California, Bucking Other States, Expands Access to Abortion

AbortionRestrictionsEnacted.png
Courtesy the Guttmacher Institute
Abortion Is Still a Hot Topic in State Legislatures
As you can see from this chart, since the 2010 mid-term elections there has been a significant uptick in abortion restrictions. State legislatures in Texas, Ohio, North Dakota (overturned in Court), Wisconsin (also blocked in court) and Pennsylvania (among others) have all enacted restrictions on abortion making it harder for women to obtain one. But I thought the Tea Party only cared about fiscal issues.

However, California, per usual, is blazing its own path in regard to a woman's right to choose:

A law signed Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown allows more medical practitioners to perform first-trimester abortions. It also may be the first state law to expand or maintain access to the procedure since Hawaii did so in 2006 (their law keeps abortion legal in the state if the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade were to be overturned).

So, it's not all gloom and doom for pro-choicers. At least a few states still aren't trying to effectively re-litigate Roe v. Wade and Casey. Indeed, New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo, no doubt with an eye to 2016, tried to pass the Women's Equality Act in his state, but Republicans and Catholic interest groups killed it. In Washington, much the same happened.

And it's really not as much gloom as pro-choice groups like NARAL -- who of course have a financial interest in scaring women into donating money -- might like you to think. As noted above, many of these restrictive abortion laws have been overturned by federal courts and the other are in the process of being challenged. Despite the recent spate of abortion legislation by conservative state legislatures, the fact remains that 60 percent plus of Americans have long supported maintaining the constitutional right to abortion. These regulations are the consequence of electing politicians who are ideological outliers aligned with single issue groups like the National Right to Life and the Catholic church cum evangelical Christians.

I don't have a pithy conclusion or prediction for you -- 40 years afterRoe, we still fight.


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