Abortion restrictions are dying in state legislatures
There’s been a lot of attention paid to the wave of abortion restrictions that states passed in 2011, more than any year in three decades. What’s gotten less attention is that in 2012, a lot of very similar restrictions have had trouble gaining traction. Here’s more from Abby Rapoport:
Idaho’s pre-abortion sonogram bill died Tuesday, with pro-life activists accepting defeat—at least for this year. According to the Spokesman-Review, House State Affairs Chair Tom Loertscher worried that the controversy around the sonogram could threaten the state’s other anti-abortion measures.
In Pennsylvania, a similar sonogram measure has stalled after objections came from the medical community, but pro-choice opponents are still protesting, just in case it comes back. Governor Tom Corbett helped stir the controversy when he told media he supported the measure and that “you’d just have to close your eyes” while the ultrasound was performed.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s bill to restrict abortions after 20 weeks is all but dead, as the House and Senate debate which body is more pro-life. On Tuesday, the House speaker rejected the Senate’s changes to the bill, saying, “They have decided to tuck and run.”
States have introduced abortion restrictions in 2012 at about the same rate as they did in 2011. By the start of this month, more than 430 bills had been offered. But as Rapoport points out, at least some of it seems to be having trouble moving.
It’s also notable that a lot of these bills are dying in state legislatures that tend to be relatively friendly to abortion restrictions. The National Right to Life Committee has cited the Idaho sonogram bill, for example, as one they’d expected to pass this year. Irin Carmon thinks that abortion rights’ advocates aggressive pushback, via social media, may have something to do with why these bills are stalling.