Abortion Scofflaws Hall of Infamy

There have been so many anti-abortion actions, ranging from alarming to utterly ridiculous, taken mostly in state legislatures in recent years, that it is hard to single out the most egregious. The brief list below is taken from recent Planned Parenthood fundraising mailings, as representative of what that organization wants to highlight.

* Politicians in Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas and North Carolina voted to stop funds from going to Planned Parenthood.

* Indiana’s Governor Mitch Daniels was even willing to reject Medicaid funding for all the state’s low-income residents rather than allow any funding for Planned Parenthood.

* Arizona now forbids trained and qualified nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide abortions, including those procedures that require only the dispensing of medication. As a result, Planned Parenthood health centers in Arizona were forced to stop offering abortions in most locations and concentrate them in metro Phoenix and Tucson, due to a doctor shortage, severely penalizing rural women in the state. The state also gave pharmacists permission to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions if they believe birth control is a form of abortion.

* South Dakota legielators voted to require women to undergo “counseling” by anti-abortion activists and then wait 72 hours before getting aortion care, forcing women to take days off from work, since there is only one abortion provider in the state.

* New Hampshire legislators refused to renew a 40-year-long contract with Planned Parenthood in that state to provide family planning services.

* Texas cut $73 million in state planning funding from its budget and banned Planned Parenthood from participating in its Medicaid Women’s Health Program.

* Virginia passed a mandatory ultrasound bill, after seriously considering a more invasive probe of a pregnant woman’s body. Virginia also tried to shut down Planned Parenthood with deliberately hard-to-meet requirements about non-medical concerns, such as the size of hallways and janitor closets in health centers.

* Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL), chairman of a House oversight committee, demanded 13 years of financial records from all of the nearly 80 Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country. Rep. Stearns would have rendered a greater service to the country if he had joined in the call to have Mitt Romney release several years of his tax returns.

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