Anti-Abortion Laws | “Harm women or save babies? »

Several American states have just passed anti-abortion laws that are among the most restrictive in the world. Explanations.

Posted at 6:00 am

Nicolas Berube

Nicolas Berube
The press


This is the number of laws restricting access to abortion passed in 19 states in the United States in 2021, a record according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice organization. Abortion may face more restrictions this year: On March 24, lawmakers in 46 states reviewed 1,885 sexual rights and reproductive health laws.

About 1,350 abortion restrictions have been enacted by states since 1973 [année où l’avortement a été légalisé dans tous les États aux États-Unis], or an average of 28 restrictions per year. In 2021, a new record was set with 108 restrictions imposed. These restrictions have long had a significant impact on women, especially certain groups such as low-income people, young people, etc.

Jörg Dreweke, Deputy Director of Communications at the Guttmacher Institute


This is the percentage of abortions in the United States in 2020 that were performed using abortion pills — which don’t require surgery and can be used for up to 10e week of pregnancy. Several Republican-led states are trying to ban the use of these abortion pills, as South Dakota just did. According to Planned Parenthood, at least 24 states are working to restrict access to abortion pills.


Abortion pills are used in most abortions in the United States today.

Up to 10 years in Oklahoma prison

The Oklahoma legislature passed legislation on Tuesday making performing an abortion a felony in the state, which can result in 10 years in prison or a $100,000 fine. The state’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt is expected to sign the law into law, which would take effect at the end of the summer. Oklahoma welcomes thousands of Texan women who want abortions after the practice ended in Texas on March 1is last September.

Right now, reproductive rights are being attacked in states across our nation. The Oklahoma legislature has introduced a shameful bill that, if enacted, would ban almost all abortions. If this law is signed, it will only prevent women from getting the health care they need.

Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States, on Twitter on April 6, 2022


Michael LaBossiere, author and specialist in theories of knowledge and professor in the Department of Philosophy at Florida A&M University

If anti-abortion laws were motivated by a desire to save lives, one would expect these states to act in other ways to protect babies. Unfortunately this is not the case. States that restrict abortions the most tend to have statistically higher infant (and maternal) mortality rates. These states also tend to have high rates of child poverty, which is bad for babies. The best explanation, in most cases, would be that these laws are designed to harm women and that the argument “to save the babies” is made in bad faith.

Michael LaBossiere, author and specialist in theories of knowledge and professor in the philosophy department at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Colorado takes the lead

As states seek to ban abortion rights, others want to protect it: This week, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed legislation amending the state’s constitution to enshrine that pregnant women can choose to continue their pregnancy and childbirth or other abortion. The law prohibits public bodies from denying or restricting this right. In the United States, 15 states have abortion rights enshrined in their constitutions.

La fin de Roe vs. Wade?


States likely to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade should be invalidated. Sources: Guttmacher Institute and The Washington Post

The US Supreme Court could make a decision in June that would have major implications for Roe v. Wade, who legalized abortion in the United States. The judgment could be overturned or weakened. Recognizing this possibility, 13 states have already passed legislation that would automatically ban abortion in their jurisdictions if the Supreme Court ruled Roe v. Wade. If that’s the case, clinics in abortion states expect a spate of calls — and abortion could then be inaccessible to teenage girls or women who don’t have the time or resources needed to travel to a state where which the operation is allowed.

Quite the contrary in Spain

Spain is nearly 6,000 km from the United States, but that is nothing compared to the ideological distance that separates countries on the issue of abortion rights. This week, Spanish lawmakers passed a reform that would introduce jail terms for anti-abortionists found guilty of “molesting” women in a bid to persuade them not to have abortions, Agence France reported. In fact, individuals found guilty of molesting a woman in order to “hinder the exercise of the right to voluntary termination of pregnancy” through “acts of embarrassment, abusiveness, intimidation or coercion” can be sentenced to between three months and one year in prison in prison or community service.

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