NEW YORK, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Last year, 42 U.S. states enacted 122 provisions related to reproductive health and rights, with a third restricting access to abortion, researchers say.
Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit group in New York that works to advance sexual and reproductive health, said this was a sharp decrease from the record-breaking 92 abortion restrictions enacted in 2011, but it was the second-highest number of new abortion restrictions passed in a single year.
Twenty-four of the 43 new abortion restrictions were enacted in six states. Arizona enacted seven restrictions; Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin each enacted at least three.
Alabama, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wisconsin enacted provisions banning abortion coverage in the insurance exchanges being established under the Affordable Care Act, the analysis said.
At the beginning of 2012, several states were poised to adopt laws mandating ultrasound provision even when one is not medically necessary. In February, a proposed Virginia law requiring a transvaginal ultrasound before an abortion met with opposition and this led to a weaker requirement in Virginia, but also blunted efforts to mandate ultrasound in Alabama, Idaho and Pennsylvania.
However, in addition of Virginia, eight states require an ultrasound prior to receiving an abortion.