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Report: 2021 Poised to Become the Most Anti-abortion Legislative Session in Decades

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Report: 2021 Poised to Become the Most Anti-abortion Legislative Session in Decades

Report: 2021 Poised to Become the Most Anti-abortion Legislative Session in Decades
Photo: damircudic / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The number of abortion restrictions passed by states this week hit a record high, exceeding the number of restrictions passed in any one week in at least the last decade, according to a new analysis published Friday by the Guttmacher Institute.

The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research and policy organization, put the number of abortion restrictions introduced in state legislatures at 536 across 46 states, touching nearly every corner of the United States. Of those restrictions, 146 attempted to outlaw abortions, either through outright bans on the procedure or through bans imposed after a limited number of weeks into a pregnancy.

So far, lawmakers have enacted 61 of those restrictions across 13 states, including eight bans. That number is unheard of, noted Elizabeth Nash, a principal policy associate for the Guttmacher Institute who co-authored Friday’s report. 

“The current barrage of coordinated attacks must be taken seriously as the unprecedented threat to reproductive health care and rights that it is,” believes Nash. “The year 2021 is well on its way to being a defining one in abortion rights history.” She also called the record of restrictions “devastating,” “disturbing,” and “damaging.”

The past week has been celebratory for the anti-abortion movement, indeed. 

Republican Governors Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma and Brad Little of Idaho signed bills this week banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. In Oklahoma, doctors who perform the procedure after a heartbeat is detected may be charged with homicide. 

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed legislation prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill this week that bans abortions if a mother wants to terminate a pregnancy because of a genetic abnormality in a fetus. A doctor who performs the procedure in violation of the law may face felony charges. 

Arkansas enacted 20 new restrictions. That includes a law Governor Asa Hutchinson signed last month outright barring all abortion, except in cases where a pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s life. 

Reportedly, several state legislatures, including those in Texas and Oklahoma are considering enacting more abortion restrictions. Some Florida lawmakers are also eyeing new laws, including a ban on abortions if the fetus has a genetic abnormality. And Louisiana — which has a Republican-led statehouse and whose Democratic governor has also backed abortion restrictions — typically puts forth new abortion limitations later in the legislative session, sometime around May. 

The surge in bans puts new pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court, which may take up an abortion case next term.  The institute wrote that state policymakers are “testing the limits of what the new U.S. Supreme Court majority might allow,” now that conservative justices dominate the court six to three.

The institute demands more action from Congress and President Biden: “We haven’t seen much action. There’s certainly a lot that Congress and the president could be doing to move abortion protections, to really put their money where their mouth is.”

But President Biden has already done a lot to reverse his predecessor’s pro-life policies. On January 28, just a week since being sworn in to office, Biden signed an executive order that officially repealed Trump’s restriction on health organizations around the world from receiving U.S. assistance if they perform abortions, a so-called Mexico City policy. Biden also signed memorandum that directs the Health and Human Services Department to move immediately to consider rescinding the Trump administration rule blocking “health care providers” (such as Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers) in the federally funded Title X family planning program from referring patients for abortions. The order also withdraws the United States from the anti-abortion “Geneva Consensus Declaration,” which the Trump administration signed last year with dozens of other countries, asserting that “there is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation on the part of States to finance or facilitate abortion.”

Speaking from the Oval Office, Biden said the actions will “reverse my predecessor’s attack on women’s health access” and “undo the damage that Trump has done.”

Under Biden, the FDA will also allow patients to be prescribed and sent medicine called “abortion pills” without visiting a doctor in-person through the remainder of the pandemic. Another action taken was ending the limits on use of the aborted fetal tissue for “medical research.” 

Moreover, President Biden expanded abortion funding far beyond the level of any previous administration. He has made at least $479.9 billion available in funds to subsidize abortion and abortion businesses — more than 19 times the level set under President Obama.  

As noted by the pro-life Family Research Council, in his 100-day sprint to the Left, President Biden has forced taxpayers back into a partnership with the abortion industry and made clear that he places no value on the inherent dignity of human life. His actions deny the truth that every human life, born and unborn, possesses inherent dignity and deserves to be treated with respect. 

Given the administration’s aggressive pro-abortion stance, an anti-abortion counter attack from Republicans nationwide should undoubtedly be advanced.

Published at Sat, 01 May 2021 19:02:09 +0000

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