Forty years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a number of state laws that restricted abortion in its landmark ruling on Roe vs. Wade. However, women wanting to terminate their pregnancy today are facing an increasing number of roadblocks throughout the country.
In 2011, 19 states in the U.S. enacted in total 43 provisions that limit access to abortion, said a report from the Guttmacher institute. That was only 50% of the number enacted in 2011, but the second highest since 1985.
A Planned Parenthood spokesperson said that the new laws that are being passed across the country are making woman pass through a gauntlet in order to receive an abortion.
In eight states, women are required to get an ultrasound when seeking an abortion. Three states enacted laws requiring providers of abortion to have local hospital admitting privileges.
In Louisiana, it is now illegal to have an abortion after 20 weeks, while in Utah the mandatory period to wait was tripled to 72 hours. A ballot initiative in Montana mandated that parents be notified if their child under the age of 16 wanted to have an abortion.
Four states – Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota – have only one abortion clinic available. One clinic in North Dakota said that when you are the sole provider of abortions in the state, you quickly become a target.
Mississippi’s sole clinic, located in Jackson, does not know how much longer it will remain open. As of the middle of January, the clinic was still not in compliance with the new law that requires admitting privileges at a hospital. If that clinic closes, Mississippi would be the first state where it would be impossible to have an abortion.