In 2012, according to polls from ABC news to Gallup, abortion remained the #1 issue among female voters. The right to choose abortion, according to a significant majority of Americans in these polls, should remain a right protected by the federal government.
Thankfully, the procedure is provided safely and legally in all 50 states. As one of the most common medical procedures in America according to the National Abortion Federation, it is far more accessible in the U.S. and Canada than the rest of the Americas, where it is commonly illegal.
However, the assault on abortion rights in America has moved out of Washington D.C. and into state legislatures across the country.
In 2011, 24 states set new limits on abortion, and in 2012, another 19 states followed suit. Abortion clinics around the country are closing down as states cut funding for reproductive rights groups like Planned Parenthood.
In South Dakota, lawmakers recently extended the required waiting period for women seeking to end a pregnancy from two days to three. South Dakota is the third state, after North Dakota and Mississippi, to have only one abortion clinic. Twenty-seven states require waiting periods after counseling.
In several states, doctors now must warn women about purported risks from abortion that most scientists reject. In fact, controversial pre-abortion counseling is required in 36 states.
In 14 states, the counselors must warn women about alleged risks from abortion, risks that major organizations like the American Psychiatric Association and American Medical Association denounce. In Texas, laws require abortion providers to warn women that abortion can cause breast cancer, despite the fact that the National Cancer Institute has confirmed that this assertion is false.
Texas and Oklahoma require women get ultrasounds. According to the CDC, abortions in these states and others have dropped every year since 2008.
According to the ACLU, these disturbing laws infringe not only on women’s reproductive health care, but on their civil rights.
We desperately need action at the federal level to legislate against these measures. Under no circumstances should states be allowed to pass laws denying women their basic human rights and depleting the quality of women’s health care. The laws represent assaults on science, morality and freedom, ideals that should be upheld and guaranteed by Congress, the Supreme Court, and perhaps most importantly, the White House.
America has not gone far, even with a pro-choice president in the oval office, as abortion access has been granted to state legislatures and access to abortion has been depleted. For the sake of women’s rights, this trend must be reversed with federal action.
President Obama must lead as a pro-choice president, pressuring Congress to pass bills that ban unnecessary ultrasounds, mandatory waiting periods, and unscientific abortion lectures.
Forty years ago, the Supreme Court passed Roe v. Wade. Women’s rights advocates at the time could never have envisioned how poorly states would treat abortion. It’s time these pro-choice groups face the reality that without federal action, we are doomed.
Pressure on Obama can be effective. Obama’s pro-choice record is far from squeaky clean He is the first president ever to overturn an FDA decision, preventing teens from accessing safe birth control.
Still, he has made some praiseworthy marks as a pro-choice president.
One of President Obama’s first acts in office was to provide federal funding for international aid groups that perform abortion and provide other healthcare services. Moreover, Obama has appointed pro-choice New Yorkers Elena Kagen and Sonya Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.
President Bush proudly legislated anti-choice abortion regulations in his second term. At the federal level, he endorsed the 2005 Partial Birth Abortion Ban. Now, Obama must proudly legislate pro-choice abortion regulations at the federal level.
As it stands, the pro-lifers are winning this war. If Obama doesn’t act, the human rights of American women and American families are doomed.