Report: States ramping up push to restrict abortion


Already this year, Arkansas and North Dakota have passed some of the country's most restrictive abortion laws. Arkansas's law bans abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy, and North Dakota's ban is set at 20 weeks.

They are the only states to ban most abortions at any point within the first trimester of a pregnancy. Other states ban abortion after, or at some point during, the second trimester.

Guttmacher said both states' laws "are clearly intended as direct challenges to U.S. Supreme Court decisions that states may not impose an undue burden on women seeking an abortion prior to viability," and would be contested in the courts.

Lawmakers in 14 states have introduces measures to ban abortion at some point before the fetus is viable, according to Guttmacher's report, including four states that have pursued restrictions similar to those passed in Arkansas and North Dakota.

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund said the report shows that 2013 could be a record year for abortion restrictions at the state level.

“What we are seeing is an unprecedented and orchestrated wave of attacks on women’s health at the state level that will have far-reaching and devastating impacts on millions of women’s lives," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement.