Dispatches From The War On Women: Red-Taping Abortion Clinics Out Of Existence

The purpose of targeted regulations of abortions providers (TRAP) laws is simply to drive providers out of existence. The 2011 legislative session saw a boom in TRAP laws and they are having the desired effect.

In Mississippi, for example, a controversial law passed last year required hospital admitting privileges for anyone who would provide abortions. It was designed to shut down the only public abortion provider in the state. And, as Robin Marty reports, while it hasn’t shut down the clinic yet, it’s getting close.

Mississippi’s only abortion clinic has hired two extra staff members to handle paperwork related to a new law (HB 1390) that requires doctors who provide abortion care to be board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and have admitting privileges at a local hospital, Politico Pro reports. However, every hospital that has responded to the clinic’s applications for its doctors to obtain admitting privileges has denied the requests so far: “Each application was at least 50 pages long,” Politico Pro reported, adding that the two new staffers worked on the issues “for months” (Politico Pro, 8/31).

It’s not just that they add expense, it is that they provide openings for anti-choice activists to harass providers, which of course, also adds expense. That’s the case in Indiana where an anti-abortion group claimed Monday that a Lafayette clinic that offers RU-486, is violating Indiana law by performing abortions without a license.

A spokesman for the Indiana State Department of Health would not comment on the clinic’s licensing status or whether abortions with RU-486 are treated the same as surgical abortions under state law. The drug was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2000. “The ISDH will have to investigate the specific facts before determining if this practice violates any laws of Indiana for which ISDH is responsible for enforcing,” spokesman Ken Severson said in an email.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum said in a statement that all of the organization’s clinics comply with state law. “While we’re not shocked that these extremists would stoop to these tactics, we are disappointed that they would flat-out lie,” Cockrum said. “The fact is that our health center in Lafayette, like our other 27 health centers across the state, provides its services in accordance with Indiana law, without fail.”

The problem with TRAP laws is not just that they add expense and hurdles for providers, often in states already extremely hostile to abortion rights. It’s that they target women the most in crisis and the most in need which, of course, is so very pro-life.


Related Stories:

States Enacted 95 New Reproductive Rights Restrictions In Just 6 Months

Mississippi Abortion Clinic Stays Open For Now

Federal Judge Blocks Mississippi’s Anti-Abortion Law


Photo from tallentshow via flickr.


Lauren A.
Lauren A5 years ago

In places where abortions are not available in clean clinics, they still happen. Abortions have been happening since before abortion clinics, abortion clinics just make the process SAFER. Do we really want people resorting back to older, more dangerous methods?

Linda Sampson
Linda S5 years ago

I feel the attack and rights of women are outrageous. Since when did GOP men decide to decide what is best for our bodies and mind. I just hope none of these men ever have to face these female problems up close and personal within their own families.

I am curious how these GOP members feel they are above others and and they exempt themselves from having discussions and sanctions on their health and welfare concerning birth control and their organs.

These Bible thumpers probably have never attended a natural birth or care to see how much the women go through with hormones, gestation and delivery. I would suggest most male GOP members feel they have done enough by initiating the process with their holy sperm.

Joseph Rumble
Joe Rumble5 years ago

Yeah thansk to th new 2010 republicans in congress who swore laser focus on jobs... however no job bills and 30 amendments to sate law that take away any healthcare for women.

Jean P.
Jean Potts5 years ago

And all the babies say yea!

Dorothy N.
Dorothy N5 years ago

PLEASE sign this, there's only ONE day to raise a protest!

This petition was NOT showing even when I clicked on the 'Canada' section:


Canada: Act Fast to Protect Women's Reproductive Rights

... We have until September 21st to be heard. ...

Leia P.
Leia P.5 years ago

how very horrible

David King
David King5 years ago

I think the basic point is clear:

The modern Republican party is so worked up about sex and so beholden to far right religious beliefs, that the idea of women as equals, as people who can make their own decisions, especially about their own bodies, has been lost.

The Republicans will do everything that they can to stop abortions, even if it means trampling the rights of women.

They will cut programs, even if it means harming those most in need. They will do everything they can to shame women out of exercising control over their sexuality and reproductive systems.

While Republicans cry about government intrusion into our freedom, they are themselves intruding upon the freedoms that women enjoy (or did enjoy in states now dominated by Republican legislatures).

Somehow Republicans seem to have forgotten the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. That Amendment gave women the right to vote.

I hope that women use that vote this November as there is no better way to strike back against the Republican War on Women than to vote misogynists out of office.

Heather G.
Heather G5 years ago

Timothy M, it's actually the ANTI-choice folks who can't tell the difference between abortion and infantcide. If you doubt it read the comments by Jean P and Carol M.

Kimberlee W.
Kimberlee W5 years ago

Well -

No matter HOW you FEEL about abortion, I guess I better disinfect and sharpen a few clothes-hangers and check out that "How-To" video on YouTube . . . .

I'm getting the feeling that those times are closer to being re-visited now than ever.

jeanie j.
Jeanie Johnson5 years ago


a safe procedure. In fact they were meant to intimidate, obfuscate and delay our days which in turn meant fewer women were able to be seen. The truth is TRAP laws are exactly that!

The state department of health crawled up every orifice peeking into files and "interviewing" staff on any and everything NOT related to what they were supposedly there to do. They finally pecked away and stalled and threw enough paperwork at the clinic, among other very questionable tactics, that we had to close.

Now women in our tri-state area, must go further for help at greater cost. Make no mistake. TRAP laws are traps!!! They are meant to close clinics and reduce the availability of women to seek out what they need.

Women & awake and aware men, do not vote republican! These people want your rights!