What does “choice” mean in an age of targeted restrictions on abortion providers?
The Alabama state legislature gave final approval on Wednesday to a bill that would extend the waiting period for having an abortion from 24 to 48 hours, and three other anti-choice bills could see a senate floor vote before close of session Thursday.
HB 388 would require abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they provide abortions, impose a 24-hour waiting period on surgical abortions, and require physicians to register with the state if they perform just five abortions within a year.
The decision acknowledged that while there is “substantial” evidence to question the state’s motive in passing an admitting privileges law under the guise of maternal health, a trial is still necessary to determine if the law is constitutional.
No state has seen as many anti-choice bills introduced this year as Missouri, where Republican lawmakers are simultaneously resisting an expansion of Medicaid that could improve health outcomes for hundreds of thousands of residents.
A Louisiana house committee has voted unanimously to pass a bill that would implement regulations on clinics that provide abortions similar to those recently passed by the Oklahoma legislature, and ones implemented in Texas that have had a devastating effect on reproductive health-care access in the state.
After six hours of, at times, heated and racially charged debate Tuesday, the Alabama house passed four bills restricting abortion, the most severe of which would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected and with no exceptions for rape or incest.
In St. Louis, we’ve always said, “Don’t like the weather? Wait a minute. It’ll change.” Well, the weather is not changing in our floodwater-friendly capitol, where a torrent of anti-choice bills is raining down on our heads. It is simply foul.
The new bills would ban abortion as early as six weeks, make it extremely difficult for minors to obtain abortions, make all women wait longer to get an abortion, and force women carrying fetuses with fatal anomalies to hear about perinatal hospice options that may not even exist in the state.
Abortion access across the South is decreasing as anti-choice politics spread into “back-door” abortion bans through increased clinic regulation.