New laws on abortion set to take effect in the U.S.

Some of the laws limit when and how the procedure can be performed. Others restrict what can be done with tissue from aborted fetuses.

Others laws seek to block abortion providers from getting government funding. (Photo: AP)
English 29/06/2016 14:07 AP Actualizada 14:08
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New laws targeting abortion are set to take effect Friday in about one-fifth of the states, initiating another wave of restrictions just days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas measure that led several clinics to close.

Some of the laws limit when and how the procedure can be performed. Others restrict what can be done with tissue from aborted fetuses. Still others seek to block abortion providers from getting government funding.

They are part of a raft of laws that are going on the books around the country with the start of the new fiscal year July 1. California, for example, will tighten its childhood vaccination requirements, narrowing the ability of parents to opt out. Vermont will become the first state to require labeling of genetically modified ingredients in food. And Idaho and Tennessee will expand the right to carry concealed guns.

Some of the laws face legal challenges, including a Mississippi measure protecting people who object to gay marriage on religious grounds. A federal judge this week struck down a part of the law that allowed county clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Laws limiting what can be done with the remains of aborted fetuses are set to take effect in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Indiana and South Dakota, though some are under legal attack.

In Florida, Mississippi and Missouri, new laws would stop tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood.

Many of those funding and fetal-tissue laws came in response to undercover videos released last summer that alleged Planned Parenthood officials were selling fetal tissue for profit. The organization denied it, and two anti-abortion activists who made the videos face felony charges in Texas.

"Typically, in a major election year, we see a decrease in the number of abortion restrictions enacted," said Elizabeth Nash, who tracks state policies at the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights. "But this year, we've seen a bit of an uptick."

A lawsuit already is challenging a new Indiana law banning abortions because of the fetus' race, sex or genetic abnormalities, such as Down syndrome.

Elsewhere, South Dakota will ban most abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy, allowing misdemeanor charges against providers but not pregnant women.

Mississippi will prohibit a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure, called dilation and evacuation, in which the fetus is dismembered.

And Florida will require abortion physicians to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals or the clinic to have a patient transfer agreement. It is similar to the Texas law struck down Monday by the Supreme Court that required doctors to have privileges at nearby hospitals and clinics to meet hospital-like surgical standards.

Other new laws will require Idaho abortion providers to give women information about where they can receive free ultrasounds and create a Georgia grant program for "pregnancy resource centers" that typically discourage abortions.

 

 

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