Forty-one years after the Supreme Court established a woman’s right to abortion, a leading abortion rights group said Tuesday that the United States has a long way and deserves only a D-grade for reproductive freedom.
NARAL Pro-Choice America delivered that harsh assessment with the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling approaching this month. Since 2010, the group said, the enactment of laws increasing access to abortion has declined and 807 laws restricting access have been enacted since 1995. Half of the states received an F in the report, titled “Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States.”
“The anti-choice War on Women did not slow down in 2013,” Ilyse Hogue, NARAL’s president, in the report. “Lawmakers passed bills that closed clinics, put new obstacles in the way of women seeking abortion care, and outright banned aborting after 20, 12 or as early as six weeks.”
North Dakota came in last place in the report, with 98 percent of its counties offering no abortion services. California got an A+ for adopting four laws that ease abortion access.
With Republican leaders in Washington looking to play down social issues in favor of focusing on the economy and the divisive health care reform law, abortion battles have moved to the states in recent years, with major fights in Ohio, North Carolina and Texas, among others. The NARAL report landed just after the Supreme Court declined to hear Arizona’s appeal of a lower court ruling that struck down its law banning abortion after 20 weeks.
“I think the report shows pro-lifers have been working very hard and have been successful,” said Carol Tobias, president of the anti-abortion group National Right to Life.