By Tara Culp-Ressler
After a battle that stretched throughout Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) successfully blocked a stringent anti-abortion bill from winning approval in the Texas legislature. Davis noted that defeating SB 5 — which would have criminalized abortion after 20 weeks and forced 90 percent of the abortion clinics in the state to close their doors — represented an “incredible victory for Texas women and those who love them.”
Nevertheless, women in other states haven’t won the same kind of victories. The same provisions included in Texas’ SB 5 are already laws on the books in several other states. Here’s where supporters of reproductive freedom could turn their attention to next:
NORTH DAKOTA: Women in North Dakota have the unfortunate distinction of living in the state with the harshest abortion ban in the nation. Last session, North Dakota criminalized abortion after just six weeks — before many women even know they’re pregnant. But they didn’t stop there. The state legislature also enacted harsh restrictions on abortion clinics, identical to the ones included in SB 5, that threaten to shut down the last abortion clinic left in the entire state. Women’s health advocates are fighting back in court, and North Dakota’s lone abortion clinic filed yet another lawsuit earlier this week in an attempt to stay open. But women’s reproductive freedom hangs in the hangs in the balance.
MISSISSIPPI: Like North Dakota, Mississippi is another state that has just one abortion clinic left for all of its residents — and Republicans are working to shut it down with the same type of restrictions included in SB 5. After Republicans successfully enacted harsh abortion clinic restrictions last year, the clinic fought back — and won a temporary reprieve in April from a federal judge. That ruling blocked the state law and prevented Mississippi officials from closing the clinic, but it’s not final. And abortion opponents in the state are finding other methods to limit women’s reproductive freedom, too, like blocking access to medicine-induced abortion care.
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