No Letdown in the War on Women

(This article originally appeared in the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's email roundup of the latest state policy news. Sign up to receive the Dispatch in your inbox here.)

For months, conservative strategists and pundits have publicly ruminated on the need to turn their focus away from "divisive" social issues — things like the war on women's health that dominated statehouses in 2011 and 2012, when states passed an astounding 135 restrictions on abortion. But if this is the national strategy, word has apparently not yet filtered down to the states just yet. Here's just some of the anti-women's health bills that have been proposed and passed in statehouses over the past week as the war on women continues unabated:

Alabama state lawmakers want to pass restrictions that would close the last five abortion clinics in the state. [ThinkProgress]

So-called fetal "heartbeat" bills are the newest legislation of choice among anti-choice state legislators. [RH Reality Check]

Barely a month into the new year, North Dakota has already seen at least five legislative efforts attacking reproductive rights, including a "heartbeat" bill. [ThinkProgress]

Among the North Dakota bills was a "personhood" constitutional amendment initiative, which passed the state Senate. [Huffington Post]

Mandating transvaginal ultrasounds, such a popular idea with Virginia women, is among the abortion restrictions now being proposed in Michigan. [AP]

A draconian bill proposed by nine Iowa state lawmakers would aim to charge women who seek abortions with murder — with no exceptions for rape or the life of the mother. [Ames Tribune]

None of this appears to be making national conservative leaders particularly happy. [NY Daily News]

Over in Washington state, a measure that would require most insurers to cover abortions is being debated. [AP]


Read the full Dispatch from February 11, 2013 here.