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Abortion may be legal in the U.S., but for thousands of women all over the country, it has become almost impossible to access. Across the 40,408 square miles that make up Kentucky, there is exactly one abortion clinic—one that was at risk of closing this year. In all 97,813 square miles of Wyoming, there’s only one provider that acknowledges they do terminations.
Just this November, during the midterm elections, West Virginians approved an amendment to their state's constitution that would say “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”
When you contrast those kinds of restrictions with the stunning lack of regulation around guns in this country, the results are galling. In about 40 states, there is no wait time to buy a firearm. Washington mandates a wait period only when there is a warrant for the arrest of the prospective buyer. While pregnant women must wait 72 hours to have an abortion in Missouri, gun enthusiasts need only walk into one of more than 1,900 dealerships in the state to walk out with a handgun. Wisconsin repealed the 48-hour waiting period on handgun purchases in 2015. South Dakota did the same in 2009.
You know this: We do not protect all bodies equally. This data proves it. This is how relatively easy it is to get a gun and how hard it is to get an abortion in all 50 states.
Sources: For information about access to guns: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; for Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Mississippi abortion access information: Vice News; for Missouri abortion access information: NPR; for state-by-state abortion access information: Guttmacher Institute; and for more information about wait-time regulations: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
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