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Impact of state anti-abortion laws hard to gauge
State anti-abortion laws have mixed impact: Many women unswayed, yet obstacles multiply
By The Associated Press

Dozens of laws are passed each year, seeking to deter abortions through an array of restrictions imposed on women and doctors.

Abortion providers and abortion-rights advocates say many of the laws ' those requiring ultrasounds, waiting periods and specific types of counseling ' are burdensome but rarely dissuade women from having the procedure.

But when the laws boost the cost of an abortion ' and are coupled with bans on public funding ' there can be real impact.

Michael New, a political scientist at the University of Alabama, estimates that bans on use of Medicaid funds have reduced the incidence of abortion by about 8 or 9 percent. He says the impact of the informed consent laws, including waiting periods and mandatory counseling, is less pronounced.

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