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Ever Expanding Abortion Restrictions

When abortion was decriminalized in 1973, all existing abortion laws on the books were invalidated. Pretty much five seconds later, anti-abortion crusaders set about trying to put as many back in place as they could. Then they set about adding a bunch of new restrictions for good measure. As a result of these efforts, there are currently innumerable legal restrictions limiting abortion in America.

Among these, 43 states had laws requiring parental consent and notification for minors seeking an abortion. 32 states required "counseling" or imposed waiting limits on obtaining the procedure. 20 states prohibited organizations which receive state funding from referring women for abortions. And 33 states, plus the District of Columbia, prevented women from using Medicaid and other state sponsored health insurance to cover the procedure.

Additionally, the Guttmacher Institute reports that almost 90% of American counties do not have a single abortion provider.

Yet anti-abortion legislators still scramble to impose ever more restrictive laws, putting a procedure that many women will need at some point during their lives, ever further out of reach.

Most recently, the Utah house passed a bill that would give a woman seeking an abortion the option to first view her ultrasound. The bill, using the scare tactics loved by abortion foes, refers to a woman's ability under the bill to view the heartbeat of a fetus at three weeks.

Um, last time, I, (and medical science) checked, a three week-old fetus did not have the developed heart that would be needed in order to view a heartbeat.

This fact was actually pointed out to the bill's sponsor, Republican, Carl Wimmer (a man who a few years back opined that he was considering introducing a bill that would make it a crime for a teacher to stray from the state sanctioned abstinence-only curricula, by discussing things like contraception, or even sex, and who recently introduced a bill that would, in effect, criminalize a miscarriage) would not be swayed. "There are arguments on both sides of the issue," he offered.

Sure, the ones based on science and the ones based on a desperately misguided attempt at ending legal abortion at any cost.