If you want an uplifting experience, paradoxical as it may seem at first, read the latest summary of state legislation as compiled by the very pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute. The headline tells all: “State Policy Trends 2021: The Worst Year for Abortion Rights in Almost Half a Century.”
“Buoyed by the Supreme Court’s 6–3 anti-abortion majority, state legislators raced to enact abortion restrictions,” writes Elizabeth Nash. “As of December 1, 106 abortion restrictions had been enacted in 19 states. This is the highest total in any year since abortion rights were affirmed by the US Supreme Court in 1973.”
With an emphasis on “the South, the Plains and the Midwest,” Nash quickly pivots to the South which is “a particular concern: The Supreme Court has allowed Texas’ ban on abortion starting at six weeks of pregnancy to remain in effect—and it is possible that the Court, which in December heard arguments in Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks, might uphold that prohibition and use the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
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Nash tells us that the previous high for “restrictions” was in 2011 when 89 were passed which was “far surpassed” by the 106 abortion restrictions in 2021. “A total of 1,336 abortion restrictions have been enacted since Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973—44% of these in the past decade alone,” she writes. ”In addition to abortion bans of all types, restrictions on medication abortion were passed by many state legislatures.”
Of course, there were setbacks—victories in Nash’s eyes: “Some state legislatures expanded access to reproductive health services.” That would include Illinois which, unfortunately, ended its successful parental notification law. But Guttmacher’s lament remains reason for pro-life optimism. On to 2022!
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.