In Trump's First Year, Anti-Abortion Forces Make Strides

Elias Hubbard
January 23, 2018

Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gather in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion.

The administration made myriad changes. It would require under federal law, nationwide, that a baby born alive after an abortion attempt receives the same care that any other baby would. We are a rag-tag army, often despised by family and friends, and sometimes even by those who share the church pews with us.

Of course, I supported this measure, but it did feel unusual to take a stand in defense of living, breathing children - to even have to make the case that a baby who survives an abortion and is born in this world should be treated just like a baby born any other way.

Andrea Ledger, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, a leading abortion-rights group, said every abortion-providing facility that her group has asked already allows women to see such an ultrasound.

Dannenfelser says one of the biggest changes is the number of anti-abortion advocates now working in the Department of Health and Human Services in key roles. "Restaurants and tanning salons and vet clinics, they're all more closely regulated than the abortion industry". The totals are striking: middle-income parents with two kids will spend roughly $13,000 a year to raise a child from birth through age 17. "Without making advances in the Senate, it's going to be really tough", says Dannenfelser.

Nate Lloyd, who studies music at the University of Washington, said that fighting abortion was "the only cause I care about deeply enough to do something about". President Trump addresses campaigners and leaders of antiabortion rights groups from the White House Rose Garden. Arkansas and Texas passed laws to ban "dilation and evacuation" abortions, a procedure that uses suction and medical instruments to remove the fetus and is the most common procedure for abortion after the first trimester of pregnancy.

Bringing stories like his out from the shadows and into the public eye has been one of the reproductive-right movement's most impactful tools.

Some of the new restrictions came from states that haven't been active on the issue in recent years.

More Americans are coming to believe what America's first feminists believed: That abortion is "the ultimate exploitation of women". "Some states have protected abortion access, while others have made it very hard to access services", Heather Boonstra, the director of public policy at the Guttmacher Institute, tells Mother Jones via email. The Pew Research Center, for instance, found a year ago that seven in 10 Americans opposed overturning Roe. All of this talk about nothing can be done about abortion-on-demand until the Supreme Court decides to overturn it is just smoke. "The states that are conservative are looking to restrict it".

As we all now know, her case-Roe v. Wade-would rise all the way up to the Supreme Court and would be the turning point for abortion access in America.

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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