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It’s 2018, and not only does the United States have a vocally pro-life president, but there’s also been a wave of increasingly strict anti-abortion legislation proposed across the country. Below, a look at some of the most restrictive laws passed this year.

Mississippi

During this year’s International Women’s Day, Mississippi officials passed a bill banning abortion after 15 weeks, and soon after, Gov. Phil Bryant signed it into law. The bill is called the Gestational Age Act, and it does not provide exemptions for rape and incest victims, but it does allow for abortions in the cases of medical emergencies where a woman’s life is at stake or severe fetal abnormalities, defined as a physical condition that’s “incompatible with life outside the womb.”

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The law was temporarily blocked by a federal judge after the state’s sole abortion-providing clinic sought a restraining order. The clinic, which also filed suit, claimed the law is unconstitutional since the Supreme Court has said states can’t ban abortions before viability, which is typically around 24 weeks.

Iowa

In May, Iowa’s Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law the state’s new “heartbeat” abortion bill, which blocks abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Essentially, the law could ban abortions by the sixth week of pregnancy—though many women don’t even know they’re pregnant at that time—and it includes some exceptions for rape and incest victims, abnormalities, and medical emergencies.

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It was expected that the bill would be quickly challenged in the courts, and already, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Iowa have a filed a suit in hopes of stopping the law from going into effect, according to NPR. Iowa’s Attorney General Tom Miller has stated he won’t take the case and believes, if the law is upheld, it would “undermine rights and protections for women.”

Kentucky

According to Reuters, this March, the Kentucky House of Representatives passed House Bill 454, which would block a typical abortion procedure after the 11th week of pregnancy. The procedure is known as dilation and evacuation and is normally used during a woman’s second trimester; Reuters reports this procedure happens in 16 percent of abortions in Kentucky, though the law makes an exception for medical emergencies. The state currently has one clinic that performs abortions, and in 2017, the state legislature also passed measures that ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.

The ACLU is suing Kentucky over the 2018 bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin.

Indiana

Back in March, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law a bill that requires medical providers to report information about patients who’ve experienced complications from abortions, according to US News. Those complications could include hemorrhaging and blood clots, and the rule has been criticized for reinforcing the idea that abortions are inherently dangerous. Currently, 27 states require providers to report information about abortion complications, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

In slightly more encouraging news, the next month, a federal appeals court ruled that a previous abortion law signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence is unconstitutional. The law prohibited abortions based on an unborn child’s sex, race, color, nation of origin, ancestry or disability.

Louisiana

In Louisiana, the House recently approved a ban that would outlaw abortions after 15 weeks. According to US News, if the Senate approves the measure, it’s believed the governor will sign it into law. However, the bill has been amended so it will only go into effect if a federal appears court also upholds the similar 15-week ban in Mississippi.



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