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    A dozen new abortion restrictions

    The effort to amend the Massachusetts Constitution as a first step toward banning state funding of abortions is among a variety of recent attempts across the country to regulate and restrict abortion. Here’s a look at some measures approved this year:

     Gender selection: In Arkansas, a new law prohibits abortion for the purpose of gender selection.

     Post-20-week ban: Iowa and Kentucky have new laws banning abortion at or beyond 20 weeks post-fertilization, except when the woman’s life or health is severely compromised. Tennessee has a similar new law that specifically forbids exceptions when a woman’s mental health is in danger.


     Additional staffing: In Arizona, doctors who perform abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization or beyond will be required to have additional staff and equipment. Abortion providers will be required to contact emergency services if a live fetus is delivered during an abortion.

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     Clinic inspections, shutdowns: A new Arkansas law requires the state to close abortion clinics for any violation of clinic regulations; clinics have 30 days to respond. The state will also conduct annual, unannounced inspections of abortion clinics. Another new law requires tissue from an abortion to be buried or cremated.

     Funding: A new Oklahoma law provides money for services to assist pregnant women in carrying pregnancies to term. The money cannot go to organizations that provide abortion counseling or referrals or receive funds from an entity that provides abortions.

     Fetal tissue: Wyoming will prohibit the donation of tissue from an abortion, as well as research using such tissue.

     Abortion method: Arkansas will ban the use of dilation and evacuation abortion, the standard method for abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, unless the woman’s life or health are in danger.


     Counseling: Utah will require patients to receive counseling materials on the possibility of stopping a medication abortion before completion.

     Teleconference: West Virginia has a new law prohibiting the use of telemedicine — consultation provided remotely — in cases of medication abortion.

     Parental notification: West Virginia changed its parental notification law to require 48 hours’ notice before a minor can have an abortion, rather than 24 hours.

     Preservation of life: Arkansas will require abortion providers to preserve the life of a fetus delivered alive during an abortion procedure.

     Ultrasound requirement: Wyoming will require abortion providers to offer an ultrasound and the option to listen to the fetal heartbeat to a woman seeking an abortion.


    Source: Guttmacher Institute