Onslaught of new abortion restrictions looms in reddest of states

New state legislative sessions likely to bring fresh efforts to restrict, penalize or altogether ban the procedure

23 December 2022

(Photo: Victoria Pickering / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Guardian reports:

In Nebraska, a total abortion ban could be on the horizon. In Florida, the gestational limit for abortions could drop from 15 weeks to 12. Elsewhere, lawmakers have abortion pills in their sights.

When Roe v Wade fell, most states were no longer in legislative session, meaning the term during which they usually write and pass bills had ended. In January, state legislatures will reconvene in an entirely new reality, one where conservative lawmakers are no longer constrained by the constitutional right to abortion once assured by Roe.

The midterm elections brought victories for abortion rights in a number of states. But in others, politics are on the side of anti-abortion advocates. In those reddest of states, the new state legislative sessions are likely to bring a fresh onslaught of efforts to restrict, penalize or altogether ban abortion.

The Washington Post reports that although the overturning of Roe v Wade has triggered abortion bans in more than a dozen states, many anti-abortion advocates want to jail those who funnel abortion pills into states with strict new bans.

Nearly six months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, triggering abortion bans in more than a dozen states, many antiabortion advocates fear that the growing availability of illegal abortion pills has undercut their landmark victory. Now they are grasping for new ways to crack down on those breaking the law.

Antiabortion advocates had hoped the June decision would significantly decrease the number of abortions in the United States. But abortion rights activists have ramped up efforts to funnel abortion pills — a two-step regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol that is widely regarded as safe — into states with strict new bans, working with rapidly expanding international suppliers as well as U.S.-based distributors to meet demand.

“Everyone who is trafficking these pills should be in jail for trafficking,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, who has started to speak with Republican governors about the prevalence of illegal abortion pill networks. “It hasn’t happened, but that doesn’t mean it won’t.”

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