Pro-life activists are pushing forward a new wave of state regulations that would effectively force many abortion clinics to shut down, a move pro-choice supporters say is a backdoor tactic to roll back abortion rights by regulating the procedure out of practice.
The new laws and regulations include a number of different approaches to changing the rules for clinics. According to The Washington Times
, they include requiring abortion clinics to meet the higher safety standards of ambulatory surgical centers, blocking relationships between clinics with public hospitals, and requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges to local hospitals, which many hospitals refuse to allow.
Texas is the center of the most recent battle over clinic regulations and the legislature there came a step closer Monday
to passing a bill that would likely force all but a handful of the state's 67 abortion providers to close down.
The efforts to restrict abortion have taken on new steam in the wake of the high-profile murder conviction of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell
and the renewed national debate over late-term abortions.
Since the 2010 midterm elections that swept Republicans into office, lawmakers in a number of states have passed or introduced new regulations to restrict access to abortions and increase restrictions on clinics and providers.
In 2011, 20 states considered new laws, and in 2012, 19 states did so as well, according to Business Insider. So far this year, 22 states have passed or are actively considering new measures to regulate abortion facilities.
Related: Activists Push New Laws in Wake of Gosnell Trial
According to a report released Monday by the Guttmacher Institute, there were nearly 3,000 abortion providers in the U.S. in the early 1990s. By 2008, there were fewer than 1,800, The Washington Times reported.
Some experts are concerned that if regulations continue to have the effect of closing down clinics, the number of illegal abortion providers will increase, the newspaper noted.
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