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The last decade has changed a lot for access to an abortion in the U.S. A new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research shows facilities that offer the procedure are becoming increasingly rare and women have to travel farther to find an abortion provider than they did ten years ago.
State lawmakers are also proposing and passing laws that make it more difficult for women to obtain an abortion. Earlier this month, Iowa passed a law that bans the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy. As NPR reports: “Critics say that the law would make abortions illegal in cases where women may not yet have realized that they’re pregnant. Iowa’s current law allows most abortions up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy.” (That legislation is now being challenged by a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.)
In Missouri, where a 20-week abortion ban recently passed the House, it’s required that a woman “receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion, and then wait 72 hours before the procedure is provided” among other restrictions, according to the Guttmacher Institute. And six U.S. states have a single abortion facility.
As legal challenges to these restrictive laws add up, will we see another Supreme Court battle over abortion rights soon? And what resources are there for women who live in places with limited access to abortions?
- Julie Rovner Senior correspondent with Kaiser Health News; author of "Health Care Policy and Politics A-Z"; @JRovner
- Elizabeth Nash Senior state issues manager, The Guttmacher Institute.; @ElizNash
- Meg Stern Volunteer, Louisville Clinic Escort; support fund director, Kentucky Health Justice Network; ; @megsassestern
- Barbara Chishko Executive director, Birth Choice Oklahoma.
- Robin Utz Founder, DefendingGrace.org; abortion rights activist; @defending_grace
How abortion laws vary by state
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