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Reproductive health and rights were once again a hot topic in 2012.  Although there were less anti-choice legislations enacted, the latest figures from the Guttmacher Institute show there were still A LOT; 43 provisions restricted abortion access, down from the all-time high of 92 in 2011.  That makes 2012 the second highest number of new abortion restrictions passed in a year.  Still, things could’ve been worse.  Glass half full, right?

Throughout 2012 a total of 122 provisions related to reproductive health and rights were passed in 42 states and the District of Columbia.  None of these laws sought to improve family planning, sex ed, or access to abortion.  Here’s a brief rundown of the creepy, and sometimes cunning, ways uteri were legislated.

Abortion
  • Mandating unnecessary and invasive pre-abortion procedures: 8 states now require a transvaginal ultrasound prior to receiving an abortion
  • Overly stringent regulations on abortion providers and clinics: Arizona, Michigan, and Virginia introduced irrelevant restrictions on medication and surgical abortion providers, but not other providers of outpatient surgical and medical care
  • Later abortion: Arizona, Georgia, and Louisiana banned abortion prior to fetal viability without exceptions to protect a women’s health or life
  • Mandatory counseling and waiting periods: 18 states (!) now require that women be given false information before having an abortion, such as “abortion cause breast cancer”
Other Reproductive Health Issues
  • Restrictions on access to family planning funds: Arizona and North Carolina disqualified family planning clinics not operated by health departments (i.e., Planned Parenthood affiliates) from receiving family planning funds
  • Insurance Coverage of Birth Control: Arizona and Missouri enacted provisions allowing employers to refuse coverage of contraception services
  • Sex ed: 26 states stress abstinence in sex education

For a complete analysis of the legislature of reproductive health and rights in 2012, read Guttmacher’s full report.

Here’s to hoping 2013 is exceedingly better!

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