WASHINGTON — Twenty-four states passed more than 50 “anti-choice” measures last year according to a new report from the pro-abortion group NARAL Pro-Choice America.
And while pro-life measures outpaced pro-choice measures, states enacted twice as many as the year prior — 16 measures in 10 states total.
“From outright abortion bans to putting onerous and unnecessary burdens on clinic and doctors to mandatory delays and biased counseling, we saw the extreme right throw everything at the wall in order to deny women the freedom to choose their own destiny,” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL, said at the unveiling of the organizations’ latest report “Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States.”
While legislation at the state level has been pro-life, NARAL contends that is not what the public at large actually wants, but that pro-lifers have been effective at enacting their agenda.
“Opponents of legal abortion have become highly skilled at identifying the levers of power in states and at the federal level and placing their people there,” Donna Crane, NARAL policy director, said.
According to Crane, just seven states in the country have “fully pro-choice state governments” compared to 21 “fully anti-choice state governments.”
“We have ample evidence that when the question is [asked] fairly, the public responds clearly in support of safe and legal abortion,” Crane said. “But many times the public simply isn’t aware of these fights. Often politicians stack the process or hide their agenda, or obfuscate their agenda.”
With pro-lifers moving their agenda effectively forward on the state level, NARAL announced Tuesday that they too will be moving their focus more toward the states.
“We are losing ground because of the attacks that are moving in the states. So in 2014, NARAL Pro-Choice America is investing in building firewalls where these attacks are taking hold,” NARAL political director Erika West said.
According to West, while NARAL will be directing more of its attention to the states, the organization’s federal focus will not be lost in the shuffle.
“We have plenty of evidence that when the stakes are clearly and consistently defined, voters reject anti-choice politicians and measures even when conventional wisdom hasn’t been on our side at the outset,” she added.