Current Weather
The Spy FM

State Legislatures Stay Busy On Abortion Laws

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
July 12, 2012

2011 was a banner year for state laws restricting abortion. And 2012 looks like runner-up.

That’s the central finding of the midyear report from the Guttmacher Institute, the reproductive policy research group that keeps track of such things.

There were 39 laws restricting abortion enacted in the first half of 2012. While that’s less than half the 80 put in place during the first half of last year, the number of laws already on the books for 2012 is higher than any other year before 2011.

Among the popular targets this year are:

Restrictions on medication abortions (passed by three states);

Banning abortion prior to fetal viability (also passed by three states); and,

Limiting coverage of abortion by insurance policies participating in health exchanges that will sell policies under the new health law starting in 2014 (passed by four states).

And while some bills that got a lot of attention didn’t pass –- such as ones to ban abortion beginning when a fetal heartbeat can be detected in Ohio, or one requiring a transvaginal ultrasound in Virginia — remarkably similar ones did make it through in other states with far less fanfare.

It seems a new law in Louisiana that requires abortion providers to make the fetal heartbeat audible to women seeking an abortion necessitates a transvaginal ultrasound for many first trimester procedures. One in Oklahoma requires that women be given the opportunity to hear a fetal heartbeat before the procedure.

Guttmacher researchers suggest a few reasons for the slightly slower pace. “Election year sessions tend to be shorter, and focus more and bread-and butter issues, as opposed to social issues,” they wrote. “In addition, mirroring the situation nationally, legislatures in states such as New Hampshire and Indiana appear to be in near-total gridlock, seeming able to tackle only ‘essential’ issue relating to spending and basic state services.” [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

Listen Live Now!

11AM to 12PM The Story

The Story

The Story with Dick Gordon brings the news home through first-person accounts. The live weekday program is passionate, personal, immediate and relevant to listeners, focusing on the news where it changes our lives, causes us to stop and rethink, inspires us.

View the program guide!

12PM to 1PM Fresh Air

Fresh Air

This one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center