2021 Was Record Year for States’ Restrictions on Abortions

2021 Was Record Year for States' Restrictions on Abortions girls hold signs that say i am the pro life genreation (Sergio Flores/Getty Images)

By Peter Malbin | Tuesday, 21 December 2021 12:19 PM

A report from the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute revealed that 19 states enacted a total of 106 abortion laws this year, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

Among the record year's abortion restrictions is Texas' ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which took effect Sept. 1, U.S. News noted. Last month, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas over the ban, which, according to the Guttmacher Institute analysis, is the only ban on abortion before 20 weeks to go into effect since 1973.

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority has encouraged state legislatures to enact nearly as many abortion restrictions this year alone as they did from 2018 to 2020.

"In states across the country, the American people, speaking through their duly elected legislators, are modernizing the law to respect the humanity of the unborn," Prudence Robertson, a spokesman for the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, told the Free Beacon. "The nation is more prepared every day to come alongside families and provide them with the support they need."

Although Texas' abortion ban may be the most restrictive in the country, five other states have enacted more restrictions on abortion this year. Arkansas has implemented the most restrictions to abortion access this year, followed by Oklahoma, Indiana, Montana, and South Dakota.

A total of 19 states account for all 106 laws passed, including 12 abortion bans, the Guttmacher analysis says.

In December, the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on a Mississippi ban on abortions 15 weeks into pregnancy, which advocates contend is directly opposed to Roe v. Wade. They fear that the case could be used to weaken or outright overturn Roe.

In September, the U.S. House approved a bill that Democrats say will protect a person's access to abortion. Passage of the Women's Health Protection Act is a response to S.B. 8, a Texas law that bans abortion after six weeks, before most people realize they are pregnant, MSNBC reported.

In a new Associated Press poll, 61% of Americans say abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances in the first trimester of a pregnancy. But 65% said abortion should usually be illegal in the second trimester, and 80% said that about the third trimester.

Related stories: