Repro Wrap: So Many TRAPs, So Few Clinics and Other News

This week has been another week of massive abortion restrictions across the country via TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) regulations, but, unlike past attacks that we’ve seen in the states, some new, ingenious tactics are being unveiled. The week started out with an urgent alert about a Louisiana clinic regulation about to be debated by the health department that would in essence create a 30-day wait for an abortion. Overwhelmed by public outrage, that regulation was pulled, although many of the other pieces left in place could still shutter every clinic in the state. As one lawyer associated with the providers told reporters, as they are currently written not one clinic in the state is in compliance.

Indiana faced a similar “shut them all down” TRAP bill this week, with a piece of legislation that would remove the grandfather clause from last year’s bill to require all abortion clinics to remodel as ASC (Ambulatory Surgical Centers), not just clinics built after 1992, as well as eliminate a clinic or provider’s ability to use a local back up doctor to treat any complications on the rare case that one arises. After some maneuvering, the bill was amended to leave the clinic situation where it has been, and continue to allow back up doctors to be used. However, the state is requiring that the names of those back ups be disclosed. In a highly volatile landscape of abortion opponents, that leaves those doctors ripe for harassment and pressure from abortion opponents to force them to stop “supporting abortion.”

Even without the new rules, one clinic is already in danger in Indiana. The Lafayette Planned Parenthood, which only provided medication abortion, was the primary target of the law last year to require all clinics to be remodeled as ASCs, even if they didn’t do physical procedures. The clinic sued over the bill. Now they will go to court in June to ask it to be permanently blocked.

With so many clinics closing, or in danger of closing, especially due to lack of providers with admitting privileges, what are those who still want abortions going to do? As Lindsay Beyerstein reports, they will do them themselves, and then find doctors to manage the eventual miscarriage. Because yes, we really have turned the clock back to 1969.

Arizona is once more advocating that medication abortion be performed only by doctors, and make each dose require a trip into a clinic, a move that is likely to end the practice all together in the state. A Missouri 72-hour waiting period has cleared another legislative hurdle and next will be reviewed by the rules committee. A Kentucky ultrasound bill has cleared its own committee as well, but may get stuck in the senate as it has in years past. South Dakota wants to make it illegal to reprimand a teacher for “providing instruction on personhood before birth or other related topics,” while Kansas wants to make it illegal to have a child via a surrogate.

While one faction of Kansas Republicans are attacking surrogacy because it’s not a “natural” way to produce children, the state’s most well known anti-choice group has started a petition drive to pressure the attorney general to begin proceedings to shut down the clinics in the state that are out of compliance with the new omnibus abortion bill passed last session. The biggest issue the clinics are having getting into compliance? Yep, you guessed it, admitting privileges.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has said he would prefer not to challenge the federal court’s ruling that the state’s ultrasound law is unconstitutional, making it clear that the governor is feeling a little concerned about his reelection prospects. He’s not the only governor who could be at risk, either. Abortion politics could come to haunt Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s reelection, too. Or at least, that’s the hope of his challenger, Ed Fitzgerald. The question is, will that be framed as women’s health, or reproductive rights?

Lately, it seems like there’s not a lot of room for moderates when it comes to reproductive rights, at least, not on the GOP side. Wisconsin is losing its last moderate state senator, who has chosen not to run for reelection because he knows he can’t win a primary anymore. In Georgia, four Republicans vying for the senate nomination are out anti-choicing each other, each trying to see who can be the most extremely opposed to abortion rights.

But, to end on a happy note, Colorado’s legislature has once again rejected a “personhood”-esque bill, which means that no legislation or ballot initiative that would totally ban all abortions has ever made it into law, despite the now near dozen times it has been proposed in the state.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


janet t.
janet t3 years ago

OOOh! Poor Jacob R.!!!!!!! Is it that you can't get pregnant so you have to push women around? Or is it that you can't get pregnant therefore you really don't know anything about the subject?? You know, the science and real life that has to do with this subject.. Have you or anyone you know gotten pregnant and then had violent morning sickness for 8 months straight. Have you ever given birth to a severely handicapped child and had to spend the next 40 plus years of your life changing diapers etc. Have you had to explain to total strangers that yes, you can have a handicapped child even if you never did drugs or had a botched abortion??? Have you had to ask your grown children to please change their lives and look after their sister after you are dead?? Have you ever been proud enough to bust when those children said yes, they would be happy to take care of their sister when you are gone??? No, Jacob, I doubt if you have been that lucky in your life, because you are the world's biggest idiot, way dumber and stupider than my daughter. WAY STUPIDER!!!!!!!!!

Sabine H.
Sabine H3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Karen H.
Karen H3 years ago

The other night I was bored and looking for something to read. I found the book Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher. It was written in the 90s but it could've been written yesterday. It talks about the attitudes about women and how some women (particularly those in the Religious Right) sacrifice their authentic selves in order to be "what others want". Now we have those women and moreso their men trying to force ALL women into a mold of housewife-subservient slave-stay at home.
It's worth a read.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago

I agree with Carole R.

Lynn C.
Lynn C3 years ago

Thank you care2 members for some good comments.

Theresa D.
Theresa D3 years ago


Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago

Sadly some things never really seem to change.

JoAnn Paris
JoAnn P3 years ago

Very interesting. Thank you for this article.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L3 years ago

Marianne C, great comment. The reason I like your comment is the so-called right-to-life people… aren't; and these bills are about so much more than just abortion rights. I particularly like your last paragraph which is worth repeating: "They don’t want an actual slave state, because "masters" had some duties to slaves. What they want is a return to the days of corporate fiefdoms, when workers were as dispensable as used tissues." I would add that they want to return to the time when women in the workplace and universities were the exception not the rule; and women were for males to abuse and use. Women need to start getting smarter about the abortion issue and today’s politics; they need to start looking at the big picture.

Spencer Young
Spencer Young3 years ago

Again!, No one should have the right to tell a woman what to do. No one should force or intimidate doctors into any rules or changes they don't agree with