Anti-choice zealots know they’re about to have another friend on the Supreme Court. They’re rolling out new state abortion laws at a dizzying pace. Laws that are clearly illegal under Roe vs. Wade are actually a great strategy. That’s because these regulations have a good chance of winding their way to the Supreme Court, potentially reversing Roe. Here are four new state abortion laws you might have missed this month.
Investigating Arkansas Abortion Seekers
Doctors at abortion clinics in Arkansas may soon have to investigate their own patients. HB 1434, which became law on Wednesday, requires doctors to refuse abortions to women seeking them on the basis of the fetus’s sex. This might sound like a good idea, but it violates women’s privacy. It could also undermine their relationships with medical providers. Doctors would essentially have to interrogate women about their abortions, medical histories, and the sex of their babies. Those who failed to do so could face draconian penalties.
Closing the Last Abortion Clinic in Kentucky
Matt Bevin, Kentucky’s extremist anti-abortion governor, has made a habit of suing abortion clinics. Now, his administration has ordered the state’s last abortion clinic to stop performing procedures. The move is ostensibly because the clinic does not have an adequate transfer agreement in place. However, these hospital transfer policies have long been used as a way to block abortions. Similar clinics–such as those providing dental services or outpatient plastic surgery–don’t have to have such agreements. The clinic has sued to remain open. If it loses, abortion rights may become a thing of the past in the bluegrass state.
In the 1990s, it was fetal personhood amendments. Now it’s onerous regulations governing when, where, and how abortion clinics can remain open. Abortion opponents have a new goal for future regulations: abortion reversal. A couple of doctors in California who oppose abortion say that high doses of progesterone may reverse chemical abortions. Progesterone is a hormone that helps sustain early pregnancies, and there’s no clinical, peer-reviewed evidence suggesting it can “reverse” abortions.
Of course, anti-choice activists are undaunted by science. They say that women should be informed about the option to reverse their abortions. That’s in spite of evidence that high doses of any hormone can be dangerous. Absent compelling clinical justification, giving women progesterone when they regret their abortions is a risky undertaking. Legislation to reverse abortion has appeared in Indiana and Utah, among other states. Abortion opponents hope the legislation will one day be widespread. After all, if women think abortion is reversible, they might also believe that aborted fetuses are “born” alive, putting another nail in the coffin of abortion rights.