(CNSNews.com) – The United States earned a “D” grade for women’s “reproductive rights” by the pro-abortion advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America in its annual report, released on Friday.
In the report, The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States, is a “report card” where each state and the nation as a whole are graded using a point system based on “anti-choice” and “pro-choice” governors, laws, access to contraceptives and abortions, spousal and parental consent and “post viability abortion restriction” on abortion.
States receiving the highest grades include an “A+” for California, which NARAL says has a pro-choice governor, senate and assembly. The state was also lauded for giving low-income women access to abortion.
The state of Washington also got an “A+”, while Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, and Oregon received an “A.”
States given an “A-” were Alaska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Vermont. The District of Columbia also got an “A-.”
The states receiving an “F” in the report are Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
The states are also ranked according to the point system, with California ranking No. 1 for “reproductive rights” and North Dakota earning the No. 50 spot.
The report methodology explains that the nationwide score is based on both state restrictions and federal “anti-choice” laws, such as the Federal Abortion Ban, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003; the Federal Refusal Clause of the 2004 Abortion Non-Discrimination Act that protects health professionals who are opposed to abortion; and restrictions on abortions for women in the U.S. military.
The 109-page report’s “key findings” section shows what NARAL considers the increase of “anti-choice” laws that have been enacted over the years. In 1995 (the earliest year reported) there were 18 “anti-choice” measures enacted. In 2010 (the last year reported), there were 644 measures enacted nationwide.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, cites the negative effects of the mid-term elections in the report’s “From the President” letter.
“It is clear that the results of the 2010 elections could pose serious threats to the progress we celebrated in previous years’ reports,” Keenan says. “Some of our key pro-choice champions in Congress and in the states are not returning to their positions.
“Some of their successors hold the most extreme anti-choice views ever seen,” said Keenan. “And these changes mean women’s access to safe, legal abortion and other reproductive-health care could be further jeopardized. Our opponents will attempt to equate their election with presumed public support for anti-choice policies.”
“They are wrong,” she said. “Americans are focused on our nation’s economic challenges.”
“We all know friends and family members who are struggling -- and we also know these individuals do not want politicians to wage a divisive war on choice when they are facing such financial hardships,” Keenan said.
This is the 13th year that NARAL’s publication has included a report card on the states and the nation.
NARAL’s 2011 “Report Card on Women’s Reproductive Rights,” by grade, is presented below.
District of Columbia*
* The District of Columbia is the capital city of the United States overseen by the federal government.