Dispatches From The War On Women: The 5 Worst States For Women

Posted on April 1, 2012


While the assault on women’s rights is underway nationwide these states have the dubious distinction of being the five worst states for women.

The website iVillage compiled data from a host of sources including the 2010 U.S. Census, the National Women’s Law Center, National Partnership for Women & Families and the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Here’s what they found.

5. Kentucky

Over 77% of the women in the state live in a county without an abortion provider and nearly 20% of the women live in poverty. Not even a quarter of the women in the state have a college degree.

4. West Virginia

Like Kentucky, West Virginia has a tragically low number of women holding college degrees with just 17.8%. Poverty is also a problem with the median income approximately only $29,651. West Virginia is also the only state that doesn’t protect a woman’s right to breast-feed in either public or private.

3. Arkansas

In Arkansas abortion is pretty much legal in name only. Only 3% of the state’s counties offer them. Just about one-quarter of the population doesn’t have health insurance and the median income is only $29,148 a year.

2. Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s attack on reproductive choice has been relentless this legislative session with personhood measures and restrictive anti-abortion measures. The entire region only has six abortion doctors and the state has outlawed insurance coverage for abortion. As it stands 1 in 4 women in the state already live without health insurance and the state does not have a single female elected official in Congress. The good news is Oklahoma’s overreach was just hemmed in by the federal courts.

1. Mississippi

Mississippi women earn the lowest average wages in the country and has never elected a woman to Congress or as governor. 22% of the women of the state live in poverty and 68% of Mississippi women are overweight or obese.

There is a pretty clear theme that emerges from the data. Those states where women do not have access to affordable higher education, reproductive health care and representation in Congress pursue the most regressive, anti-women policies in the country. It’s an important reminder that the war on women is not simply a war on abortion. It’s a war on the ability of women to control their own destinies.

Please come back tomorrow for the latest in the best and the worst in the War on Women. So long as the battle rages, we’ll cover the latest, so please check back!