According to a new report by pro-choice think tank Guttmacher Institute, a record number of abortion restrictions were enacted across dozens of states last year.
Guttmacher, a former Planned Parenthood affiliate, published the report titled "State Policy Trends 2021: The Worst Year for Abortion Rights in Almost Half a Century," which found that 106 abortion restrictions were passed in 19 states last year. Policy associate Elizabeth Nash, who authored the report, noted that the number of legislative pieces is "the highest total in any year since abortion rights were affirmed by the US Supreme Court in 1973."
Nash also pointed out that last year's abortion restrictions surpassed the previous record of 89 abortion restrictions passed in 2011.
In 2021, several pro-life pieces of legislation were signed into law, including several heartbeat bills that ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and restrictions prohibiting abortions after 20, or sometimes 24, weeks of gestation.
The record number of abortion restrictions exceeded the number of pro-choice measures last year, of which only 10 were enacted. As Guttmacher said in a report in October, "the state with the most new restrictions is Arkansas (20), followed by Oklahoma (16), then Indiana, Montana and South Dakota (nine each)."
Many abortion advocates have voiced concern over the onslaught of pro-life laws, as the US Supreme Court contemplates overturning Roe V Wade. Should the decision be overturned, Guttmacher noted that 26 states "are certain or likely to ban abortion without Roe."
Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case regarding Mississippi's ban on abortions after 15 weeks. According to The Christian Post, a ruling in favor of Mississippi could significantly weaken the precedent put in place by Roe and the 1992 decision of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The right for a woman to receive an abortion could, however, remain in effect even if the decisions are overturned.
In an email to supporters on Christmas Eve, Kristan Hawkins, the president of the pro-life campus outreach group Students for Life of America, argued that "2022 will blow this past year right out of the water as there is much to do as we prepare for the end of Roe v. Wade on our campuses and in our communities."
"[A]nd you can expect the pro-abortion movement and their allies in government and media are going to try to stop us at every step of the way," she added. "But I'm honored to [stand] alongside you and the rest of the Pro-Life Generation as we work to become the first Post Roe Generation."
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.