Reproductive Rights in 2012: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Leslie Carol Botha: Who will every forget the 2012 political scene when reproductive rights were on the line? However, slowly but surely our reproductive rights are being whittle away – from abortion – to new guidelines recommending synthetic hormone implants, injections and IUD’s for teenage women whether they are sexually active. That is the biggest lose of choice that women have ever experienced. If these guidelines are followed women will have to see a doctor for birth control and see a doctor to have the hormonal device removed. Women need to be aware that we are losing ground over the right to control our bodies.

Your Reproductive Rights in 2012: Things Got Better, But They’re Still Bad

January 4, 2013
by Katie J.M. Baker

Here’s the good news: anti-choice legislators enacted fewer abortion restrictions in 2012 than in 2011. The bad news? They still managed to devise a shitton of ways to restrict abortion access, particularly for low-income women, and no laws were enacted to actually improve access to abortion, family planning, or sex ed. Better luck next year?

Here’s a recap of 2012’s reproductive rights highs and lows:

42 states and the District of Columbia passed 122 reproductive health-related measures in 2012. The express purpose of one-third of those — 43 in 19 states — was to limit access to abortion. Is this the worst year in abortion restriction history? Nope — a whopping 92 abortion restrictions were enacted in 2011. But 43 is the second highest number of new abortion restrictions passed in a year, so let’s not pat ourselves on the back (uterus?) just yet.

The always awesome Guttmacher Institute broke down the year’s most notable abortion legislation moments (that countdown was left out of ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’) with some helpful charts and detailed statistics.

TL;DR: There’s hope! Reproductive health advocates prevented attacks on abortion access in states including Alabama, Idaho, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Remember when seven states took funding away from family planning providers in 2011? Only two did in 2012.

But no laws — none whatsoever — were enacted in 2012 that would’ve actually improved access to reproductive health, including not only abortion but family planning and comprehensive sex education. Which means that the politicians you support had to spend more time and energy preventing bad things from happening than passing helpful, worthwhile legislation. 2012’s reproductive rights motto: “It could be worse.” (2011’s was “Oh fuck.”)

Over half (24/43) of the new abortion restrictions were enacted in the same six states. Women in Arizona: You have our sympathies, because 7 of those 24 were passed where you live. Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin all enacted at least three. Here’s a rundown of the myriad of ways legislators tried to get into your underwear this year:

Unnecessary and uncomfortable red herring pre-abortion procedures: Remember the controversy that ensued after Virginia’s state government proposed that all women should get mandatory invasive transvaginal ultrasounds, because they had already had sex so why would they care what goes up their vaginas anyway? The subsequent outrage stilted similar efforts in other states, but Virginia did pass a lighter version of the bill, which means that eight states now require an ultrasound prior to receiving an abortion.

Read full article…


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.

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