Dispatches From The War On Women: The 5 Worst States For Women

Welcome to Dispatches, your round-up of the latest news from the frontlines of the War on Women. Have a story from your state or an idea on how to push back? Share them here and fight back against the War on Women.

While the assault on women’s rights is underway nationwide these states have the dubious distinction of being the five worst states for women. 

The website iVillage compiled data from a host of sources including the 2010 U.S. Census, the National Women’s Law Center, National Partnership for Women & Families and the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Here’s what they found.

5. Kentucky

Over 77% of the women in the state live in a county without an abortion provider and nearly 20% of the women live in poverty. Not even a quarter of the women in the state have a college degree.

4. West Virginia

Like Kentucky, West Virginia has a tragically low number of women holding college degrees with just 17.8%. Poverty is also a problem with the median income approximately only $29,651. West Virginia is also the only state that doesn’t protect a woman’s right to breast-feed in either public or private.

3. Arkansas

In Arkansas abortion is pretty much legal in name only. Only 3% of the state’s counties offer them. Just about one-quarter of the population doesn’t have health insurance and the median income is only $29,148 a year.

2. Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s attack on reproductive choice has been relentless this legislative session with personhood measures and restrictive anti-abortion measures. The entire region only has six abortion doctors and the state has outlawed insurance coverage for abortion. As it stands 1 in 4 women in the state already live without health insurance and the state does not have a single female elected official in Congress. The good news is Oklahoma’s overreach was just hemmed in by the federal courts.

1. Mississippi

Mississippi women earn the lowest average wages in the country and has never elected a woman to Congress or as governor. 22% of the women of the state live in poverty and 68% of Mississippi women are overweight or obese.

There is a pretty clear theme that emerges from the data. Those states where women do not have access to affordable higher education, reproductive health care and representation in Congress pursue the most regressive, anti-women policies in the country. It’s an important reminder that the war on women is not simply a war on abortion. It’s a war on the ability of women to control their own destinies.

Please come back tomorrow for the latest in the best and the worst in the War on Women. So long as the battle rages, we’ll cover the latest, so please check back! 

Photo from Ken Lund via flickr.


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson7 years ago

I'm surprised NC wasn't on here o.O

Lika S.
Lika P7 years ago

And if you notice, those are some of the same states that want to blame the woman for a miscarriage, and automatically find her guilty until proven innocent. And if that's not bad enough, add insult to injury and they will also put the burden of proof on the rape victim as well.

Sarah M.
Sarah M7 years ago

Thanks, will avoid these states.

Howard Evans
Howard Evans7 years ago

All of these assaults on women's rights are coming from right wing Republicans. Anti-healthcare, anti-reproductive rights and anti-woman is now Republican party policy. We have to re-elect Barack Obama, increase the Senate majority, take back the house and throw as many Republicans as possible out of state governments.

Donate to Democratic election campaigns. Volunteer to work for them. Tell your friends and nag them to register and vote. If you're my age or older, tell them what things were like not all that many years ago in this country. Remind them of Jack McCoy's maxim: we have only those rights we can defend; those and no more.

51% of the voters are women and half the rest are men who favor partners over extra appendages. The only way we can lose is by not fighting.

Howard Evans
Howard Evans7 years ago

Elsje, you may not realize it, but capitalizing words doesn't make them more effective, it just makes you look more irrational. Of course, in your case you'd still look pretty much like a ranting lunatic with the caps lock off.

Your opinion is just that: your opinion, not truth handed down from on high. How dare you tell people that one of the most wrenching decisions they'll ever have to make isn't theirs to make. How dare you trivialize it with your little fairy tale scenarios about who gets abortions.

The angels weep for you and God apologizes for the shoddy work.

joe M.
joe MARTINEZ7 years ago

David: Very true on what you're saying. I know a friend 40 year son, has never done a days work on his life.Since he was 18 has lived with a woman with two kids on welfare and his has the face to critize the black for being on welfare.
On another note you touched on my observation. I maintain that their god is kicking them in the ass for their intolerence. The weather disaster's are all occuring on the bible pusher states no exception. Remarkable as it is happening they're looking up and thanking god for destroying their homes but sparing their lives. It baffles the mind not to start thinking that god works in mysterious ways, it's in their text book(Bible) but since they and they alone have a direct communication to god have failed to digest the meaning of love thy neighbor and forgive sinners that do not know better like me.

Cheryl L.
Cheryl L7 years ago

Ken W.: ---- You're right. And this is the main reason that statistically those red states get the highest amount of welfare. There's a reason people make disparaging remarks about those uneducated people living in trailers down south, because there really are so many. With it being the Bible belt, they spit out kids like machines and can't get anywhere in life because the welfare cycle goes on and on from generation to generation. The politicians down that way encourage it through "religion" which in turn is a way to buy their votes and continue their control over the people. In all the decades of my life I have never seen religion this seriously being used for mind-control over the people in this country. I know a lot of people have fallen away from the Catholic Church, but believe me, there is a tremendous increase in cult-like followings and religious radicals, all encouraged by Republican politicians.

joe M.
joe MARTINEZ7 years ago

Catherine: Just make sure you and all your friends, female and male get out and vote this November against the party that is attacking your rights. Repub's etc.etc.

Catherine Galvin
Catherine Galvin7 years ago

I don't want anyone male or female to dictate what I should do with MY body! It is MY choice and I want the right to determine what is right or wrong for me.

Elsje Massyn
Elsje Massyn7 years ago

Wow thats excellent news - that abortion is low-key to none in these 5 states - someone must be doing something right. Maybe if the women who spend time keeping their man happy (having one baby after another - trying to abort, one after the other) will stop wasting their time on trying to keep their man happy with more sex, which will never satisfy him anyway and stop making babies and thinking about the consequences of babies coming after sex, and use their time constructively and start studying to get a diploma and/or degree, they will stop feeling sorry for themselves, get a real life, take responsibility for their kids, unborn or born and stop the self-destructive cycle of man-pleasing, contraceptives & baby-making and abortion. Abortion is not a solution. Responsible living is the solution. If you want to have sex, take responsibility for the fact that you might fall pregnant and then take further responsiblity for NOT killing your unborn BABY - YES IT IS A BABY EVEN THOUGH UNBORN - "F-E-T-U-S" is just a little scientific words that has been thought up by abortionists to make it not sound like a "B-A-B-Y" - but if you ABORT that baby YOU HAVE KILLED YOUR OWN FLESH AND BLOOD, YOUR OWN CHILD.

Grow up, get up, go and study, get a job, support your kids, keep your unborn baby, if you dont want it have it adopted, but give it a freaking CHOICE to AT LEAST GROW UP and then decide for itself whether it wants to live or die!!

Mothers you own your body - but your UN