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State Legislators Consider Stringent Abortion Regulations

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It’s not only access to contraception under attack this legislative season—states across the country are attempting to implement new laws related to abortions.

In Virginia, Probes, Personhood, & Medicaid. Virginia state legislators passed a controversial bill this week would require women to receive a vaginal ultrasound before receiving an abortion. Another bill in the state, commonly known as the “personhood” bill, would give fertilized eggs the same legal rights as human beings. A third measure, which legislators have yet to vote on, “would prevent Medicaid from covering abortions for low-income women when a doctor finds that the fetus would be born with a gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency.” [Washington Post, ThinkProgress]

In Iowa, Punishment For “Feticide.” Possibly the strongest abortion-related bill comes from an Iowa representative, who introduced legislation that would make it so a “doctor that performs and abortion commits ‘feticide’,” a Class A felony punishable by life imprisonment without the chance for parole. “Attempted feticide,” in which the aborted fetus does not die, would be considered a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. A second bill in Iowa would require that, “in addition to performing the ultrasound and providing the viewing opportunity, doctors would have to offer to provide a description of the ultrasound image and to allow the woman to hear the fetal heartbeat.” [Des Moines Register, ThinkProgress]

In Oklahoma, First Corporations, Now Zygotes. An  Oklahoma legislator has proposed a bill that would give “zygotes the same rights as American citizens. These bills would not only criminalize abortion in all circumstances, they would also outlaw common forms of contraception, as well as in vitro fertilization.” [Huffington Post]

In Kansas, a Slew of Controversial Proposals: A proposed bill in Kansas essentially pulls provisions from others state laws that are now facing lawsuits, “including Texas’ requirement that the mother hear the fetal heartbeat, and Oklahoma’s mandate that mothers be told about a potential risk of breast cancer with an abortion.” The bill would also mirror an Arizona law that prohibits “tax deductions for abortion-related groups.” [Huffington Post]

Leor Reef is a journalism intern with Campus Progress.

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