Abortion In 2021 Saw Record-Breaking Hardships

Written By BlabberBuzz | Wednesday, 05 January 2022 05:15
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2021 turned out to be the year favoring the pro-life movement, due to dozens of additional laws restricting access to abortion being passed on the state level.

The Guttmacher Institute, which is a pro-choice research organization that used to be affiliated with Planned Parenthood, has just published a report called ‘State Policy Trends 2021: The Worst Year for Abortion Rights in Almost Half a Century.’

The report was written by policy associate Elizabeth Nash. It says that ‘106 abortion restrictions had been enacted in 19 states’ in 2021, hitting “the highest total in any year since abortion rights were affirmed by the US Supreme Court in 1973.”

Notably, the announced number of anti-abortion laws that were passed last year exceeded the previous record of 89 abortion restrictions enacted 10 years ago, in 2011. A lot of states legally restricted abortions after a certain point in pregnancy: starting from 6 and up to 24 weeks gestation.

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Along with those limitations, there were more laws accepted, for instance, a prohibition of abortions of fetuses based on a Down syndrome diagnosis or more generic Arizona law that bans abortions of unborn babies with various genetic abnormalities.

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At the same time, there were some states which diced to liberalize their abortion policy in the past year, mostly, due to the concern that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide. At the beginning of this month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case about Mississippi’s 15-week abortion restriction. Abortion advocates are worried that a ruling in the mentioned case might change abiding abortion legislation.

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Delaware and New Mexico repealed unenforceable abortion restrictions passed prior to Roe v. Wade. New Jersey and Hawaii repealed laws, according to which only doctors are allowed to perform abortions, and not other medical professionals, like, for example, physician assistants or nurse practitioners. Washington state started to require college health insurance plans that cover maternity care to also include abortions. Simultaneously, Colorado allowed Medicaid to cover the abortions sought by sexual assault survivors.

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However, the Guttmacher Institute argues that the number of pro-life laws passed in 2021 greatly exceeds the number of as they call it ‘abortion protections enacted’. While there were only 10 pro-abortion laws passed, the Institute claims that ‘the state with the most new restrictions is Arkansas (20), followed by Oklahoma (16), then Indiana, Montana and South Dakota (nine each).”

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As stated in their report: “[T]he damage to abortion rights is profound. Abortion access is already very limited for many people, including Black and Brown people, low-income individuals, LGBTQ individuals and young people, as well as those living in the South, the Plains and the Midwest. Many states in these regions have enacted bans that violate the US Constitution in the hope that the Supreme Court will soon eliminate federal constitutional protections for abortion.”

According to the statement made by Kristan Hawkins, the president of the pro-life campus outreach group Students for Life of America, which she made in the form of an email she sent to supporters on Christmas Eve, she is sure that ‘2022 will blow this past year right out of the water as there is much to do as we prepare for the end of Roe v. Wade on our campuses and in our communities.’ Kristan noted:

"[A]nd you can expect the pro-abortion movement and their allies in government and media are going to try to stop us at every step of the way. But I’m honored to be alongside you and the rest of the Pro-Life Generation as we work to become the first Post Roe Generation."

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