Sisterhood Blog

New Abortion Restrictions: Wide in Scope, Sneaky in Passage

By Sarah Seltzer

  • Print
  • Share Share
Media Matters for America

In some ways, my feminist activist dreams are coming true right now. There’s a populist uprising happening across the country, with marches and flash mobs and occupations, and it’s a feminist one. Through civil disobedience, activists are risking their bodies to save women’s bodies from state control. It’s a beautiful awakening, a proverbial sleeping giant.

But these uprisings are in reaction to a series of new abortion restrictions that are as appalling in scope as they are swift and sneaky in passage. Across the country, women’s ability to access abortion care is dramatically shrinking. By the minute.

Texas politicians came back from the Wendy Davis Filibuster to ram through a raft of anti-choice laws. North Carolina snuck its anti-choice provisions into a motorcycle safety law. Ohio passed a nasty law that requires clinics to have transfer agreements with hospitals — but forbids public hospitals from entering into those agreements.

The Ohio bill was parodied in a video that has gone semi-viral because of the truth embedded in its humor:

But how will all this really affect women given that many of these laws contravene Roe v. Wade? Emily Bazelon breaks the results of these measures down at Slate, noting that only some of the laws will be held up in court, but they may really affect patients.

How much is all this affecting women who seek abortions? And if you’re pro-choice, how worried should you be? If you live in a state with a TRAP law that has teeth, clinics may well be shutting down. If there’s a telemedicine ban in effect and you live out in the country, you probably have to drive to a city now to take the pills you need. The overarching point is this: In many red states, abortion is truly becoming less accessible. But as significant as these new laws are, no state has yet succeeded in winning the race to be the first without a clinic. The courts still stand between the legislature and the patient. And for the most part, they are on her side.

And the media isn’t much help. It treats these battles as political footballs (which they certainly are) without paying enough attention to the ramifications for actual patients. Media Matters reports of the Texas measures: “In the two weeks following June 25th, when Sen. Davis filibustered the bill, cable news hosted a total of 92 guests to discuss the bill, only four of whom were women’s health experts.

Rachel Maddow, unsurprisingly, is one pundit who has been unflagging in her coverage of this issue from a health perspective as well as a political one. And her point is that state by state by state, the bills and the subsequent pushback are adding up to be a big freaking deal. “This is a national story that is significant in terms of how it’s going to affect women’s health, women’s lives and American families for generation to come,” she said this week. “This is a national story.”

VIDEO EMBED:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.