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U.S. State Laws Put Tight Squeeze on Abortion Access, Advocates Say | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An activist holds a rosary while ralling against abortion outside City Hall in Los Angeles, California September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Abortion has always been legal in the United States, since 1973; however a wave of restricting rules and regulations has made it much more complicated in many states, according to reproductive rights advocates.

For instance, a recent study by the Pew Research Center found that Americans are almost evenly split in regard of abortion; as 51 percent say abortion should be legal in all or most cases and 43 percent say it should be illegal all or most of the time. Adding that those figures have been relatively stable for at least two decades, said Pew.

Facts about abortion in U.S.:

– There have been more than 58 million abortions in the United States since the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade made it legal in 1973, according to the National Right to Life, an anti-abortion group.

– At current rates, roughly three in ten U.S. women will have had an abortion by age 45, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights group.

– More than two dozen states have passed what National Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, calls “right-to-know” laws explaining risks and alternatives to women seeking abortions.

– Six U.S. states require that women be told personhood begins at conception when they seek abortions, according to Guttmacher, while five states require that women be told there is a link between abortion and breast cancer, which the National Cancer Institute and other medical experts say is false.

– Three states require that ultrasounds be performed on women seeking abortions and that the provider describe and show them the images.

– Twenty-seven states have laws deemed “hostile” to abortion rights, according to Guttmacher, and 18 of those states are considered “extremely hostile.”

– There have been 17 known arrests or convictions in connection with self-induced abortions, according to the Self-Induced Abortion (SIA) Legal Team at the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

– Legislators this year in nine states have introduced measures to ban all or most abortions, typically by granting legal personhood to a fetus at conception or prohibiting abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy, according to Guttmacher.