An absolute avalanche of attempts to attack women’s healthcare

Olivia Becker at Vice reports that reproductive rights activists are resisting the right wing campaign to make women prisoners of their own pregnancies, in Republican strongholds as well as less hostile territory.

In Missouri — which has some of the harshest anti-abortion laws on the books —  Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill to recognize abortion “as an essential component of women’s healthcare” and that it “shall be made affordable and accessible throughout the state and integrated into the health care safety net.”

Some of these bills have already been shot down. In Virginia, Democrats introduced one of the most comprehensive pro-choice measures this year in the form of Whole Women’s Health Act, which sought to make sure that “any statute that places a burden on a woman’s access to abortion without conferring any legitimate health benefit is unenforceable.” It died earlier this month before leaving committee.

Many of these measures seek to overturn the wave of abortion restrictions that Republicans have passed in rapid succession in recent years. In the past five years, nearly 300 anti-abortion laws have been enacted in states across the country.

“Since 2011 we’ve seen an absolute avalanche of attempts to attack women’s healthcare,” said Allen. “But it’s important to remember that that wave of anti-choice legislation did not happen because the public asked for it.” About 7 in 10 Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, a level of support that hasn’t really wavered in the four decades since the 1973  landmark decision that affirmed a woman’s right to an abortion.

Following their sweeping electoral victory in the 2016 election, Republicans have wasted no time in trying to restrict access to abortion and reproductive healthcare for women.

Well it’s a core issue. Restricting women’s freedom is often the first thing reactionaries do when they get power. Reactionaries cannot tolerate women who have the freedom to shape their own lives.

This backlash is not limited to protecting abortion rights. Another wave of bills seeks to expand access to contraception and make it easier for women to pay for it. Bills like Missouri’s HB 233, New York’s A579, and New Jersey’s AB 2297 would allow women to receive a 12-month supply of birth control at a time instead of six months, which makes it easier for women to obtain contraception now, when it’s still covered by insurance. Other measures, in Iowa, Oregon, South Carolina, and Hawaii are “pharmacy access bills” that expand the kind of birth control that pharmacies can give women over the counter.

This year has seen an uptick in bills specifically concerning insurance coverage — specifically, attempts to protect the provision under Obamacarethat made all types of birth control free, said Elizabeth Nash at the Guttmacher Institute. These include bills like New Mexico’s HB 284, New York’s AB1378, Hawaii’s SB 403, and Oregon’s HB 2232, which seek to enshrine the mandate on insurance companies to provide contraception at no cost to women.

H/t Seth

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