Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

'Normal' is killing us.

Donald Trump is out of the White House. COVID-19 is fading, at least in wealthier nations. The world, they say, is returning to “normal.” That’s the narrative that the corporate media is selling. But there’s a problem: “normal” is destroying our planet, threatening our democracies, concentrating massive wealth in a tiny elite, and leaving billions of people without access to life-saving vaccines amid a deadly pandemic. Here at Common Dreams, we refuse to accept any of this as “normal.” Common Dreams just launched our Mid-Year Campaign to make sure we have the funding we need to keep the progressive, independent journalism of Common Dreams alive. Whatever you can afford—no amount is too large or too small—please donate today to support our nonprofit, people-powered journalism and help us meet our goal.

Please select a donation method:

Pro-choice and anti-choice protesters demonstrate outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in California.

Pro-choice and anti-choice protesters demonstrate outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in California. (Photo: Steve Rhodes/Flickr/cc)

Anti-Choice States Are Worse for Women and Children, Says Study

States that don't prioritize reproductive rights, don't prioritize healthcare for women and children in general

A new study challenges the conservative idea that abortion restrictions are put in place by legislators who simply want to protect women's health and safety.

The Center for Reproductive Rights and Ibis Reproductive Health find (pdf) that states with the most restrictions to abortion access tend to have laws that put other healthcare services out of women's reach as well—and to have worse health outcomes for women and children.

"In states where it is harder for women to make choices about their pregnancy and to have a safe abortion, we also see that there are fewer policies in place that could support women throughout their life course, including during pregnancy," said Terri-Ann Thompson of Ibis Reproductive Health.

The study ranked states based on how many policies they had in place to support women and children's health and wellness needs, compared with each state's restrictive abortion laws. Louisiana and Texas were found to be two of the most restrictive states, with 13 and 11 restrictive abortion laws, respectively. Both states had few laws aimed at providing women and children with healthcare, health education, and economic support, and had higher-than-average rates of maternal and infant mortality.

Abortion restrictions studied by the groups included mandatory counseling before an abortion, restrictions on abortion coverage in private and public health insurance plans, and restrictions placed on health clinics that provide abortions, mandating that such clinics must be equipped as ambulatory surgical centers.

"In states where it is harder for women to make choices about their pregnancy and to have a safe abortion, we also see that there are fewer policies in place that could support women throughout their life course, including during pregnancy."—Terri-Ann Thompson, Ibis Reproductive Health

The latter restriction was the subject of a 2016 Supreme Court case, Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt, which pro-choice advocates say exemplified the recent "pro-women's health" posturing of the anti-choice movement. In it, the Supreme Court struck down a restriction placed on an abortion clinic in Texas stating that the clinic had to be equipped with a large operating room and wide hallways, and that doctors in the clinic had to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The Court deemed the restrictions to be medically unnecessary.

But Tuesday's report notes that while the 2016 decision "was cause for celebration, the recent election has signaled a changing landscape for abortion access...Our opponents are abandoning their guise of caring about women's health and shifting their policy strategy to privilege an embryo or fetus above a woman."

The study says that while lawmakers in Texas, Indiana, and Louisiana have recently worked to pass a number of laws requiring embryonic and fetal tissue to be buried or cremated, "they all rank among the lowest in children's health and well-being outcomes."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Support progressive journalism.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Lawmakers Tell Biden US Has 'Moral Obligation' to Ban Landmines

"If the United States takes these steps it will be welcomed around the world."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·


Report on ICE Reveals 'Cruelty and Coercion' Against Hunger Strikers

The U.S. agency's systemic response of "coercion and violence," said an ACLU attorney, "speaks to the inherently abusive and inhumane nature of immigration detention."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


'We're Not Going Away!' Nonviolent Protest Over Voting Rights Ends With Arrests in DC

"We're saying across this country, it's time for people... to march on these Senate offices," declared Rev. William Barber.

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


Leaked IPCC Draft Climate Report 'Reads Like a 4,000-Page Indictment' of Humanity's Failure

"This is a warning of existential risk. Of survival. Of collapse," said Extinction Rebellion.

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·


US Navy Detonates 40,000-Pound Bomb Off Florida Coast

In addition to concerns about harm to sea life, progressives said the money would be better spent on healthcare and other human needs.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·