The past four years have been nothing short of devastating for abortion rights in the United States. From 2011 to 2015, 231 abortion restrictions were enacted across the country, leaving the majority of American women in states that are outright hostile to reproductive healthcare. Thirteen states have enacted bans on abortion at or before 20 weeks, some without exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the pregnant person. In fact, states like Alabama and North Dakota have passed bans at 12 and six weeks, respectively – a point at which many don’t even know they’re pregnant. Earlier this year, House Republicans proposed (then sheepishly shelved) a federal ban on abortion at 20 weeks. These laws are all designed for one purpose: to force today’s sharply divided Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
But these laws aren’t harmless judicial test cases. They have a real-world impact and do immediate, lasting damage while they wait out their day in court. These bans are wrong, dangerous, and should be roundly opposed. Here are five reasons why: