While rumors continue in Congress about the re-introduction of a dangerous 20-week abortion ban, state legislatures are moving similar restrictions. Why this matters: It’s all part of a coordinated campaign to ultimately ban abortion.
Abortion Bans in the States
Since 2010, 13 states have enacted bans on abortion at or before 20 weeks. In more bad news, similar bans in West Virginia and South Carolina passed out of legislative committees last week.
On the other hand, a proposed ban in Virginia was just tabled due to concerns about its constitutionality. And every time these bans have been litigated, they have been enjoined, including in Arizona, Idaho, and Georgia.
The 20-week bans continuing to advance in states across the country come on top of the more than 335 provisions aimed at restricting access to abortion that were introduced in state legislatures in 2014. It’s no wonder that more than half (57%) of women of reproductive age are now living in a state that is either hostile or very hostile to abortion rights, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
The Nationwide 20-Week Abortion Ban Bill
Last month, politicians in Congress caused a firestorm over an unconstitutional bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks. When Republican leadership couldn't get party consensus, they instead introduced and passed another bill that undermines a woman’s ability to make personal health care decisions.
Abortion Bans: Not Tied to Safety or Voters’ Beliefs
In the 42 years since the Supreme Court ruled that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy includes her right to abortion, the procedure has become, and remains, one of the safest medical procedures in the United States. In fact, studies show that three in ten women have had a safe, legal abortion at some point in their lifetime.
This hasn’t stopped anti-women’s health politicians from pushing bills aimed at ending access to abortion. And neither has public opinion: Multiple studies have shown that attacks on abortion are dangerously out of touch with American voters.
- A solid 60 percent of voters oppose 20-week abortion bans when they understand the real-world impact of the bans.
- A strong majority of voters — Republicans (62 percent), Democrats (78 percent), and Independents (71 percent) — say this is the wrong issue for Congress and their state legislators to be spending time on.
- When this notion of personal morality is considered, 78 percent of voters hold the position that the government should not restrict abortion access, according to a poll in four battleground states.
How You Can Help
Tell Congress and state legislatures to focus on policies that move women and families forward! Sign onto our top priorities for women’s health and rights! Stand with Planned Parenthood in making sure that every woman, no matter where she lives, can make her own health care decisions without interference from politicians.