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Abortion restrictions going viral?

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As state lawmakers in Texas and North Carolina move towards enacting tough new limits on abortions, Sunlight decided to use some of our data tools to see how far the trend is spreading nationwide. To do so, we lifted key phrases from four of the most restrictive abortion bills that have either been enacted or considered recently and ran those terms through our Open States database, which surveys activity in all 50 state legislatures.

Restrictive abortion bills on the move in 2013

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Roe v. Wade at 40: Abortion debate fuels multi-million-dollar influence effort

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Friday's annual March for Life will bring thousands of anti-abortion protesters to the Supreme Court, marking this week's 40th anniversary of the justices' Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The event underscores the continuing intensity of a debate that has spawned well-financed lobbies on both sides at the federal and state level. 

Although the 113th Congress has been in session less than a month, the issue of abortion already is on the docket. A search using Sunlight Foundation's Scout, which allows users to track issues in Congress, the 50 state legislatures and the Federal Register ...

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Virginia ultrasound law is the image of a few others

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Source: Guttmacher Institute

Updated March 7, 4;22 p.m.

The bill Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed Wednesday requiring women in his state to undergo ultrasound screening before they can proceed with an abortion represents the latest victory for anti-abortion activists pushing to get similar legislation enacted nationwide.  

Seven states already have laws on the books requiring pre-abortion ultrasound screening, according to Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager for the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights group that focuses on reproductive health policy. At least 18 more states are considering similar bills. 

Above is a map showing states that either have or ...

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Abortion issues dominate independent expenditures in California Senate race

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In the Senate race between Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina of California, 87 percent of the independent expenditures relates to abortion issues. Among these two candidates, pro-life groups so far have spent $186,000, while pro-choice spending amounts to $41,000, according to a review of our independent expenditures database.

The pro-life group, the Susan B. Anthony List, has spent the most money on this issue in that race so far. They’ve invested $166,100 in buying web ads and paying for phone calls in support of Fiorina. They’ve also campaigned against Boxer with Google advertisements ...

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