The Birth Battleground

The Birth Battleground It's 40 years since a US Supreme Court case enshrined a woman's right to abortion. But now some say the clock is being wound back in Republican states across the US, provoking a wave of sharp protest.

"We've seen quite a few cases of women trying to self-abort by taking medication or by asking their partner to beat them in their stomach", says a Texan abortion clinic owner. New restrictions in Texas have marked one of the biggest victories of abortion opponents. Legislation shortening the right to abort from 26 to 20 weeks into the pregnancy and requiring expensive equipment is said to be designed to improve women's safety. Yet it is also increasing the threat of further 'coat-hanger abortions'. The only Republican to speak out against this law, Sarah Davis, argues that this is the first step in a wider campaign. "The bill is ultimately about banning all abortions in this state." A campaign launched by Democrat Senator Wendy Davis' viral 11-hour filibuster speech has mobilised a group of pro-choice campaigners. According to some, Davis' campaign has "woken a sleeping giant in and beyond the state of Texas".

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