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January 7, 2013

Roe v. Wade still divisive at 40

(Continued)

“Access is much less a problem in someplace like New York than, say, Mississippi or Kentucky or some of those states that are having increasing numbers of these restrictions on abortions,” Marcus said.

Marcus cited 24-hour waiting periods and required pre-abortion ultrasounds as examples of restrictions that other states have enacted.

“There are some states that have what are called traps — targeted regulation of abortion providers — saying that hallway doors have to be a certain width, doctors have to have admitting privileges to the local hospital, even though they might not for other types of ambulatory surgeries,” she said.

Mickiewicz acknowledged that a complete ban on abortion might never be achieved.

“My understanding is that whether you’re pro or con on the issue, the vast majority of people in the United States do not think this is a good thing, but they don’t want to say no to it carte blanche,” he said.

“Is abortion or anything like that going to be totally wiped off the face of the Earth?” Mickiewicz asked. “No, it’s not. And we’re not going to persuade everybody. But can it at least be infrequent?”

“There are some people who feel very strongly about it,” he added. “It almost becomes the only issue, but the problem is that no issue stands on its own. … The economy affects this, family life affects this, our values about human beings and life in general affect this. The consumerist idea of our country concerning everything affects this.”

And for Marcus, a reduction in the number of abortions, would, under some circumstances, be a success.

“What we are finding is that unintended pregnancies have gone down in those places where there is adequate family planning, where there is more access to contraception, there’s comprehensive, medically accurate sexuality education in the schools,” she said. “Prevention really works.”

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