GOP pro-life supporters across the country are changing their tactics, looking to enact abortion restrictions so stringent that they all but force the closing of existing clinics.
The strategy follows one of the nation's toughest laws, recently passed in Texas.
The U.S. Supreme Court
last month declined to block the Texas law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where abortions are performed.
At least a dozen Texas abortion clinics have closed or stopped offering the procedures as a result of the new law, reports Bloomberg Businessweek,
noting that fighting abortion laws on the state level — as opposed to picketing and blockading clinics — has proven a much more effective method of achieving the goals of pro-life activists.
“Since 2011, legislatures in 30 mostly Republican-controlled states have passed 203 abortion restrictions, about as many as in all of the prior decade,” according to Businessweek. “At least 73 clinics have closed or stopped performing abortions. New laws are responsible for roughly half of the closures, while declining demand, industry consolidation, and crackdowns on unfit providers have also contributed to the drop.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who signed the law, insists it will raise healthcare standards for women. Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards says it will have the opposite effect.
With 26 million residents, Texas is the second-most-populous state. The new law effectively bans abortions “and many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures,” Richards told the Huffington Post.
“Your rights and your ability to make your own medical decisions should not depend on your ZIP code," Richards said.
In addition to Texas, Tennessee and Utah are enforcing their laws on admitting privileges while similar laws are under temporary court injunctions in Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, Huffington Post reports.
In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled that states could pass restrictions that did not present an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions, which have been legal in all 50 states since the high court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Courts are now clogged with challenges to recent state laws testing the “undue burden” threshold.
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