Article By: Diya Chadha
Over the past year, a series of restrictive anti-abortion legislation have been passed in states like Georgia, Kentucky, and Alabama. Courts have blocked their constitutionality, with the last case (Alabama) struck down this past month. Passage of such legislation would have resulted in a reversal of Roe v. Wade as many have called for six-week bans, which for many women, would limit their opportunity to get an abortion to a timeline before they may even realize they are pregnant. In other cases, states have called for outright bans on abortion at any stage of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape and incest. The actions that are taking place “behind the scenes” of this more publicized series of events is equally as problematic. What’s worse is that they receive far less recognition as a relevant force in the anti-abortion effort. These “incremental” laws are state-by-state restrictions that impose what may seem to be minor restraints on the capabilities of abortion providers. In effect though, they serve to close down abortion clinics and completely prevent access to such services in a given area. These laws tend to be admitting privilege laws, which require clinics to obtain admitting privileges at the nearest hospital, which is often denied and is therefore responsible for the closure of a number of clinics in the Southern United States. As such, many are saying that an outright reversal of Roe v. Wade isn’t even necessary to severely limit abortion access – these incremental laws alone are achieving that same end for many women.