You are hereNPR: Abortion Wars: Taking It To The States
NPR: Abortion Wars: Taking It To The States
-by Liz Halloran
July 2, 2011- The nation's abortion wars, simmering but largely quiet in recent years, have begun boiling again.
Nowhere has the battle been more pitched than in Kansas, where the Legislature this session passed four anti-abortion measures and attempted to adopt strict new licensing rules that this week came within hours of closing down the state's last abortion provider.
Late Thursday, Kansas officials agreed to license Planned Parenthood's Overland Park surgical facility, which provides abortions, after the organization scrambled to comply with the week-old clinic rules by Friday's deadline. That deadline was annulled Friday when a federal judge blocked the new licensing laws.
For anti-abortion groups, 2011 has been a "banner year," says Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, which raises money for female candidates who oppose abortion.
"The pro-life movement has been active but subterranean for awhile," she says. "Now we have the strongest pro-life caucus in the U.S. House that I've ever seen, and state legislatures have changed as well."
Statistics compiled by NARAL Pro-Choice America show that 29 governors — including Kansan Sam Brownback — now oppose abortion, up from 21 before the 2010 elections.
And 19 states have House and Senate memberships that are "solidly" opposed to abortion, up from 16 last year. Eight states have what NARAL characterizes as "solidly pro-choice" legislatures, down from 10.