“The big Republican gains in the November elections strengthened and enlarged the anti-abortion forces in the House and the Senate. But it’s the GOP victories in the statehouses and governor’s mansions that are priming the ground for another round of legal restrictions on abortion,” Politico reports.
“Thirteen states have passed bans on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy — so-called fetal pain bills — and a couple have enacted earlier limits tied to when a fetal heartbeat is first detected, which can be six or seven weeks into a pregnancy. Several of these state laws are being contested in court, and the arguments may eventually end up in the Supreme Court. But that hasn’t deterred more states from eyeing such legislation; in Ohio, a House panel approved a fetal heartbeat bill just a few days ago.”
“Anti-abortion legislation is especially likely to come up in two of the four legislatures that meet every other year: Texas, which passed sweeping clinic regulations in 2013, and North Dakota, which recently saw its medication abortion restrictions upheld by the state Supreme Court… Activists say they’ll push on several fronts, seeking more restrictions in states that have already enacted laws, as well as initiating legislation in states where the GOP has now gained ground.”