“I’m not sure what the impact will be or how we would comply because the bill is written with non-medical language, and it’s not written by doctors. It’s written by politicians,” Mary Kogut, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, told RH Reality Check.
Gov. Sam Brownback during a private ceremony Tuesday signed a bill that made his state the first in the nation to criminalize a medical procedure used after a miscarriage and during second-trimester abortions.
Since the 2010 midterm elections, when Republicans made massive gains across the country, hundreds of anti-choice bills have been introduced in state legislatures, and more of those bills have become law in that time than during the entire decade prior.
To win over the middle, anti-choice leaders argued at CPAC, it’s more helpful to message around “incremental” abortion restrictions like 20-week bans or insurance coverage restrictions.
As state legislative sessions gear up for what could be one of the worst years on record for reproductive rights, anti-choice lawmakers across the country have in recent weeks filed barrages of laws that would restrict access to safe and legal abortion. Many of these laws are identical, or nearly so, to laws that have repeatedly failed in the same states where they are being reintroduced.
If anti-choicers truly cared about women to the degree they claim, surely they would treat abortion procedures just like any other reproductive health need—and leave decisions about safety and comfort up to women and their doctors.
Why are states continuing to pass abortion restrictions based partly on erroneous theories that abortion harms women? And why are state attorneys general calling as expert witnesses some of the very people who proffered these spurious notions to state legislatures in the first place?
According to statements made at a recent conference attended by RH Reality Check, the National Right to Life Committee plans to perform stings of abortion clinics, while also pushing for an expansion of the laws that govern abortion to allow third parties to sue the clinics in civil court for alleged violations.
At last weekend’s National Right to Life Committee’s convention, Mary Spaulding Balch criticized the legislative strategy used by other anti-choice groups to pass 20-week abortion bans by claiming the procedure is dangerous to women. The proper approach, she said, is to base the argument around the unborn.
North Dakota is far from alone in spending large sums to defend anti-choice laws. But what makes the state unusual is that fiscal conservatives are now criticizing a double standard, where the lawmakers backing these bills are more regularly seen opposing other instances of what they call government interference, and decrying so-called “big spending.”