What are TRAP Laws? #wokewednesday

If you have followed the news over the past few years, you might have heard about your state legislature passing new regulations on abortion providers. Unlike other types of abortion restrictions, which attempt to shame, intimidate and burden women with everything from extended waiting periods to medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds, these regulations are supposed to protect patients by putting extra restrictions on the doctors performing abortions and their facilities. Nothing wrong with that, right? We obviously want women receiving abortions to be as safe as possible.

However, these regulations are not a response to an actual need to protect patient safety. Collectively, they are known as TRAP (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers) laws and they have become an insidious and powerful new weapon in the war on choice.

Starting in 2010, anti-choice legislators in many states, including Arizona, started passing TRAP laws that were intended to place heavy financial and operational burdens on abortion providers. These include requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital in case hospitalization is required and specifying that providers’ buildings meet the same requirements as an ambulatory surgical center, both of which are in effect in Arizona.