It has been six weeks since Donald Trump won the presidential election, and a slew of new abortion restrictions have already swept the country. Perhaps emboldened by the promise of a Republican-dominated executive and legislative branch (and judicial too, if Trump is lucky), anti-choice politicians have really stepped up their game.
But this ominous wave of new abortion restrictions are just icing on the cake of existing laws. Women seeking abortions are subjected to all sorts of anarchic restrictions ranging from dubious "abortion reversal" laws to lawyers for fetuses.
Below, we've compiled seven of the most heinous abortion laws from around the country:
Abortion providers in South Dakota and Arkansas are required to advertise an unproven procedure to their patients.
Abortion providers in both states must tell women about the possibility of reversing their abortions. The procedure, called "abortion pill reversal," is available only to women who choose a medication abortion. The only problem is that it's never been tested in an actual clinical study.
The inventor of the reversal method is the only one who has evaluated its effectiveness, on a study of only six women. Most concerning, however, is that the side effects of taking large doses of progesterone — which the procedure calls for — have never been tested in an abortion-reversal setting.
That hasn't stopped lawmakers from requiring doctors to tell their patients all about it, though.
Providers in Ohio, Texas, and North Dakota give women an outdated dosage for medication abortions.
Laws in all three states require providers to give women the amount of mifepristone (a medication abortion drug) that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended in 2000.
A recent study showed women who received this dosage needed more additional treatments, required more clinic visits, and suffered more side effects than those who received the FDA's updated dosage. But physicians in Ohio, Texas, and North Dakota are still required to use the 15-year-old recommendations.
Businesses in Oklahoma must display anti-abortion signs in their bathrooms.
The Oklahoma State Board of Health ruled on December 13 that all hospitals, hotels and motels, nursing homes, residential care facilities, and public schools must post signs with a pro-life message by January 2018 or risk losing government funding. The signs urge women who are pregnant to contact the state and informs them that there are "many public and private agencies willing and able to help you carry your child to term."This is just one effect of the Humanity of the Unborn Child Act, which made favoring childbirth over abortion an official state policy.
Fetuses in Alabama can have lawyers.
Minors in Alabama must have permission from their parents to have an abortion. If their parents refuse to give their permission, the minor can take the issues to court — where they may stand trial against their fetus.
A 2014 law allows judges to appoint a lawyer "for the interests of the unborn child" in these cases. The lawyer argues against the teenage girl in her petition for an abortion and a judge rules on whether the woman — or her fetus — should win.
Fetuses in Indiana and Georgia must be buried or cremated.
Women in 18 states are not trusted to take a pill by themselves.
States like Alabama, Missouri, and Wisconsin require a physician to be physically present when a woman undergoes a medication abortion. That means the doctor must be in the woman's physical proximity when they take the first pill, and then, 48 to 72 hours later, when they take the second. That's two doctors visits, several days apart, for a procedure that could safely be supervised over the phone.
Women in 19 states can't get abortions after 20 weeks — even in cases of rape or incest.
Lawmakers in almost 20 states have determined that a fetus is "viable" at 20 weeks of pregnancy, and thus, cannot be aborted. The most recent research, however, suggests that only a tiny percentage of fetuses can healthily survive outside the womb at 20 weeks. And less than 2% of all abortions take place after that period, anyway.
So why institute a ban on abortions after 20 weeks in the first place? Because according to pro-life groups, it's the first step in overturning Roe v. Wade.