Legislatures in 31 states have adopted a total of 267 restrictions since 2011 aimed at limiting access to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights. Among them are laws enacted in multiple states that:
–Require doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. In some communities, such as Jackson, Mississippi, clinic doctors have been unable to obtain such privileges.
–Restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs that offer an alternative to surgical abortion. Medical abortions, generally using pills containing the drug mifepristone (also known as RU-486), now account for nearly a quarter of all abortions in the U.S., according to Guttmacher.
–Ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain after that point.
–Restrict insurance coverage for abortion.
–Increase the waiting time before an abortion. Three states — Missouri, South Dakota and Utah — now mandate a 72-hour waiting time between mandatory pre-abortion counseling and the point where the abortion can be performed. More than 20 other states mandate at least a 24-hour wait.
–Impose hospital-like physical standards on abortion clinics, a tactic that has forced some clinics to close because of inability to afford costly construction upgrades. Such requirements have dealt with width of hallways, amount of parking space, quality of ventilation systems and other matters.
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