The Secret Anti-Abortion Law That’s Sweeping America
Last November, a new law went into effect in Texas: abortion clinics would now be required to have an agreement with a local hospital so that patients needing treatment could be transferred.
Now that sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?
Perhaps, until you consider the fact that it caused one-third of health centers to stop providing abortions. Women in the Rio Grande Valley now have to travel hundreds of miles (if they’re lucky enough to have the transportation and resources) to get access to a safe, legal abortion.
The Texas legislature has become an extreme example of new restrictions on abortion continuing to sweep statehouses in 2014, and the particulars buried by all those Wendy Davis profiles showcase a slick new tactic of the pro-life movement: a requirement for admitting privileges. At first glance, that kind of rule appears designed to protect women’s health - to have an abortion provider make an arrangement with a local hospital in case of an emergency seems harmless, even helpful.
But this law, like so many others in the works, also imposes all kinds of obstacles to providers and clinics actually gaining these privileges. The end result: abortion clinics are shutting down all across the country. And because the (often Evangelical) bill-crafting language is so deceptively reasonable and so effective at defusing public outrage, we might not even have noticed that our constitutional right to safe and legal abortions is being steadily eroded.