As 2012 came to a close, one of the last attacks on reproductive freedom in Arizona was in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the state of Arizona fought to defund Planned Parenthood. The state was appealing an injunction against HB2800, a new measure that would strip funding for family planning services from any health care facility that provides abortions.

Following a year that saw more state-level legislation to restrict abortion access than any year in the last three decades, 2012 saw no reprieve. Besides HB2800, Arizona lawmakers voted on bills that barred employer coverage for birth control and access to medically necessary abortions. In response to part of the latter bill, the Arizona Department of Health Service’s website added a new section on abortion, which made its debut late last year, called “A Woman’s Right to Know” — a guide that employed scare tactics and other manipulation to deter women from seeking abortions.

Arizona reflected what was happening nationally. According to a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, Arizona has joined a new majority of states that are “solidly hostile to abortion rights.” In 2000, a third of women of reproductive age lived in such states. Today, more than half do. Since 2000, the number of states considered hostile to abortion doubled from 13 to 26. Continue reading →

Molly Ivins on Parental Notification

 ”If you have ever talked with minor girls who apply for the court’s consent to get an abortion rather than notify their parents, you understand something of the wretched tangle of violence, incest, and physical abuse that afflicts so many families. When legislatures go about putting restrictions on abortion as though every family consisted of Ozzie and Harriet and two darling children, they add another terrible burden to lives that are already almost unbearable. You cannot save the life of an unborn child by driving its mother to suicide.”  — Molly Ivins, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1992