Growing Number of States Restricting Abortion

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Following in the legislative footsteps of Nebraska, which has had a law on its books for a year that bans abortion after 20 weeks, at least a dozen states are considering some type of restriction to abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, by the end of March, seven states will have have enacted 15 new laws that restrict abortion. In South Dakota a new law will soon go into effect that will expand the pre-abortion waiting period from 24 to 72 hours and require counseling from a crisis pregnancy center. Are we seeing a state-by-state permanent change to abortion rights? 

Utah and Virginia will soon develop new regulations governing abortion clinics, and Utah will limit abortion coverage in all private health plans. But pro-choice advocates are not filing suits to fight the new laws, like many expected. Joining us to talk about why we’re not seeing challenges to these tougher state mandated restrictions on abortion is Linda Greenhouse, Knight Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.

Below: The map shows the current abortion laws in every state, as of January 2011. The information comes from the Guttmacher Institute.

The white map markers represent states that do not have any major restrictions.

See full map.