July 24, 2014 — This month's visual snapshot of women's health developments highlights dangerous state laws that put political ideology above medical evidence. We also debunk a common claim from abortion-rights opponents about abortion providers in minority communities.
The majority of states have enacted laws that go against medical evidence and mandate how women's health care providers must practice abortion care, according to a report and infographic out this month from the National Partnership for Women & Families.
The report -- "Bad Medicine: How a Political Agenda is Undermining Women's Health Care" -- found that 33 states have passed at least one abortion-related law imposing ultrasound requirements, biased counseling, mandatory delays or medication abortion restrictions that are not supported by medical evidence. Sixteen of the 33 states have all four types of medically unsound laws on the books, the report found (National Partnership release, 7/14).
Abortion Providers and Minority Communities
While antiabortion-rights activists like to claim that most abortion providers are located in predominantly black or Hispanic neighborhoods -- supposedly because they "target" minority women for abortions -- the fact is that the majority of abortion providers are in areas where most residents are white, according to this infographic from the Guttmacher Institute.
Findings from Guttmacher's most recent census of abortion providers nationwide found that fewer than one in 10 abortion providers are located in majority-black neighborhoods, while about 13% are in majority-Hispanic neighborhoods. By contrast, six in 10 abortion providers are located in majority-white neighborhoods, Guttmacher found (Guttmacher release, June 2014).
Guttmacher's midyear report on state-level reproductive health care laws highlights a surge in targeted regulation of abortion providers, or TRAP, laws in recent years. Nationwide, nearly six in 10 women live in states with such laws, which include requirements such as mandating that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals (Guttmacher release, 7/8).