Limits on the legal right to abortion are sweeping through legislatures across the United States, from moves to require women seeking abortion to undergo intrusive ultrasounds, to the defunding of Planned Parenthood, America's largest family planning provider.
Behind the raft of bills and regulations is one group with an aggressive approach: a non-profit, anti-abortion group called Americans United for Life.
It describes itself on its website as "public-interest law and policy" group with a simple mission: "Everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law".
In effect, it is the legal arm of the anti-abortion movement, with an orchestrated campaign to undo on a state-by-state basis the legal rights to abortion enshrined in the historic Roe v. Wade supreme court decision in 1973.
Last year was a record-breaker in terms of the number of bills restricting abortion access: according to the Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit body that seeks to advance reproductive rights, there were 92 such provisions enacted in 24 states. Almost a third of them, 28, came via AUL.
The Washington-based group drafts "model legislation" including gestational limits on abortions, additional regulation on abortion clinics, and bans on insurance cover for abortion and ultrasound requirements. In addition, it is pursuing efforts at both the federal and state level to defund Planned Parenthood.
Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of AUL, told the Guardian that the group is currently working in 39 states and "actively consulting" with legislators in 26 of them.
Read the full article at The Guardian