The Guttmacher Institute released frightening numbers Monday morning. These numbers are a real slap in the face to those who stayed home from midterm elections but have an interest or stake in women’s freedom and liberty. All in all, they have determined that 231 new abortion restrictions were put into place since the 2010 midterm elections brought us a wave of the Republican extremists.
Via a Guttmacher press release Monday morning:
During the 2014 state legislative session, lawmakers introduced 335 provisions aimed at restricting access to abortion. By the end of the year, 15 states had enacted 26 new abortion restrictions. Including these new provisions, states have adopted 231 new abortion restrictions since the 2010 midterm elections swept abortion opponents into power in state capitals across the country.
One cost of staying home is that “The large number of recently enacted abortion restrictions has dramatically reshaped the landscape for women seeking an abortion,” according to Guttmacher. Indeed, “The entire South is now considered hostile to abortion rights, and much of the South, along with much of the Midwest, is extremely hostile to abortion rights.”
We are going backward. “In 2000, 31% of women of reproductive age lived in a state hostile to abortion rights, with no women living in a state with enough restrictions to be considered extremely hostile. By 2014, 57% of women lived in a state that is either hostile or extremely hostile to abortion rights.”
To those who oppose abortion this might seem like good news, but taken in tandem with the Republican push to restrict access to birth control — the single best way to prevent abortion — what this amounts to is restrictions on women’s rights. It amounts to back alley abortions by desperate women and a resulting the threat to their lives.
Over and over again, attempts to legislate morality or impose morality from an external source fail to provide the same results as stressing internalizing morality. But Republicans prefer instead to use false claims of divine authority in order to limit and steal women’s freedom in efforts to perpetuate and sustain the patriarchal system that benefits them.
If Republicans really cared about abortion, they would do everything in their power to push birth control and to incentivize choosing giving birth, including government funded food and health care for infants. Instead, Republicans punish women who give birth, while restricting their access to birth control and abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. This isn’t a pro-life agenda, it’s a pro-patriarchy agenda.
Image: Guttmacher Institute