State Anti-Choice Laws Explode

State Anti-Choice Laws Explode January 9, 2013

Remember how the Tea Party movement swept Republicans into office and gave them control of the U.S. House and most state legislatures in 2010? Remember how all the talk was about spending and debt and taxes? The minute they took office, however, it was largely about taking control of their own reproduction away from women. The Guttmacher Institute makes that clear in this chart:


And the report says:

Reproductive health and rights was once again the subject of extensive debate in state capitols in 2012. Over the course of the year, 42 states and the District of Columbia enacted 122 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. One-third of these new provisions, 43 in 19 states, sought to restrict access to abortion services. Although this is a sharp decrease from the record-breaking 92 abortion restrictions enacted in 2011, it is the second highest annual number of new abortion restrictions.

Meet the Tea Party: Same as the old religious right. I don’t think it was always that way. I think in the very early days of the Tea Party movement, there was a core of real libertarians rather than social conservatives. But that movement was quickly taken over by theocons, Republican operatives and big spending conservative billionaires.

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  • wscott

    It would be interesting to see a similar chart for anti-abortion laws *introduced* to see how much of the increase is because they’re proposing more bills, and how much is because they’ve been more successful in getting them passed. Bad news either way, of course.

  • Wes

    Eight states adopted other measures related to abortion, including provisions that:

    allow a medical professional in Arizona to withhold from a woman information about her pregnancy that could prompt her to obtain an abortion…

    Holy shit. Unethical much? Any doctor who would go along with this shouldn’t be licensed to practice medicine in any sane universe. Unfortunately, we do not live in a sane universe.

  • roggg

    That doesn’t surprise me at all. What surprises me is that you have multiples of anti-choice laws introduced EVERY year for decades now. And that’s enacted, not introduced. How many states do you have that you need hundreds of anti-choice laws on the books? Just eye-balling the graph it looks like 300-400.

  • raven

    allow a medical professional in Arizona to withhold from a woman information about her pregnancy that could prompt her to obtain an abortion…

    If that is your doctor, find another one. Now.

    Medicine is a fee for service business. You shouldn’t put up with that any more from a doc than a plumber or car mechanic.

  • abb3w

    My impression, Ed, is that you’re looking at the history with rose colored glasses. My understanding is that the initial Tea Party events were Fox-News co-ordinated protests, which would imply Republican operatives and big spending conservative billionaires have been at its head since its national coalescence.

    When the more libertarian wing of the Tea Party fell subordinate to its more theocratic wing is a narrower question. My impression, however, is “almost immediately”; in particular, catalyzed by Glenn Beck’s having a foot in both camps, and his prominent role in pushing the Tea Party on Fox News.

  • Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    I think in the very early days of the Tea Party movement, there was a core of real libertarians

    Who? Where? And why is this of any importance anyway?

  • Sadly, I don’t see any way to reverse this in the near future barring a concerted effort of pro choice voters moving en masse to some of these states with lower populations to make it possible to elect pro choice candidates who can then reverse these laws.

  • velociraptor

    Number of laws enacted to ensure the funding of a safety net for children born as a result of prohibiting abortion:


  • The Lorax

    Every time I see a graph, I immediately wonder, “is there any cherry picking going on here?” So I’m curious as to the data extending back into the early 20th century.. The rates are high yes, but were they higher during, say, the woman’s rights movement? I can imagine maybe they were higher, or on par, and steadily declined until the 2010 spike.

    Also, I’d like to see a correlation graph, perhaps the number of people in the Tea Party who were in office during each year. The implication seems to be that there’s some correlation (and it does seem that way), but I’d still like it in graph form.

    … I dunno, maybe I just like graphs. Graphs graphs graphs.

  • baal

    Notice the drop in the last data point from the penultimate one? That’s backlash from Todd Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ and ‘forced transvaginal ultrasounds’ and related crap that happened in the 2012 election season. The (R) were getting slammed (rightly so) so hard that they stopped prosecuting quite so many anti-choice bills.

  • noastronomer

    @raven #4 “If that is your doctor, find another one. Now.”

    Assuming that 1. You somehow find out that your doctor is witholding information from you and that 2. You have access to some other OB-GYN.

    Even in well-stocked New Jersey, OB-GYN doctors aren’t exactly competing for business. I can only imagine that the situation in Arizona is siginificantly worse.

    Also, +1 to Velociraptor #8.


  • captainoblivious

    I remember watching some TP rep in an interview, and she was asked about some idiot Culture War topic like abortion and she denied that the movement was at all interested in such stuff, to the apparent discomfort of the interviewer. I was really pleased by that and had some great hopes for the movement.

    Then the Teavangelicals arrived, and like the Republicrat party, polluted the movement with their idiocy. Now the TP is poisoned, just like the GOP.

    Alas. No constraint on idiot Demoblicans who will soon be running us into the abyss. Well, we deserve what we get.

  • ianm

    So much concern for the fetuses… none for the mothers, none for the children. This faux concern was once the much mocked hallmark of elite liberal sensibilities. Remember back in the day when William F. Buckley jr (pronounced jooonyer) was a liberal, before he saw the light and wrote “Up from Liberalism”, a screed against the unwashed horde who failed to appreciate his magnanimity and brilliance.

  • I view the Tea Party as an ad hoc movement intended to get more fiscal conservatives (in practice, Republicans, who are not always fiscal conservatives) into Congress in 2011. Anyone claiming to be a Tea Partier after November 2010 is just an ordinary Religious Right-winger.