So far this year, 13 states have adopted 21 new restrictions designed to limit access to abortion, about half the number (41) of similar restrictions that had been enacted by this point last year.
Mississippi’s new law is a 20-week ban, while Florida’s creates additional restrictions on abortions performed in the third trimester, and bans abortion at any point in a pregnancy if a doctor determines the fetus could survive outside the pregnant person’s body.
Arkansas is the latest state to see a direct attack on Roe v. Wade as fetal “personhood” advocates ramp up attacks on reproductive autonomy.
Even conservative candidates who support popular anti-choice measures like 20-week abortion bans might fail to satisfy a radically anti-choice Republican party, as U.S. House candidate Ryan Zinke is discovering in Montana.
During Sen. Graham’s ultimately failed attempt to force a vote on a 20-week abortion ban on Tuesday, he made comments indicating he is aware that 20-week bans are a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, and therefore a direct threat to legal abortion access in the United States.
Sen. Graham is expected to try to force a vote Tuesday on legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks nationwide, but Senate Democrats are unlikely to let his attempt move forward.
The ban was amended to address some of the most pressing concerns from critics, but opponents of the bill say it is still an unconstitutional restriction on women’s health.
For every odious anti-choice bill that passes into law, there are about a dozen others that fail, or never see the light of day. Here’s a list of some major bullets dodged so far this year in the state legislatures.
On Wednesday, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) signed a bill that will ban abortion 20 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period, or after 18 weeks’ gestation, which is two weeks earlier than most so-called 20-week abortion bans.
When West Virginia’s legislature voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation in March, West Virginia Democrats overwhelmingly backed the ban, deliberately defying the national party’s support of abortion rights.