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Abortion Restrictions Can Make it Harder to Leave Violent Relationships: What the New Study Means for Our Current Policy Fights

Written by Sharon Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy, and cross-posted from NWLC’s blog.

You may have already read about the first-of-its-kind study that documents the connection between denials of abortion and intimate partner violence.  Now it is up to us to use this important new evidence in the fight to stop bad abortion laws at the state and federal levels.

States are passing extreme abortion restrictions at a record rate. According to the Guttmacher Institute, more state abortion restrictions were enacted in the last three years than in the entire previous decade. And in only the first half of 2014, 13 states passed 21 new restrictions.  And in Congress, the only thing stopping the anti-choice proponents in the House is the fact that the Senate is controlled by a pro-choice majority.

The crazy thing is that the anti-reproductive rights lawmakers passing these laws often claim that they are doing it to protect women’s health.  Take a second to think about that.  They claim they are taking away our access to health care to protect our health.  Hmm…no.

Because it documents the harm that these policies can do to women’s health, this study  [PDF] by Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) at the University of California, San Francisco is particularly timely and important. The researchers’ principal finding was that women who experienced intimate partner violence and sought and received an abortion experienced a significant decrease in the risk of violence from the man involved in the pregnancy. However, ...

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