- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 9, 2017

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - More than half of U.S. women of reproductive age live in states with unneeded restrictions on abortion facilities, according to an analysis released Tuesday by a research group that supports abortion rights.

The report from Guttmacher Institute comes after a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year struck down a widely replicated Texas law that required abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges and meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery. The court held the regulations were medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit a woman’s right to an abortion.

Americans United for Life countered that Guttmacher is a partisan organization that opposes “longstanding and commonsense” abortion regulations. It said in an email that the abortion industry is trying desperately to redefine a scientific debate that it is losing as more studies show abortion is harmful to women and their unborn children.

“The one truly irrefutable scientific fact in the abortion debate is the humanity of the unborn child; if they come up with a scientific report proving that wrong, we’re all ears,” said Mary Kay Culp, executive director for Kansans for Life.

The Supreme Court ruling prompted Guttmacher to look at state laws it says are not based in science. It analyzed abortion clinic restrictions such as mandating abortion providers have nearby hospital admitting privileges, imposing hospital-like standards for clinics, requiring waiting periods or banning abortions after 20 weeks.

The review found Kansas and Texas each have the most such unnecessary restrictions in the nation, followed by Louisiana, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

“The legislatures in Kansas and Oklahoma are well known as incubators for abortion restrictions and places where other states look to for new restrictions,” said Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at Guttmacher.

Twenty-eight states have at least two abortion clinic restrictions - which means 53 percent of women of the reproductive ages between 15 and 44 - live in states with multiple restrictions tied to misinformation, Nash said.

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