Buh-bye Bush, hello repro-rights

As we bid our president farewell, a look back at the damage done.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

Published January 16, 2009 8:59PM (EST)

It's fitting that NARAL Pro-Choice America has released its report on the state of women's reproductive rights just as we bid good riddance to Bush, a president whose eight years in office saw the passage of 317 anti-choice measures, including midnight regulation limiting women's access to basic healthcare. The timing is lucky: It would be hard to stomach the report, "Who Decides? The Status of Women's Reproductive Rights in the United States," if we weren't days away from inaugurating a new pro-choice leader. For example, some depressing findings:

  • In the past year, 16 states passed 24 anti-choice measures
  • A total of 502 anti-choice measures were considered in 2008 -- a 6.5 percent increase from 2007
  • Oklahoma passed "the most anti-choice legislation in 2008," which allows "certain individuals and entities to refuse to perform abortion services, requires that a woman view ultrasound images before she may have an abortion even if not medically necessary for patient care, and prohibits certain qualified health care professionals from performing abortion services"
  • Since 1995, 581 anti-choice measures were enacted; 24 were passed in 2008
  • During Bush's eight years in office, 4,200 anti-choice measures were considered

There is some good news, though: In 2008, a total of 23 states passed 39 pro-choice measures. And, in addition to our pro-choice president-elect, we now have 40 pro-choice and 19 mixed-choice senators, and 185 pro-choice and 45 mixed-choice House members.

In addition to Kate Harding's suggestion of throwing a virtual shoe, I recommend you celebrate this weekend by planning your very own Bye-Bye Bush Bash. I know I'll be drinking a Texas Sour and wearing my 3-inch American flag pin, while surrounded by some good friends wearing some very scary masks.

Tracy Clark-Flory

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