House Republicans voted on Wednesday to pass a modified but still terrible version of their 20-week abortion ban. The measure no longer includes a provision forcing rape victims to report the assault to the police in order to access care, but it still makes them jump through hoops. Instead of mandatory reporting to law enforcement, the updated bill requires victims to seek mandatory counseling -- effectively a waiting period. It is still unconstitutional. It is still based on phony science.
Elsewhere in the country, numerous other restrictions have passed at least one legislative chamber or have already become law:
Arkansas says rape victims under the age of 18 must file a petition in court to terminate their pregnancies.
Arkansas says that fetuses at 20 weeks can feel pain. (They can't.)
Arkansas also says that doctors must tell patients that abortions can be reversed. (Still junk science.)
Arkansas also says that any facility that provides abortion referrals can no longer receive public funding.
Kansas says it's a crime for doctors to use the safest and most common method to perform a second trimester abortions.
West Virginia says abortions after 20 weeks are illegal, but because there aren’t any clinics in the state that perform the procedure at 20 weeks, it's a bill aimed at denying care to women in emergency medical situations.
Oklahoma says exactly what Kansas says about the safest method used in second trimester abortions.
Texas says that teens in abusive or unsafe homes must endure an even stricter judicial bypass process if they have to obtain an abortion without parental consent.
Idaho says that women seeking medication abortion must make multiple and expensive trips to see their doctors rather than safetly completing the termination at home.
Florida says women must wait 24 hours before being able to access an abortion.
Tennessee says women must wait twice that long.
Tennessee also says that clinics must undergo expensive and medically unnecessary renovations to become mini-hospitals.
And we are only five months deep. Americans United for Life (AUL) -- the organization drafting most of these restrictions and sending them to state legislatures to be copied line by line -- is already looking ahead to the rest of the year, and feeling good about their prospects.
The AUL says that Colorado should give fetuses full legal rights under the 14th Amendment.
The AUL says that Illinois should ban abortion after 20 weeks.
The AUL says that Illinois should force patients to review ultrasounds before terminating a pregnancy.
The AUL says that Iowa should ban abortions after 20 weeks.
The AUL says that Maine should force minors to get parental consent before obtaining an abortion.
The AUL says that Maryland should ban abortion after 20 weeks.
The AUL says that Missouri should make it incredibly hard for minors to have abortions, even with parental consent.
The AUL says that Missouri should make it incredibly hard for minors in abusive or dangerous households to have abortions by making judicial bypass process even more burdensome.
The AUL says that New Hampshire should repeal its buffer zone law.
The AUL says that South Carolina should force doctors to use outdated protocol when administering medical abortions rather than use their own medical judgment and widely established best practices.
The AUL says Pennsylvania should let doctors and other providers deny women healthcare if they have religious objections.
The AUL says Alabama should do the same thing.
If history is any indication, the AUL is pretty good at getting what it wants.