Restrictive Abortion Bills Proliferate Throughout the South and the Midwest
While Texans continue to protest the restrictive abortion bill that Wendy Davis successfully filibustered last week, Ohio has signed into law a new abortion law.
The law, which was just one part of a new state budget that included various other hidden restrictions on women's health, won't take effect for 90 days. However, when it does, Ohio will require that women have ultrasounds before having abortions, and will also ban hospitals from having written agreements with abortion clinics to take in women after they have chosen to have an abortion.
An interview with Democratic State Representative of Ohio Connie Pillich on The Rachel Maddow Show explains the extent to which she says the Ohio budget was used as a "dumping ground for all these assaults on women's health".
In addition, new abortion laws (signed earlier this year) went into effect on Monday in Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi and South Dakota. All were passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures and were signed by Republican governors.
In Alabama, Indiana, and Mississippi, women must have in-person consultations (as opposed to telemedicine consultations) with doctors before being prescribed abortion pills, which is difficult to do if you live far away from a clinic. In addition, doctors now must ask Alabama minors who are seeking abortions to state the name and age of the unborn fetus’s father - just to make things more awkward?
In Indiana, women now must also receive ultrasounds before getting abortions, and much stricter standards are being imposed on any health care provider that prescribes abortion pills as well as on medical abortion clinics.
In South Dakota, women must wait 72 to have an abortion after consulting with an abortion doctor, and those hours must fall on business days, excluding weekends and holidays.
In Kansas, women can no longer sue doctors for withholding information that leads them to decide against having an abortion. In addition, another Kansas law requires abortion doctors to tell their patients that after 20 weeks, a fetus can feel pain and that “the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being," and requires doctors to warn women that having abortions puts them at greater risk of breast cancer—something that is not agreed upon in the medical community. The law also blocks some tax breaks that abortion clinics enjoy as health care providers.
All in all, it's a real group effort to de-fund abortion clinics, subject women seeking abortions to added emotional trauma, and just overall make abortions more difficult to access.
Considering it's supposed to be a week of patriotism, these laws should give us all pause about whether the direction of abortion legislation is something we're proud of.