What Abortion Bans and Easy Gun Access Have in Common

Where gun access gets easier and abortion access gets harder, women pay the price.

Abortions and guns. Few issues are as polarizing or have so completely dominated the national discourse in recent years. Across the country, states have passed hundreds of measures to either curb or expand access to both. In certain states, conservative lawmakers—mostly men—are busy restricting access to abortion for women, with an eye toward eventually overturning Roe v. Wade.

Missouri is a textbook example of a Republican-controlled state on both: hostile toward abortion access and lax toward guns. It is one of nine states where lawmakers voted to ban abortion this year. Missouri’s ban, which prohibits the procedure after eight weeks, with no rape or incest exception, was set to take effect Aug. 28, before a federal judge temporarily blocked it from being implemented. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Missouri are challenging the law in court. Meanwhile, as some states have been fortifying their firearm laws in the wake of mass shootings, Missouri has done just the opposite—making it even easier for residents to get guns. Research shows why gun access is a women’s issue every bit as much as abortion access: Men own most of the guns and do most of the shooting, including killing women.

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Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz
Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz is the former creative director at YES!, where she directed artistic and visual components of YES! Magazine, and drove branding across the organization for nearly 15 years. She specializes in infographic research and design, and currently works with The Nation, in addition to YES! She previously worked at The Seattle Times, The Virginian-Pilot, Scripps Howard Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post, The Connecticut Post, The San Diego Tribune, The Honolulu Advertiser. She lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and currently serves on the board of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association. Tracy speaks English.
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Lornet Turnbull is the former civil liberties editor for YES!, a Seattle-based freelance writer, and a regional freelance writer for The Washington Post. An award-winning enterprise reporter who's worked in media for more than 20 years, Lornet has covered everything from the auto industry and labor unions in Michigan, to real estate and statehouse politics in Ohio, to homelessness in Seattle, to refugee children in the West Bank, and sex workers in Mexico City. She speaks English. 
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