Abortion opponents less accepting of rape and incest as ‘exceptions.’ What changed?

When Alabama approved an abortion ban in 2019 without exceptions for victims of rape and incest, it wasn’t just some prominent Republicans who disagreed with those exclusions. Televangelist Pat Robertson called the law “too extreme.”.

But since then, rape and incest exceptions – once an accepted part of proposed abortion restrictions and supported by a series of Republican presidents, including Donald Trump – have been increasingly rejected by conservative state legislatures.

Rape and incest exceptions were excluded in 24 of 30 abortion bans and restrictions enacted by states including Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas, Arizona, Florida and Missouri in the past few years, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion laws.

Among 92 proposals for abortion restrictions pending in states this year alone, only a handful contained those exceptions, said Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst for Guttmacher, which supports abortion rights.

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