Will recent state abortion laws withstand court challenges?


With Republicans having gained control of a growing number of legislatures, states have enacted 261 provisions since the beginning of 2011 that supporters of abortion rights say restrict a woman’s access to abortion, compared with 189 passed from 2001 through 2010. State laws typically ban abortion at a specific point in pregnancy, limit access to abortion or heavily regulate abortion providers and clinics. Many states, particularly those in the Midwest and South, do all three. So far this year, legislatures have enacted 30 provisions that opponents say restrict abortions, including in Kansas and Oklahoma, which in April effectively banned dilation and evacuation, the most common type of second-trimester abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear legal challenges to some state abortion laws within the next two years.

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