The New Assault on Abortion Rights

By Valenti, Jessica | The Progressive, April 2011 | Go to article overview

The New Assault on Abortion Rights


Valenti, Jessica, The Progressive


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

In South Dakota, legislators proposed a bill that would make it legal to kill abortion providers. Yes, really. The bill would expand the definition of justifiable homicide to include those who killed to protect a fetus. (The bill made it out of committee before it was stalled, and the governor said he would veto it.) In Ohio, abortions could be banned once a heartbeat is heard, and in Iowa fertilized eggs could be given the same constitutional rights as people.

State abortion restrictions have always been a part of anti-choice strategy. But conservative legislators and activists--emboldened by the midterm elections--are now executing an increasingly radical state-by-state strategy that, if successful, would effectively make abortions illegal.

After all, you don't need to outlaw abortions if you just make them impossible to get.

According to a report by NARAL Pro-Choice America, state abortion restrictions have increased exponentially over the last fifteen years. Eighteen anti-choice measures had been enacted by 1995; by 2010 that number had jumped to 644. (For you math fans, that's a 3,478 percent increase.)

This year's are nastier than ever.

The Ohio "Heartbeat Bill," for example, would apply to pregnant women four weeks after conception. Taking into account women's irregular cycles or a lack of symptoms, some women would be restricted from having abortions before they even know they are pregnant.

"We are Ground Zero of what I believe will transform the pro-life movement," Janet Folger Porter, president of the anti-choice organization Faith2Action, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

In South Dakota, House Bill 1217 would not only require a seventy-two-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions--a serious burden for women traveling out-of-county or those who can't take multiple days off work--but also mandate that women visit an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center the day before the procedure. Such centers are well known for using deceptive practices and providing false information; many tell women that abortion causes breast cancer, a claim dismissed by every reputable medical association in the country. One Florida center featured in the 2010 HBO documentary 12th & Delaware, for example, was shown lying to women about how pregnant they were in an attempt to make patients believe they had more time to make a decision. In truth, they were becoming too far along to have legal abortions.

"It is just another attempt to ban abortion and undermine access to women's health care," says Sarah Stoesz, who heads up Planned Parenthood in the Dakotas.

In Georgia, Republican Representative Bobby Franklin introduced a bill that would require women who have had miscarriages to be investigated by the police to ensure that the miscarriage was "spontaneous." (In 2005, a similar bill in Virginia that would have required women to call the police within twelve hours of having a miscarriage or face jail time was withdrawn after public outrage.)

A bill in Kansas would require consent from both parents in almost all circumstances, and would tighten provisions for minors seeking an exception. Kierra Johnson, executive director of Choice USA, notes that while many young women talk to their parents or trusted adults about their abortion decisions, "There are many reasons why some may not be able to involve their parents," including abuse at home or incest.

The Kansas bill would also make private abortion records available to the district attorney or county prosecutors. Anti-choicers argue that violating patients' privacy is necessary to protect women--they claim the records will be used to prosecute statutory rape. But clinics are already bound by law to report any abuse of a minor, and Kansas does not have a stellar history on this issue. In 2006, then-state attorney general Phill Kline sought abortion records under the guise of protecting abused minors but demanded the files of adult women. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The New Assault on Abortion Rights
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.