MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Tuesday is the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.
And while President Obama made abortion rights a big part of his re-election campaign, pro-lifers have turned to state capitals like Madison, where supportive Republicans have clamped down on the procedure.
The Guttmacher Institute said 19 states approved 43 measures last year to restrict access to abortion services. That’s the second-highest number on record – but it was a sharp decrease from 2011, when 92 abortion restrictions were enacted.
Guttmacher said six states accounted for more than half the 43 restrictions a year ago – Wisconsin, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.
Arizona led the way with 7 abortion restrictions, and Wisconsin and the other states made at least three changes.
Among other things, the Badger State was among four states that banned abortion coverage in the insurance exchanges under the federal health care act. And Wisconsin joined two others in 2012 in banning teleconferences for administering the drugs that induce abortions.
In 2011, Wisconsin and six other states were the first to disqualify family planning providers from getting state funds for at least some abortions. Wisconsin’s restrictions came at a time when abortions were going down in the state. They dropped by 7 percent in 2011 to 7,250. That was the 7th such decline in the last 8 years.
Still, Wisconsin Right to Life says over 540,000 unborn babies died in abortions since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling came down in 1973.