New Restrictions, Now in a State Near You

As the Texas legislature looks to enact some of the harshest abortion restrictions in the nation, women in other states are already facing the consequences of big government regulating their healthcare.  New laws go into effect this week in Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, and South Dakota, 5 states where it will now be more difficult for women to obtain safe and legal medial procedures.

Although a federal judge has already blocked some provisions, an anti-choice Alabama law will effectively make an abortion pill less accessible, require cumbersome new procedures for minors seeking abortions, and change standards for clinics.

Passed in April, two major new Kansas laws will impact reproductive health services in a controversial and unhealthy way.  A so-called sex-selective abortion bill will require physicians to determine if the procedure is being sought based on gender preference. This kind of law not only violates women’s rights but is incredibly difficult to enforce, and encourages racial stereotyping.  Women undergoing abortions will now also be informed that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks and that an abortion increases the risk for breast cancer; both of these claims have been discredited by major medical organizations.

As in Alabama, Mississippi’s new restrictions will regulate availability of abortion pills, which will likely have the most negative effects on women living in rural areas. Mississippi already is limited to only one clinic for the entire state.

Also creating barriers to access is the new South Dakota law.  Signed in March, the law will now require women to wait up to six days (three business days) after an initial appointment before they can return for a procedure.  This insulting law institutes the longest waiting period in the nation, and is especially detrimental in a state where the rural population is significant.

Anti-choice Montana legislation that created new parental consent requirements for minors seeking care was also scheduled to go into effect this month, but has been blocked by a federal judge.  Each of these laws is an example of expanding government and interfering in women’s healthcare, as anti-choice lawmakers attempt to chip away at women’s rights and access.

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