NEW YORK -- Dozens of bills are advancing through statehouses nationwide that would put an array of new obstacles - legal, financial and psychological - in the paths of women seeking abortions. The tactics vary: mandatory sonograms and anti-abortion counseling, sweeping limits on insurance coverage, bans on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. To abortion-rights activists, they add up to the biggest political threat since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 that legalized abortion nationwide. "It's just this total onslaught," said Elizabeth Nash, who tracks state legislation for the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-health research organization that supports abortion rights. What's different this year is not the raw number of anti-abortion bills, but the fact that many of the toughest, most substantive measures have a good chance of passage due to gains by conservative Republicans in last year's legislative and gubernatorial elections. On Tuesday, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed into law a bill that would impose a longest-in-the-nation waiting period of three days before women could have an abortion - and also require them to undergo counseling at pregnancy help centers that discourage abortions. "We're seeing an unprecedented level of bills that would have a serious impact on women's access to abortion services that very possibly could become law," said Rachel Sussman, senior policy analyst for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.Read the full AP story at The Huffington Post.
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