NARAL faces mounting abortion restrictions in states

Abortion-rights groups are facing tough choices about where to challenge new restrictions on abortion and other reproductive health services in the wake of a sharp increase in both state and federal legislation on the issue. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, is expected to sign a bill that aims to cut off Planned Parenthood’s funding in the state, and legislatures nationwide are considering a range of other proposals to limit access to abortion.

NARAL Pro-Choice America Policy Director Donna Crane told reporters Thursday that while her organization doesn’t litigate, others that do have legal arms are finding themselves “hard-pressed to pick the challenges that will have the best effect for women.” In addition to defunding efforts, she said, bills have been filed in 15 states to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Idaho, Kansas and Oklahoma have passed 20-week laws. Bills have been filed in 15 states to define a fetus as a person, according to NARAL, and 11 states have passed laws that prohibit insurers from covering abortions.