Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Abortion Map Today

Linda Greenhouse, NYT, APRIL 13, 2016

IN his smart opinion piece last week, “A Mason-Dixon Line of Progress,” Timothy Egan noted the “retreat to bigotry” sweeping across the old South as politicians clinging to the past (under the banner of religious freedom) line up to authorize discrimination against gay people. The column prompted me to think about whether the battlegrounds in the never-ending abortion wars display a similar geographic concentration.

The answer is that to a startling degree they don’t. The battleground is much bigger. With the exception of the West Coast and most (but not all) of the Northeast, recently enacted abortion restrictions can be found almost everywhere.

Since 2011, 10 states, from the Canadian border to the Great Lakes to the Southwest, have each imposed 10 or more new barriers to access to legal abortion. An additional 21 states have enacted between one and 10 restrictions — the lower number in some cases simply reflecting a state’s creativity in having already adopted a long menu of anti-abortion measures.

It comes as no great surprise that each of the top 10 states (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas — only four of which were part of the Confederacy) is headed by a Republican governor. Politics — political culture — outweighs geography.

(More here.)

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