US: States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power - PressFrom - US
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USStates passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power

08:25  16 may  2019
08:25  16 may  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Alabama governor signs controversial abortion ban into law but will likely face legal challenges

Alabama governor signs controversial abortion ban into law but will likely face legal challenges The ban makes it a felony for doctors in the state to perform abortions in all cases, with the only exception being when the life of the mother is threatened.

Women seen with placards during a protest against the controversial Heartbeat Bill or HB258, which bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, Dec. 12, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. According to data compiled by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University

This includes bans on the dilation and evacuation abortion procedure, which is a de facto second trimester ban , and a law requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges. States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power .

When the Alabama state Senate passed a controversial bill that would ban most abortions, not one of the four female state senators voted for it.

ACLU, Planned Parenthood file lawsuit challenging Ohio anti-abortion law

ACLU, Planned Parenthood file lawsuit challenging Ohio anti-abortion law The American Civil Liberties Union, its Ohio branch and Planned Parenthood on Wednesday filed a lawsuit challenging an Ohio law that they say could ban abortion as early as six weeks into a woman's pregnancy. The law, which was passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature in April, bans abortions if doctors can detect a heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Four other U.S. states have passed similar "heartbeat" abortion bans in 2019 seen as part of a push to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring abortion a constitutional right.

Alabama: Republican state passes near-total ban on abortion – video report. The Alabama vote came after a battle broke out over whether to allow legal abortions for women who become pregnant from rape or incest, an issue that divided Republicans who otherwise supported outlawing abortion .

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power . How the 2020 candidates are reacting to the Alabama abortion bill. Alabama Senate approves country's most restrictive abortion ban . FBI intensifies efforts to capture woman who allegedly threw acid at officer

The fact that there are only four female state senators in the Heart of Dixie comes as little surprise to political observers, as the state ranks among the lowest in terms of female representation in state legislatures.

The same is true for Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio, three of the four states that passed abortion bans or so-called "heartbeat" bills that aim to ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as soon as six weeks, at which point some women may not know they're pregnant.

Representation in politics has an impact on a number of topics, including abortion, where views may differ between men and women.

Many states pushing strict abortion laws have high maternal mortality rates

Many states pushing strict abortion laws have high maternal mortality rates The past two weeks have been filled with activity in pushing for abortion restrictions in four states, with two passing abortion bans and two expected to follow suit. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The laws that were signed into effect in Georgia, where abortions were banned after six weeks, and Alabama, where they were banned almost entirely, without exceptions in cases of rape and incest, are already facing legal challenges -- even as neither has gone into effect.

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power . How the 2020 candidates are reacting to the Alabama abortion bill. FBI intensifies efforts to capture woman who allegedly threw acid at officer in 1981. Wind-whipped window washers rescued from 50-story tower

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power . How the 2020 candidates are reacting to the Alabama abortion bill. FBI intensifies efforts to capture woman who allegedly threw acid at officer in 1981.

(MORE: Alabama Senate approves country’s most restrictive abortion ban)

Jean Sinzdak, associate director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, told ABC News when it comes to a whole range of policy issues, "research has shown that women legislators bring different perspectives. They bring their own life experience to bear on whatever the topic is, and they are more likely to bring marginalized voices into the policy conversation."

"Abortion is an issue in which women on both sides of the aisle are particularly passionate, and they feel that they, as women, are best suited to speak to it because of its direct effect on women. However, it's one those issues where it's very clear that women are not monolithic and they feel very differently about what the solution is," Sinzdak said.

According to data compiled by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, Alabama ranks 47th in terms of female representation, with 15.7% women in their state legislature on the whole.

AL governor signs abortion ban into law but will likely face legal challenges

AL governor signs abortion ban into law but will likely face legal challenges The ban makes it a felony for doctors in the state to perform abortions in all cases, with the only exception being when the life of the mother is threatened. The law, which was passed by the state's Senate on Tuesday, does not include exceptions in cases of rape or incest. The original sponsor of the bill when it was in the state's House of Representatives previously said that supporters of the bill expect it to be challenged in the courts, but also hope that happens. Rep.

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power . How the 2020 candidates are reacting to the Alabama abortion bill. FBI intensifies efforts to capture woman who allegedly threw acid at officer in 1981.

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power . How the 2020 candidates are reacting to the Alabama abortion bill. FBI intensifies efforts to capture woman who allegedly threw acid at officer in 1981. Wind-whipped window washers rescued from 50-story tower

There are four women in the 35 seats in the state Senate and 18 women in the 105 seats in the House of Representatives.

Alabama's proposed abortion ban approved by committee

Alabama's proposed abortion ban approved by committee An Alabama legislative committee has advanced a near total ban on abortion, but added an exception for rape and incest. 

Study from Brigham and Women 's Hospital finds that distracted driving is prevalent among most parents, but that millennial parents partake in riskier behaviors. States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power . How the 2020 candidates are reacting to the Alabama

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power . How the 2020 candidates are reacting to the Alabama abortion bill. Alabama Senate approves country's most restrictive abortion ban . Wind-whipped window washers rescued from 50-story tower: 'This is terrifying'.

(MORE: 41 states have tried to pass abortion restrictions this year, as Georgia votes on a new ban: Report)

"We're talking about 25 white men who just voted to make health and life decisions for women," Dr. Leana Wen, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said during a call with reporters Wednesday.

The proposed bans passed by state legislatures or signed into law so far this year have not gone into effect in any state and are facing various legal challenges.

Ohio, which passed a so-called "heartbeat" ban in April, ranks 30th in gender representation, with just over a quarter -- 26.2% -- of their state legislature being women. Of the 33 seats in the Ohio state Senate, eight are held by women, and 27 of the 99 seats in the state's House of Representatives are held by women.

Kentucky, where the governor signed a "heartbeat" ban in March, ranks 41st in the country, with four women in their 38-seat Senate and 27 in the 100 seats in their House of Representatives.

Missouri governor expected to sign new abortion restrictions into law

Missouri governor expected to sign new abortion restrictions into law Missouri's Republican governor could sign a law as early as this week banning most abortions in the Midwestern state after the eighth week of pregnancy, part of a wave of restrictions aimed at driving a challenge of abortion to the U.S. Supreme Court. Republican Governor Mike Parson told reporters on Friday he planned to sign the bill, which was approved by the Republican-controlled state legislature last week and would enact one of the United States' most restrictive bans. He did not set a date for the signing but has until July 14 to do so, according to local media reports.

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power . How the 2020 candidates are reacting to the Alabama abortion bill. Alabama Senate approves country's most restrictive abortion ban . FBI intensifies efforts to capture woman who allegedly threw acid at officer

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power . How the 2020 candidates are reacting to the Alabama abortion bill. FBI intensifies efforts to capture woman who allegedly threw acid at officer in 1981. Wind-whipped window washers rescued from 50-story tower

(MORE: Federal judge strikes down Kentucky law to curtail 2nd-trimester abortions)

Coming in last place is Mississippi, where a 15-week abortion bill was deemed unconstitutional. There are nine women in Mississippi's state Senate and 15 women in the 122 seats of their House of Representatives. That equates to women making up 13.8% of the Mississippi state Legislature.

The only state that recently passed an abortion restriction that ranks in the top half of the country in gender representation is Georgia. They come in 20th place in CAWP's rankings, with 15 women among the 56 state senators and 57 women in the 180-seat House.

Gallup reports that in 2018, 31% of women and 27% of men felt abortion should be legal under any circumstances, while 46% of women and 54% of men reported feeling abortion should be legal under certain circumstances.

Jeff Jones, a senior editor for Gallup, told ABC News the difference between opinions of men and women may not be as dramatic as some might expect because those stark contrasts tend to run along party lines, not gender lines.

(MORE: Georgia becomes latest state to sign so-called 'heartbeat' abortion ban)

"Even though women are more Democratic than men, there are still 36% of women who are Republican or Republican leaning, so it's not a monolithically Democratic group," Jones said.

Indeed, the Alabama House bill had a woman, Rep. Terri Collins, as its primary sponsor, and it's awaiting the signature of a female governor. Both women are in the Republican Party.

The Gallup data did not break down the preferences by state or region, but the Pew Research Center reported in 2014 that half of adults in most southern states believed abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while that number was about or more than half in other states.

Specifically, the Pew data reported that 37% of adults in Alabama, 36% of adults in Kentucky and Mississippi, and 48% of adults in Georgia and Ohio believed it should be legal in all or most cases.

"Generally speaking, women are better represented in places where there are more opportunities, so when you have a larger legislature, there's literally more seats to run for," Sinzdak said. "That helps, that definitely helps."

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