State Pro-Life Laws Push Back Abortion Rights

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A nationwide push is gathering momentum in the U.S. against a woman’s right to choose, with several states passing laws attacking abortion.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, signed two anti-abortion bills April 19. One bill would ban abortions after 21 weeks of pregnancy and the other would require parents’ notarized signatures for girls 17 and under.

“These bills are a reflection of the culture of life that is being embraced all across Kansas,” Brownback told Reuters. “They represent a mainstream, bipartisan, and common-sense approach to a divisive issue.”

In neighboring Oklahoma, the state House approved a bill that would prevent health insurance companies from providing coverage for elective abortions. A similar bill was also passed in Virginia.

Oklahoma’s law would force all women seeking elective abortions to pay a separate premium for the procedure. Virginia’s law would require the same for private insurers sold as part of the state’s health care exchange.

“Oklahomans who believe in the sanctity of life should not be forced to indirectly subsidize the abortion industry,” state Rep. Mike Ritze (R) told ThirdAge Media.

Virginia Democrats are furious with the new law, claiming that those using the state health care exchange should not be told what will and will not be covered by it.

“Since when are we telling people they cannot spend their own money on something private insurance companies offer?” state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D) told The New York Times. “This goes farther than we’ve ever gone before.”

However, pro-choice supporters claimed some measure of success. The Senate recently rejected a bill that would strip Planned Parenthood’s federal funding.

The measure was passed in the House on claims by House Republicans such as Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) who told Bloomberg it was “morally wrong to have taxpayer dollars” go to Planned Parenthood.

However, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said Republicans are just trying to trample on women’s rights.

“Even though the House Republican leadership insisted on forcing an up or down vote in the House and Senate on this extreme proposal today, all their political maneuvering accomplished was to show that the House leadership is willing to sacrifice women’s health to advance a narrow ideological agenda,” Richards said in a statement.