New data shows Pennsylvania amongst worst states on abortion rights since 2010
The Huffington Post recently conducted a survey showing the number of abortion clinics which have either closed or opened in the U.S. since “a heavy wave of legislative attacks on providers began in 2010.”
Since that time—the election season of which was defined by a revolt of conservative Tea Party Republicans and swept numerous hard-lined conservatives into national and state offices—54 abortion providers in 27 states have either shut down or ended their services. Two states have added a clinic. And, in the case of Mississippi and North Dakota, their respective single clinics remain open because of a court order blocking back-door legislation passed in those states and several others.
On both pure numbers of closed clinics and the percentage of clinics that’ve closed, Pennsylvania is amongst the worst states in the nation (which, honestly, doesn’t really surprise us). The HP analysis found that five clinics have closed since the assault began, representing one of the largest percentage decreases in the nation. Numeric-wise, we’re behind just Texas (who’ve closed nine clinics since 2010) and Arizona (who’ve closed 12).
Many of the clinics have likely shut their doors due to restrictive legislation passed by the Pennsylvania legislature, such as House Senate Bill 732, which puts restrictive construction requirements on facilities which perform abortions. That said, since SB 732—called a “back-door ban” on abortion at the time—there’ve been a number of other bills that’ve been shoved through the Legislature that will restrict access to health services, and mostly for the poor.
The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League have given the commonwealth an “F” grade on choice-related laws and note that 82 percent of the state’s counties do not have an abortion provider.
In addition to the architecture rules, Pennsylvania’s anti-choice laws include a counseling ban, restriction on young women’s access, restrictions for low-income women and refusal to provide medical services.
Earlier this year, the Legislature passed, and Gov. Corbett signed, a bill which would bar citizens seeking health insurance through the Obamacare health exchanges from using that insurance for an abortion. This prompted state Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) to remind the House Republicans: “Each of us put our hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. We did not place our hands on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.”
Note: This blog has been corrected to note it was Senate Bill 732, not House Bill 732, which was known as the “back-door ban” on abortion services in Pennsylvania.
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