|Abortion Restrictions Take Effect in 5 States|
|Chris Good||Jul 2, 2013, 7:00 AM|
Credit: Jay Janner/Statesman.com/AP
Abortion restrictions are popping up everywhere, it seems.
While activists and celebrities protest a bill in Texas, Ohio just enacted legislation of its own.
A thousand miles from Austin, Texas, Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed new restrictions Sunday night as part of a new state budget. Ohio will soon require that women receive ultrasounds before having abortions, and the state will ban public hospitals from having written agreements with abortion clinics to receive women for further care after they have elective abortions.
Those laws won't take effect for 90 days, according to Kasich's office.
But new laws, already passed and signed earlier this year, went into effect Monday in Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi and South Dakota. Another in Montana, and part of a law in Alabama, would have taken effect but were blocked by federal courts. All were passed by GOP-controlled state legislatures and signed by GOP governors.
Here's what they do:
Now, abortion doctors in Alabama must examine women before prescribing abortion pills.
When performing abortions on minors, doctors now must ask Alabama patients to state the name and age of the unborn fetus's father. The patients can refuse, but the doctors have to ask.
Signed in April by Republican Gov. Rob Bentley, the new law also classifies abortion clinics as "ambulatory health" centers - clinics that provide outpatient surgery - requiring them to meet the same fire codes. They must submit architectural drawings and sprinkler plans within 180 days and receive a certificate of compliance within a year.
For the time being, a federal judge has blocked a provision requiring that abortion doctors in Alabama have hospital-admitting privileges. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed suit over that provision in federal district court.
Any health care provider that prescribes abortion pills must now abide by the same regulations as medical abortion clinics, and the secretary of state's office must now draft a new set of regulations for sanitation standards, staff qualifications, necessary emergency equipment and other requirements for clinics.
Medication abortions can no longer be prescribed via telemedicine consultations: Abortion doctors or nurses must meet with women in person and discuss the health risks of taking an abortion pill.
Signed in April by Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, the new law also requires abortion doctors to tell their patients that after 20 weeks, a fetus can feel pain and that "the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being," as the bill puts it. Doctors also must warn women that having abortions puts them at greater risk of breast cancer - a point that's up for debate. The National Cancer Institute writes, on a Web pageabout such a potential risk, that "[N]ewer studies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions and breast cancer risk."
Kansas abortion providers are also banned from participating in public-school sex education.
In 2014, the law will block some tax breaks that abortion clinics enjoy as health care providers and prevent women from deducting abortion expenses from their state income taxes, the Associated Press reported.
Montana would have made it six states, as a new law requires girls under 18 to gain parental consent before receiving abortions.
Enacted by the heavily Republican legislature in April over the objections of Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, the law was set to take effect July 1, but a federal judge temporarily blocked it last month after Planned Parenthood of Montana sued to overturn it.