In the midst of a 2013 legislative season with as many anti-choice bills as the prior two years combined, it seems like reproductive rights victories are few and far between. But this week two states are celebrating as bills proposed to limit abortion access have failed to make it through the legislative process.
Legislation in New Hampshire that would have imposed requirements that doctors lie to their patients about safe abortion care, and would have also created a forced 24-hour waiting period, has once more died in the House. A House panel had recommended earlier this session that the bill not be passed. The state anti-choice politicians have tried and failed to pass the bill in some form nearly every year since 1998.
Anti-choice activists in Minnesota had been working even longer to try to overturn the state’s abortion coverage for low-income women, and saw the implementation of the state’s health care exchange as their best chance yet to finally remove that protection from the poor women of Minnesota. Although a ban on abortion coverage for any women who purchase insurance via the state exchange, including rape victims unless they reported the crime within 48 hours, passed the House, the amendment was stripped from the final bill. However, the House will still need to approve this new version before it becomes law.
In recent years, a number of bills in both states have been proposed and failed due to divided legislatures and pro-choice governors.