not there." In other words, the pace of anti-abortion legislation has slowed down not because the movement has stalled, but because they've already got much of what they want.

Take Arizona. Arizona hasn't always been an overwhelmingly pro-life state; Janet Napolitano vetoed numerous abortion restrictions during her 2003-2009 governorship. When Jan Brewer became governor, however, a dramatic shift occurred. Between 2009 and 2012, Governor Brewer signed numerous bills into law that made several changes to abortion regulations: Partial-birth abortions were banned except when necessary to save the mother's life, notarized parental consent became a requirement for minors seeking an abortion, and women had to meet with a doctor at least 24 hours before a scheduled abortions. The state began to require women to get an ultrasound before an abortion and banned telemedicine abortions. That summary isn't even exhaustive. Though the breakneck speed at which Arizona passed abortion restrictions between 2009 and 2012 hasn't stopped entirely, it has since slowed significantly in the past year and a half. Despite setbacks like its failure to defund Planned Parenthood, the pro-life campaign in Arizona is succeeding. The state currently has seven abortion clinics, down from 19 in 2010.

Other states have followed a comparable trajectory. "We've seen something similar in that we saw states such as Oklahoma, Indiana, Kansas adopt multiple restrictions in 2011 and 2012 and have a bit of a dropoff in 2013, 2014," said Nash. Anti-choice crusaders in these states have gotten a lot of what they want.
Posted by at July 30, 2014 7:25 PM
  
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