An Increasingly Hostile Nation

[Content Note: War on agency.]

The Guttmacher Institute has published a new report, reporting the legislative results on abortion restriction last year: "During the 2014 state legislative session, lawmakers introduced 335 provisions aimed at restricting access to abortion. By the end of the year, 15 states had enacted 26 new abortion restrictions."

This continues an awful trend: "Including these new provisions, states have adopted 231 new abortion restrictions since the 2010 midterm elections swept abortion opponents into power in state capitals across the country."

231 new abortion restrictions. In just four years.

Included in the report is a powerful infographic showing what this has meant in terms of increasing hostility toward abortion rights across the nation:

infographic showing the number of states hostile to abortion rights in 2000 (13), 2010 (22 with 5 extremely hostile), and 2014 (27 with 18 extremely hostile)
In 2000, 13 states had four or five types of abortion restrictions in effect and so were considered hostile to abortion rights. In that year, no state had more than five types of abortion restrictions in effect. By 2010, 22 states were considered hostile to abortion rights; five of these had six or more restrictions, enough to be considered extremely hostile to abortion rights. By 2014, 27 states had enough restrictions to be considered hostile; 18 of these can now be considered extremely hostile. The entire South is now considered hostile to abortion rights, and much of the South, along with much of the Midwest, is extremely hostile to abortion rights.
Now, more than half of women (and other abortion-seeking people) in the United States live in states that are hostile or extremely hostile to abortion rights. And the people who want to exercise those rights.

There is much more at the link.

This is visible proof of the tremendous and terrible success of the strategy anti-choicers have used in trying to render Roe an empty statute: "We don't have to see a Roe v. Wade overturned in the Supreme Court to end it. …We want to. But if we chip away and chip away, we'll find out that Roe really has no impact. And that's what we are doing."—Rev. Pat Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition.

Slowly and determinedly, while an ostensibly pro-choice president has occupied the White House, and while elections have come and gone in which progressive women are told, every time, we must vote Democratic if we want to retain our basic rights of agency and bodily autonomy, anti-choicers have chipped away and chipped away, and now half of the country lives in states hostile to abortion rights.

I am angry, friends.

I am angry that women and others who need abortions are being denied access to this legal medical procedure, because of people with no legitimate claim to our bodies and no non-religious justification and no willingness to understand the basic truths about abortion and the people who seek them.

I am angry that our ostensibly pro-choice president will not address, firmly and routinely and without apology, this all-out assault on our autonomy and agency.

I am angry how few men are engaged in this fight. That reproductive rights are treated as woman's work.

I am angry that this campaign of violence against women and others is allowed to go unchecked. I am angry that fetuses are valued more highly than the people who carry them. I am angry that women are not trusted to make the best decisions for our lives and our bodies. I am angry that I am just supposed to accept as reasonable men (and women) who sit in a government building making decisions about my body without my consent, though it is a crime for a person to use physical force to make decisions about my body without my consent.

I am angry that my body is not mine, that my mind is not mine. That legislators can claim to know what is best for my body and can claim to know my mind better than I do. That is dehumanizing, infantilizing, a theft of my dignity.

I am angry that we have lost ground.

And I am angry that more people aren't angry about that.

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