October 29, 2013

After political and legal battle in Texas, a state-by-state fight over abortion still ahead


A federal judge in Austin yesterday struck down part of a new Texas law that imposes tough health regulations on abortion providers, just one day before they were set to take effect.

This scenario is one that is playing out around the country, as abortion opponents have pushed new restrictions through state legislatures and abortion-rights supporters have challenged them (often successfully) in court. The action in Texas now moves to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which will review the ruling in the coming months. For now, however, a substantial part of the Texas law has been ruled unconstitutional and is on hold, pending the outcome of the appeal.

Passage of the new Texas law is part of a larger drive, mostly in states in the South and Midwest, to more strictly limit and regulate abortion. For example, in recent years, 12 states outside of Texas, including North Dakota and Arizona, have enacted laws banning abortion at 20 weeks or sooner.

Another 11 states, including Wisconsin and Alabama, have enacted statutes requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges. But many of these new regulations have been challenged in court and subject to injunctions. For instance, in Wisconsin and Alabama, like Texas, the new admitting requirements have yet to be enforced due to court-ordered injunctions that are in place pending appeals.

The legislative and legal battle in Texas attracted particular attention because it followed a much-publicized 11-hour filibuster by Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis that initially stymied passage of the measure. Davis now plans to run for governor.

The statute, which was enacted in July, would require doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and require clinics to meet health standards consistent with surgical operating centers. These provisions were struck down by the judge, who ruled that they would force many of the state’s clinics to shut down and therefore would unreasonably restrict women’s access to abortions.

The court did uphold another provision of the law, requiring abortion doctors to follow certain federal protocols when administering abortion-inducing drugs. This provision, as well as a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy (which was not challenged), will take effect as scheduled today.

Residents of Texas and the seven other South Central states are the most opposed to abortion in the country, with 52% saying that the practice should be illegal in all or most cases, according to aggregated data taken from Pew Research Center polls in 2012 and 2013. By contrast, in the six New England states, only 20% say that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. Overall, a majority of Americans favor abortion rights, with 54% saying it should be legal in all or most cases and 40% stating that it should be illegal in all or most cases.

Abortion-rights supporters contend that the new clinic requirements enacted in Texas and elsewhere are a thinly veiled attempt to limit and ultimately outlaw abortion under the guise of protecting women’s health. But abortion opponents say there is a need for tighter regulation and point to revelations about Philadelphia abortion-provider Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted earlier this year of three counts of murder as well as 21 counts of illegally conducting abortions past Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit.

  1. Photo of David Masci

    is a senior writer/editor focusing on religion at Pew Research Center.


  1. Leticia Almeida3 years ago

    Bravo USA citizens defending life.
    Remember you are great for your families defending life of all the countries that you received and accepted. Thank you for your courage.Best

  2. skeptic43213 years ago

    For anyone truly interested in this topic, I highly recommend When Abortion Was A Crime and The Impact of Illegal Abortion:
    The Impact of Illegal Abortion
    A Fact Sheet from the Abortion Access Project
    Historically, women around the world have tried to end their unintended pregnancies whether abortion is legal or not, often jeopardizing their safety and health by self-inducing or seeking a dangerous illegal procedure.  While there is very little relationship between abortion legality and abortion incidence, there is a strong correlation between abortion legality and abortion safety.   
    The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking the minimal medical standards or both.1
    Estimates of the annual number of illegal abortions in the United States during the1950s  and 1960s range from 200,000 to 1.2 million.2 
    Of the 46 million abortions occurring worldwide each year, 20 million take place in countries where abortion is prohibited by law.3
    Prior to Roe v. Wade, as many as 5,000 American women died annually as a direct result of unsafe abortions.4 
    Today, abortion is one of the most commonly performed clinical procedures in the United States, and the current death rate from abortion at all stages of gestations is 0.6 per 100,000 procedures.  This is 11 times safer than carrying a pregnancy to term and nearly twice as safe as a penicillin injection.2
    According to the WHO, in countries where abortion remains unsafe it is a leading cause of maternal mortality,1 accounting for 78,000 of the 600,000 annual pregnancy-related deaths worldwide.3 Approximately 219 women die worldwide each day from an unsafe abortion.5 Six months after abortion was legalized in Guyana in 1995, admissions for septic and incomplete abortion dropped by 41%. Previously, septic abortion had been the third largest, and incomplete abortion the eighth largest, cause of admissions to the country’s public hospitals.6 
    One year after Romania legalized abortion in 1990, its abortion-related mortality rate fell from 142 to 47 deaths per 100,000 live births.7 
    These are examples of the positive impact legalizing abortion has on women’s health.Legalization of abortion allows women to obtain timely abortions thereby reducing the risk of complications. In 1970, one in four abortions, in the United States, took place after 13 weeks gestation.8 Today, 88% of all abortions in the U.S. take place before the end of the first trimester.4 
    Sources:1 “International Policy and Practice: Responding to Unsafe Abortion,” Ipas, 2003. 2 “Medical and Social Health Benefits Since Abortion was made Legal in the U.S.” Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2002. 3 “Facts in Brief: Induced Abortion Worldwide, 2003,” Alan Guttmacher Institute. 4 “The Safety of Legal Abortion and the Hazards of Illegal Abortion,” NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, 2003.  5 “Sharing Responsibility: Women, Society, and Abortion Worldwide,” Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1999. 6 “Envisioning Life Without Roe: Lessons Without Borders,” Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2003.   7  “Abortion in Context: United States and Worldwide,” Alan Guttmacher Institute, 1999. 8  “The Public Health Impact of Legal Abortion: 30 Years Later,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 35:1, January/February 2003.Written by: The Abortion Access Project Last revised: June 2003 

    1. Abortion kills3 years ago

      None of your die hard and desparate advertising for abortion, changes the fact that each abortion kills a human being in the womb, which pro abortion advocates care nothing about.

      In every one of the 44 million abortions in the world, one or more human beings in the womb are killed. That is more than 44 million human beings killed in the womb because of abortion.

      Now you want to say that should be legal to kill 44 million human beings? And why? Just because some women want to kill them, because they do not want to have a child after it already exists? Too late! It has already been created and exists!

      By the way, it is over 1 billion human beings killed by abortions since 1980!
      ..It starts to add up doesn’t it?

      Now talking about climate change, poverty, hunger, aids, war, as urgent problems, they all seem like a small problem now, compared to the problem of over 1 billion human beings since 1980, or 44 million a year, killed because of abortions, and for it still being promoted as acceptable or good today.

      If mothers have a born child, and do not want it, will you make it legal to kill any born child too? Or make it legal for any human being to kill any other human being who is born, who “we don’t want”? It sounds like discrimination and devalueing human life. It is a misuse and a shame for anyone to promote abortion, using the language of “rights” when it is in fact killing a human being, and against the first and most important right, which is the right to life, of a human being who already exists and is a life in the womb.

      All pro abortion people who dare to talk about claimed historical or current numbers of women dying by abortions (numbers which we are only told by pro abortion sources, and which are considered to be not truthful by others), are ignoring the fact that they are only dying because they are having an abortion, because they are already not caring about killing one human being! Why do you decide that their life matters, when you didn’t value the other life being killed in the womb?

      As you pointed out yourself, there are women that die in legal claimed to be “safe” abortions too!

      No one dies because they decided to keep a baby, and not have an abortion.

      If any woman has their health at critical risk during their pregnancy, then they can be helped by the neonatal doctors or hospitals, in a way which can value the life of both the mother and the child, because both are human beings with a life which has value!

      And in the worst case remove the child from the mother intact, while making the best possible attempt to save both the life of both the child and the mother, without killing one of them or both of them by carrying out an unnecessary abortion.

      Abortion is simply killing. Nothing else.

      Every form of killing says, the life I kill has no value. And claims to have a “right” to kill that other life.

      We all know killing is wrong. And we all know why it is wrong. Because if your life has value and cannot be killed, how can you have the arrogance to think another life has no value or less value, and that you have authority to kill it?

      When this happened in the holocaust (including forced or voluntary abortions, and sterilisations), the world was shocked and said this is wrong.

      At the nuremberg trials it was decided that voluntary or forced abortions, and sterilisations are crimes of humanity, because the abortions kill a human life, and violate the right to life.

      And sterilisation ends the ability to have a child – that is the true meaning of reproductive rights. It is the right to reproduce naturally or not. But it is not including the right to abortion as a method of birth control. It is not including the right to kill a human life, against the universally accepted right to life, which is in international human rights treaties.
      And yet sections of the world today are seeking to promote abortion and the killing of human life, in practice, despite knowing that the international human rights laws are saying no one has the right to kill, because there is an inviolable right to life for every created human being.

      We know that killing in forced or coerced euthanasia is wrong, because it is violating the right to life. And it is devalueing human lives. But some sections of the world are seeking today to encourage euthanasia for those who they decide they “don’t want” or whose life has no value or less value to the people who promote euthanasia. Such as disabled children. And elderly people.

      Many pro abortion advocates devalue the life of disabled human beings in the womb, and want to kill them before they can be born. This is exactly what the nazis said in their eugenic programs. A person who devalues life in the womb can naturally devalue the same category of life, outside the womb, and some brazen pro abortion and pro eugenic supporters today are also talking openly about the “utility” of killing born disabled people too, to remove them from a life which is not valued by the proposing killer, and to remove their reproductive rights to produce any future disabled lives which would not be valued by the proposing killer.

      Some also justify killing life in the womb because it is a girl instead of a boy. So they are devalueing the life of a female.

      All abortion kills a human being in the womb. And all is done because of discrimination and devalueing of a human life.

      Abortion, killing in wars, murder, and all kinds of killing and violence, is done because of not valueing human life of others.

      Devalueing human life is the big problem here. Not the fear of a parent to have an unwanted or unplanned child after they have already become pregnant. A mother has a responsibility to the life in her womb after it has been created and is already living, whether she has planned it or not.

      Neither do the pro abortion people care, about the harm to the woman of the psychological trauma which affects a majority of those who have an abortion, if they ever realise that what they killed was in fact a human being. After being lied to by the the abortion clinics, and in many cases refused to be allowed to see ultrasounds until after the abortion or sometimes not at all, or to not be informed of the truth about the life of their child which is killed in the abortion.

      Nor do they care about the physical side effects of abortion on the woman, which can be direct wounds or damage or diseases from the abortion, even in so called “safe” abortions in countries where is legal like the usa. Or the increased risk of miscarriages, or difficulty to carry future pregnancies to full term, or risk of infertility and not being able to get pregnant again at all. And the increased risk of breast cancer. The increased likelihood of future children being underweight if they do make it to full term.

      The pro abortion people, are devalueing human life, and supporting the killing of human life. Even while they claim to want to prevent the accidental death (not intentional killing) of a small number of women in illegal abortions, despite the fact that a small number of women still also die accidentally in the legal abortions. They have no problem with the intentional death of 44 million human beings in the womb. So they cannot win the moral arguement.

      They have no problem with the health risks to the woman and future children in later pregnancies after the abortion. So they cannot win the arguement of reproductive rights, or caring about women’s health or happiness or wellbeing.

      Today and since more than 30 years, woman have been forced to have abortions in countries like china, where their reproductive rights are truly restricted by the one child policy restrictions on number of children, or india where girl babies have been killed because the parents wanted a boy, sometimes the are even killed as infants. Tens of millions of human beings are estimated to have been killed in abortion and infanticide for those reasons explained above, in those countries, in the last three or four decades.

      Reproductive rights are a right to reproduce, so are against forced abortion.
      Reproductive rights are the right to reproduce and create a human being, and have and raise children in a family, and so the children who are a product of that reproduction and are the purpose of the reproductive rights, have a right to exist and a right to life.

      And yet pro abortion groups are trying to redefine reproductive rights and seeking to bring laws around the world to say reproductive rights include a right to abortion. They are not helping those women who are forced to have abortions. Because pro abortion supporters see nothing wrong with abortion, and they do not recognise the life in the womb as having value and a right to life. They view abortion as a normal service, and the human life in the womb which is killed is an object of no value whose humanity is ignored.

      They ommit and do not acknowledge that abortion is killing a life, and often they lie or mislead in their public marketing, and information, and to the woman at the clinic. In order to prevent the woman from understanding the reality of the life in the womb. Or of her own risks, psychologically and physically, for the immediate, short term, and long term. And also to prevent law makers and politicians, from understanding. So that they make the laws in favour of the abortion providers, instead of the human being in the womb, and the health and wellbeing of women, and their right to be given full and honest knowledge and information before making a decision which kills a life in the womb, and harms the mother.

      Pro abortion words and tactics, are not going to convince anyone who is not already supporting abortion.

      They have neither truth, nor morality, nor a concern for human life, nor a concern for the rights or wellbeing of women.

      Truth, morality, concern for human life, and concern for wellbeing and rights of women, all come out on the side of pro life, and anti abortion. And the arguement will be won by them.

      I just hope it is sooner, because so many human beings are being allowed and forced to be killed in the womb, or harmed as women. Without respect for the right to human life, and the right to knowledge of scientific fact that a life of a human being begins at conception, and without respect for women’s rights to have their bodies and reproductive rights respected, and not to be used as an object for those who have contempt for fertility or motherhood or life of human beings in the womb, or not to be used as a product to make money in the abortion business.

  3. Pro abortion, pro gay as genetic instead of preference, pro social engineering pew organisation3 years ago

    Yes. I have been looking at pew agendas in various issues, for over a year, and they call themselves non partisan. But it is clear they are pro abortion and pro population control as sick as that is with it’s implication for the entire pew organisation’s existence as being used only for manipulating the masses with this data to promote killing human lives in abortion (because people will only take on this view when they are manipulated and do not view a life as a life, propaganda has always had to be used for deception, to have any chance to make people with a conscience stop valueing human life on a mass scale. And yes the use of media to manipulate people on a vast scale about abortion is part of an organised program hugely visible in daily news, funded by governments, and the abortion business, and especially the democrat party, and large corporations who support all of the previous for money).

    And pew are also consistently significantly favouring atheism or non religion and giving it a more than equal focus, over religion, with the exception of the obsession they have with giving focus to islam to which while large in the world is only a few percent in the usa (probably less than atheists or even jews, and even atheists are only 1 or a few % despite pew using the non religious to try and make atheism look more popular), so what I am saying here is they are biased against christianity and prefer being favourable about non religion or islam, or anything else than christianity, rather than neutral about religion.

    As well as also being used towards giving selected data slants and opinions which is pro the democrat party and more critical about the republican party, in the same way as they were more pro alternatives to christianity rather than being neutral.

    And lastly the obvious pro gay agenda, by which I do not mean whether gay is accepted as a legal choice and without discrimination to a person choosing to be gay, that is already accepted by nearly all people. As a preference of behaviour, not as some genetic thing which is not chosen and therefore would be unfair to debate or be able to be recognised as not equal to something which was truly genetic and not a behaviour preference, in the way of something like race.

    No I mean the second thing, which is the constant forced propaganda of altering knowledge, to try and force everyone to have to think there is such a thing as being born gay, and so that it is equal in truth to being born heterosexual (natural). There is no evidence for anyone being born gay, or that it is genetic (evidence has only shown it is learned behaviour, and the majority of gay people admit that they became gay because of their experiences and environment, which the people promoting the born gay ideology want to make an environment which can make even more vulnerable children learn to be gay in their adolescence when enforced state education can certainly socially engineer them to have more tendency towards it), but yet it is being forced as a policy and as law, around the world, because of the usa. Again it is for the population control agenda, combined with the anti christianity (and religion in general) agenda.

    The pew organisation along with many other organisations today is just a front propaganda group for the population control lobby (abortion, social engineering to force education, media, laws, and culture to teach young people and all people that gay is a genetic fact and forbidding disagreement with that view as discrimination, when it is not true and is only a behaviour preference) first. Anti christian or anti religious lobby second (which is deeply tied in with the same group). And democrat (in this case, we can call it socialist, and include many political parties and governments in europe, which are again all tied in with the population control groups) third.

    And disappointingly it has even spread to world charities, and many of these most well known charities which have funding income of hundreds of millions of pounds (probably also mainly government funded by the population control groups which have insiders in many of the governments) are using the money they are given in the name of poverty reduction or saving life, to instead end life, by promoting abortion, and to control population of poor nations by promoting the gay as a genetic fact idea, there as truth again without evidence. And using anti discrimination language and anti discrimination laws, to sell all these issues of thought control, despite the fact that the issues they promote are actually killing, removing freedom of conscience, removing freedom of religion, removing freedom of speech to criticise it (because they make laws making criticism of their laws to be called hate speech and discrimination, therefore illegal to have any opposing debate).

    To sum it up, all of pew’s work is done for the purpose of social engineering, to further the population control agenda, primarily pro abortion and changing biological truth to make people say that gay is genetic. As well as being pro non religion or anti religion, rather than christianity or religion (with the exception of islam, which again is probably just meant to scare people off religion in general, by focusing on it so much, and letting people be put off religion in general by being put off islam which has the main focus).

    It is clear for every single person that reads any of their work. Let alone many pieces of their work. That it is incredible for anyone to be convinced that pew is non partisan. And the only ones who will say this, are the ones (a very vocal minority who we see daily everywhere in comments on the internet, and who have the luck to control the media and news channels in the majority of countries today, so can drown out their opponents in opportunities for public awareness – and the reason they own that space is by big money from those population control industries) who already agree with the views which pew is pushing, all described in this comment.

  4. F.G. Baldwin3 years ago

    I have read quite a few of your research reports related to the issue of abortion. I cannot help wondering about what the population is thinking. If a mother kills her baby at 1, 2, 5, or 6 years of age, there is outrage. If the father does the same, there is outrage. If the government decided on a China-like one child policy, there would be outrage (maybe?). If the government provided free clinics that would advertise gender selective abortions, or mandated abortions for Hispanics, or African-Americans, or unmarried women, there would be outrage. However, when a woman is protected by the Supreme Court to kill the life in her at any time and for no reason up to actual delivery, the press and the “educated” public think that is a right based on our Constitution.
    I think the questions are flawed and manipulative. Terminating a fetus is neutral. Killing a baby is a horror. Is there no way to frame the questions better? Because I believe that those who answer your questions are not doing anything more than voting in a poll for what they already think policy ought to be. It is like asking 2 year olds if free access to sugar should be their right.
    The answers you are getting are predetermined by the framing of the questions. Remember the old question, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”