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State Policy Trends: More Supportive Legislation, Even as Attacks on Abortion Rights Continue

While witnesses on both sides of the issue claimed to be in favor of protecting women’s health, anti-choice witnesses relied heavily on debunked science and distorted interpretations of the bill to make many of their claims.

Some 64 provisions have been introduced so far this year to expand or protect access to abortion, more than had been introduced in any year in the last quarter-century.

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State Policy Trends 2013: Abortion Bans Move to the Forefront

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Unlike in recent years, when the thrust of legislative activity was on regulating abortion, this year legislators seem to be focusing on banning abortion outright.

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Losing Ground on Women’s Rights: In 2011, Sex Ed, Contraception, Abortion Rights All Under Seige

By almost any measure, issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011. And virtually none of it was good.

 

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Back to the Future: Antichoice Activists and (Mis)Informed Consent

Elizabeth Nash is a Public Policy Associate in the Guttmacher Institute's Washington DC office.

It's only been about a month since the midterm election that brought significant prochoice victories, including the defeat of South Dakota's draconian abortion ban and the rejection of ballot initiatives in California and Oregon that would have required parental notification before a minor could obtain an abortion. And yet, it is already time to go back to work as antiabortion advocates are gearing up once again to continue restricting access to abortion services.

Stephanie Simon reported in the LA Times shortly after the election that one of the antichoice movement's primary goals will be to "expand or rewrite ‘informed consent' laws" – a favorite and perennial tactic. According to a recent analysis by the Guttmacher Institute, written counseling materials often contain medically inaccurate, out-of-date or biased information – violating a core tenet of the principles of informed consent.

Informed consent – the concept that individuals have a right to receive relevant, accurate and unbiased information prior to receiving medical care so they can make sound decisions regarding treatment – is a bedrock principle of medical ethics. Moreover, the obligation to provide such information is mandated by statute or case law in all 50 states.

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