Despite public opposition and tremendous harm to women, state politicians introduce over 400 abortion restrictions in first quarter of 2016
Washington, D.C. – A new report from The Guttmacher Institute reveals that state lawmakers have introduced 411 restrictions on safe, legal abortion in the first three months of 2016. According to the report, 21 abortion restrictions have already been enacted this year. In addition, politicians have taken action in numerous states to block access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Blocking access to reproductive health care has real and disastrous consequences for all people, and often has a disproportionate impact on communities of color, who already face systemic barriers in accessing quality health care.
Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
"Make no mistake: these are attacks from state legislators who want to end access to safe, legal abortion across the board. Restrictions on access to reproductive health care have a very real and devastating impact. Recent protests against state legislation have made it clearer than ever that these restrictions are not the will of the people. These extreme proposals have spurred a whole new generation of activists to get engaged. Women, men and young people are standing up to say ‘enough is enough’.”
Across the country, people are speaking out against these attacks on their health and rights. On Saturday in Indiana, thousands showed up to protest abortion restrictions recently signed by Governor Pence, a law that also prompted women to call the governor in protest, earning the slogan “Periods for Pence.” A recent viral video showed a Florida woman shaming Governor Scott for signing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, following months of protest against the bill and delivery of more than 12,000 petitions against it. And in Missouri, supporters delivered 1,700 signatures demanding state politicians end threats to jail a Planned Parenthood CEO for not divulging private patient information. Poll after poll has shown that Americans overwhelmingly support a woman’s right to access safe, legal abortion and other reproductive health care.
Restrictions on abortion and other reproductive health care have very real consequences for women. Research and reporting evaluating the effect of abortion restrictions in Texas found that health center closures resulted in significant burdens for women, including delay, increased travel distances, high out-of-pocket costs, and overnight stays. A New York Times analysis published last month shows that Google searches for how to self-induce an abortion have skyrocketed in recent years in states that have restricted abortion access. Blocking access to preventive health care is just as devastating. After Indiana “defunded” Planned Parenthood, Scott County faced an HIV epidemic. In Texas, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that “defunding Planned” Parenthood led to a 36% decline in women on Medicaid using the most effective methods of birth control and a dramatic 27% spike in births among women who had previously had access to injectable contraception.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
April 14, 2016