The State Strategy: Abortion Foes Undermine Access to Health Care State-by-State

In a recent New York Times editorial, the Times highlights the mounting trend of efforts at the state level to make access to abortion care as onerous as possible for women. At the heart of the Times' argument is an ACLU case challenging a Kansas law that prohibits insurance companies from including coverage for abortion in their comprehensive plans.

From the New York Times:

Since last year, 13 states, including Kansas, have enacted laws banning insurance coverage of abortion in the health insurance exchanges created by the federal health care reform law. Some states have gone even further, aggressively restricting abortion coverage even in private insurance plans sold outside the exchanges.

And it's not just insurance coverage for abortion that is under attack. This year we've seen a plethora of state laws designed to create hurdles for women seeking access to health care including: efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, attacks on the tax code to punish groups that even mention abortion as part of their referral services and mandatory delays and forced consultation with so-called "pregnancy crisis centers." These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. As we've said before, this has been one of the worst years for women who are simply seeking to make decisions about their own health care without undue and burdensome interference from politicians who oppose abortion.

The Times editorial goes on to say: "These cases, some of which are being appealed, are testing whether the antiabortion movement will get its way."

Stand with the ACLU and help us make sure that the anti-abortion movement doesn't get its way. Help us defend reproductive freedom across the country.

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Nino

I find myself in the same mind as other ceromntems in finding parallels between this issue and same sex marriage for the ALP. While not wishing to describe Catholics as a monolithic group, there is certainly a degree of overlap between socially conservative Catholics and social conservatives in general in the ALP. As Liam points out, the SDA is a good example of this, which is perhaps odd given the proportionally feminised industry it claims to represent. So I think that this has a significant part to play in Queensland. As Bluemilk writes, Bligh would be having a tough time getting it past her fellow MPs (not without copping Turnbull strength CPRS headaches, at least). With her government already looking unpopular, doing nothing starts to look like a good idea.As for same sex marriage, I feel that much of the impetus for this from the ALP was crushed by Rudd basically ruling it out before his government even got in. I'm not totally sure if his public position is due to his cautious style or a reflection of private opinion but I'd be very surprised if the majority of ALP MPs were opposed to SSM as well.As for the voters, I can't see the logic of that argument. I doubt a large percentage of people vote primarily on such issues anyway. Taxes, interest rates, schools, hospitals and the like are far more likely to interest. Most of those who vote on issues of abortion, SSM, etcetera would probably be rusted on one way or the other anyway (at least in a 2PP sense). Compulsory voting negates the religious voter turnout threat used in US elections. The amount of votes that would switch over from ALP to Coalition would be negligible. So it's really down to conviction or cowardice in my opinion. On both issues, once the law has been passed, the issue would die off in days. Certainly did in Victoria on abortion, except for that tool who claimed that the bushfires were due to the new abortion laws.

Fatima

Not only is this bill terrifying beuscae of its violation of our rights, but it would lead to such dangerous consequences. If expectant mothers no longer trusted doctors to tell them the truth about their pregnancy, they might start disregarding all of his or her advice or worse yet, not go at all. Trust between a healthcare professional and a patient is very important, and when politics like these interfere it damages that relationship. Expectant mothers can’t seek a doctor they trust who will share similar values as them if this law passes and the doctor knows they can withhold any information they want. This law will cause more harm than good. It is also disheartening to me that people are essentially okay with taking away rights from women. They support a bill that allows doctors to hold more control over a woman’s pregnancy, and in Washington there were many debates over birth control, yet almost no women were invited to speak about it. If it is a woman’s body, I do not understand why people find it so hard to let her make her own decisions, beuscae no one has a problem letting a male do whatever he wants.

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