This Repro Rights Report covers February 14 through March 13, 2017 and focuses on proactive abortion rights legislation introduced in states and localities.
So far, 98 proactive bills in 28 states—As of today, 98 abortion-out-loud bills have been introduced in 28 states and three localities. Since we are working with several advocates who haven’t yet introduced all their bills, we expect there will ultimately be more than 120 proactive abortion rights bills introduced in at least 30 states and 7 localities.
Jessica Farrar’s “Man’s Right to Know” bill explodes across the media and Internet—Texas Rep. Jessica Farrar’s HB 4260 is a satire bill that is grabbing nationwide attention. Similar to PLI’s Every Sperm is Sacred and Sperm Donation Right to Know Acts, the “Man’s Right to Know Act” would fine men for “masturbatory emissions outside of a woman’s vagina [as] an act against an unborn child….” Stories about this bill are now on hundreds of news sites and it is still trending on social media with thousands of likes and tweets. In 36 hours, it reached at least 1.6 million separate users on social media. This is just a small sample of the news reports the bill has generated: Washington Post, ‘Satirical’ Texas bill turns language of antiabortion laws on men; CNN, Texas bill would fine men $100 each time they masturbate; Teen Vogue, Texas Legislator Files ‘Satirical’ Bill to Fight Back Against Abortion Restrictions; NBC News, Texas Lawmaker’s ‘Satirical’ Bill Fines Men for Masturbating; Associated Press, Lawmaker mocks abortion law with call for masturbation fines; NPR, Satirical Texas Bill Would Fine Men’s Masturbation, Set Viagra Waiting Period; The Hill, Texas state rep proposes fines for masturbation; BBC, Texas lawmaker Jessica Farrar wants men fined for masturbating; New York Times, Texas senator introduces bill that would fine men for masturbatory emissions; U.S. News and World Report, Texas Lawmaker Calls for Masturbation Fines; Daily Kos, Texas State Rep. introduces bill to fine men for masturbating as “act against an unborn child”; New York Daily News, Texas State Rep. Jessica Farrar proposes male masturbation law; Washington Times, Jessica Farrar, Texas Democrat, proposes “satirical” bill penalizing men for masturbation; The Independent (UK), Female politician proposes law to fine men $100 for masturbating as “act against an unborn child”; Austin American-Statesman, Texas lawmaker files bill that would penalize men for masturbating; San Antonio Current, Texas Lawmaker Proposes Regulating Men’s Reproductive Organs as Much as Women’s; Austin Chronicle, Lawmaker Files Bill Penalizing Male Masturbation; Fox 34 (Lubbock, TX), Lubbock lawmakers oppose satirical anti-abortion bill; Texas Lawmaker Proposes Fining Men $100 for Jerking Off; Quartz, The craziest thing about the satirical “Man’s Right to Know” bill is it isn’t nearly as bad as the real Texas bill written for women; Mic, A Texas lawmaker is proposing a bill that would fine men $100 every time they masturbate; Mashable, Genius Texas representative proposes a bill that would fine men for masturbating; Bustle, A Female Politician Introduced An Anti-Masturbation Bill For Men To Protest Anti-Abortion Legislation; Romper, Texas Rep Files A Bill That Fines Men $100 For Masturbating, & It’s Important; Snopes, Texas Lawmaker’s “Satirical” Bill Would Fine Men for Masturbating; Democratic Underground, Well played, Texas State Rep. Jessica Farrar…well played.
Legislative and press activity by state:
California—Legislators introduced SB 309 to establish the Reproductive Freedom Fund, which would be financed by the sale of Reproductive Freedom License Plates, and AB 569 to prohibit employer discrimination against employees for their reproductive health choices. Rewire, California ‘Trust Women’ License Plates to Help Pay for Reproductive Care in Trump Era.
Colorado—HB 1186, which would require coverage of birth control for 12 months had a hearing and passed out of the House Health, Insurance, & Environment Committee on 3/9/2017. Steamboat Today, Choose When project aims to fund long-acting birth control for Northwest Colorado women; Western Slope Now, Discussions About Reproductive Healthcare; NBC 11 News, Organizations raising awareness on equality issues; and Daily Sentinel, State of sex ed, no Planned Parenthood, worry citizens.
Connecticut—There were news stories about the Governor’s effort to protect Planned Parenthood funding through Medicaid: Connecticut Mirror, CT would protect Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds under Malloy proposal, and Hartford Courant, State Would Protect Planned Parenthood Medicaid Funds Under Malloy Proposal.
Florida—Senator Linda Stewart introduced SB 1740, the Florida Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. SB 1114 and HB 6025 were introduced to allow Medicaid and other public funding for abortion. The bills would also protect the confidential files of abortion clinics from snooping by state agencies.
Hawaii—SB 501, which would require crisis pregnancy centers to disclose the availability of actual reproductive health services (unlike theirs) passed the Senate and was referred to the House Committees on Health, Judiciary, and Finance. Washington Times, Hawaii considering bill to force church, pro-life centers to promote abortion; Christian Broadcasting Network, The Law that Could Force Pro-Life Centers to Promote Abortions; LifeNews, Hawaii Senate Passes Bill Forcing Pregnancy Center to Promote Abortions; Rewire, Hawaii Fake Clinics Told to Stop Breaking Privacy Laws; Biblical Recorder, Hawaii Pro-Life Centers Fight Abortion Referral Mandate; National Right to Life, Hawaii’s Anti-Pregnancy Center Bill Goes to Senate Vote; and One News Now, Aloha, freedom of speech.
Idaho—The House passed HB 250 to repeal the state’s medication abortion restriction and telemedicine ban in order to end a lawsuit the state is losing in the federal court. U.S. News and World Report, Proposal to Repeal Abortion Laws Headed to the Senate; Boise Spokesman, Bill repealing an on telemedicine abortion passes House, heads to Senate; KTVB, Proposal to repeal abortion laws headed to the Senate floor.
Illinois—Rep. Deb Conroy introduced HB 3735 to make it an aggravating factor in sentencing if a defendant commits a crime of violence, does criminal damage to property, or intimidates the clients of a women’s health clinic. Rep. Michael Unes introduced HB 3852 to expand the state’s “EC in the ER” law to cover many more health care facilities. Previously introduced legislation received considerable coverage: Northern Public Radio, Dramatic Changes Proposed to Illinois Law Regarding Abortion, Mother Jones, If Trump Gets His Way, These Will Be the First Places to Ban Abortion, Columbia Chronicle, Illinois counters Trump’s anti-abortion rhetoric, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Pro-life orgs in Illinois fight bill to allow publicly-funded abortions, CRUX, Catholic group to Illinois governor: veto abortion funding bill, NBC 5 Chicago, Legislation Looks to Keep Abortion Legal in Illinois, WBEZ Chicago, Legislators Push to Repeal State Law That Would Outlaw Abortion in Illinois, IL Family Institute, Lawmakers Push for Taxpayer Funding of Abortion, Illinois Review, Illinois Lawmakers Push for Taxpayer Funding of Abortion, and IL Right to Life, The 6 Most Shocking Things About HB 40.
Iowa—Representative Liz Bennett introduced HB 493 which is the Playbook’s Keep Bosses Out of the Bedroom Act.
Kentucky—Senator Harper Angel introduced SB 245 to exempt women whose pregnancies result from rape or incest from having an ultrasound prior to an abortion and from the state’s 20-week ban. Amazingly, the media is still talking about the satire bill introduced in Kentucky last year: Quartz, Kentucky lawmaker is fighting abortion restrictions with an absurd bill of her own, and FOX 59, Kentucky lawmaker proposes bill that would require men to get wives’ permission for Viagra.
Maryland—HB 1205, which requires universities to make emergency contraception available has a House Health and Government Operations Committee hearing scheduled for March 14, 2017 at 1pm. Advocates got a lot of coverage for a rally in favor of this bill, including: WUSA 9, Women Rally for Equal Rights in Annapolis, and WMAR 2, Women rally in Annapolis to support pro-female legislation.
Massachusetts—Representative David Linsky introduced HB 893 and Senator Michael Barrett introduced SB 754 to lower the age of consent for an abortion without parental/guardian permission from 18 to 16. Representative Dan Ryan introduced HB 2202 to expand coverage for long-acting reversible contraception. Boston Globe, Charlie Baker promises state funding to offset any US cuts to Planned Parenthood; WBUR, Gov. Baker promises state will make up for possible federal cuts to Planned Parenthood.
Michigan—Senator Rebekah Warren introduced SR 15, an Abortion is Health Care resolution which recognizes the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Missouri—Rep. Lauren Arthur introduced HB 1173, a Whole Woman’s Health Act to codify the standard of Whole Woman’s Health and repeal many abortion restrictions. The St. Louis city council passed Board Bill 203 to amend the city’s anti-discrimination statute to add pregnancy and reproductive health decisions as protected classes. Board Bill 292 was also introduced and a hearing was held on February 7. That bill would protect patients and clinic personnel from unwanted harassment and interference when entering and exiting reproductive health clinics. Rewire reported on a demonstration related to this bill, ‘ThriVe Lies’: Why Pro-Choice Activists Rallied Outside a St. Louis Anti-Abortion Clinic.
New Mexico—Rep. Deborah Armstrong’s HB 284, to provide coverage for a 12-month supply of contraceptives, passed the House. NM Political Report, House passes bill to expand contraception access; Miami Herald, Countermeasures to Trump inundate New Mexico legislature; the Albuquerque Journal, Bill aims to preserve contraceptive coverage for women. Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino introduced SB 282 to guarantee a patient’s rights to certain reproductive health care services. The bill passed the Senate Committee on Public Affairs and was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Christian Times, New Mexico senator introduces bill forcing religious hospitals to perform abortions; The Global Dispatch, New Mexico State Sen Gerald Ortiz y Pino proposes bill to stop freedom of conscience exemptions on abortions; and Life Site News, ‘Catholic’ senator introduces bill to force Christian hospitals to do abortions. HB 472, which would repeal anti-abortion “trigger” language, was introduced by five Representatives and sent to the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee.
New York—AB 566, which is similar to the Playbook’s Keep Bosses Out of the Bedroom Act, passed the Assembly Committee on Labor and then the Committee on Codes. It awaits third reading on the floor. Assembly members introduced AB 3957 to require that abortion training be a part of a medical residency and AB 5911 to require CPCs to disclose that they do not provide abortion or birth control and are not licensed medical providers. A Catholic publication covered the Governor’s proposed constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights: National Catholic Register, Reacting to President Trump, New York Governor Proposes Abortion Amendment.
Oregon—HB 2232, which provides insurance coverage for abortion, has a hearing scheduled on March 15, 2017. Statesman Journal, Oregon reproductive health bill rally draws dozens; Rewire, Hundreds rally in Oregon in support of bill guaranteeing insurance coverage of reproductive care; All* Above All, Oregon is stepping up for reproductive healthcare; The Oregonian, Oregon lawmakers introduce bill to protect reproductive health care; Mother Jones, Oregon just showed states how to fight back in the war against women; Daily Kos, Oregon knows that women are people and deserve reproductive rights; Rewire, Oregon Joins States Safeguarding Reproductive Rights as Trump Takes Office; Washington Examiner, Democratic states combat Trump on women’s health; My Central Oregon, Oregon legislators file bill in case of ACA repeal, New York Times, Protecting Birth Control Access in Oregon; Portland Tribune, Bill expands insurance mandate to cover abortions, other services; LGBTQ Nation, Bisexual Gov. Kate Brown leads Oregon lawmakers in fight against Trump; Konbini, Oregon And Illinois Propose Bills To Become Safe Havens For Women’s Reproductive Rights; and The Bend Bulletin, Oregon legislators file bill in case of ACA repeal.
Pennsylvania—Senator Lawrence Farnese and six cosponsors introduced SB 385, a Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
Rhode Island—Legislators introduced SB 274, the Reproductive Health Care Act, to prohibit the state from interfering with a woman’s reproductive health decisions. Also HB 5343, to codify the right to abortion, continues to receive press coverage: Rhode Island Public Radio, Skirmishes Continue on Abortion-Rights Bill, New Boston Post, The (Abortion) Empire Strikes Back-Preemptively. Other news coverage includes: R.I. Future, Opponents spread misinformation about bill to codify Roe v. Wade, New Boston Post, Rhode Island Legislators Introduce Pro-Abortion Bill, Brown Daily Herald, R.I. lawmakers reintroduce law to protect abortion rights, Planned Parenthood, A Recap of the Best and Worst of State Reproductive Health Policy, What’s Up Newport, Poll Shows Strong Support for Pro-Choice Legislation, The News Tribune, Rhode Island Lawmakers Push to Affirm Abortion Rights; RI Future, Rhode Island needs to codify Roe v. Wade into state law; Providence Journal, Edith Ajello and Gayle Goldin: Our abortion bills protect women’s rights; Rhode Island Central, Bill ensures abortion remains a legal right for women.
Texas—Representative Jessica Farrar introduced HB 4260, a satire bill described above that would regulate men’s health in the same way that Texas regulates abortion, and HB 3718, a version of the Playbook’s Crisis Pregnancy Center Fraud Prevention Act. On March 7, our Program Manager and Reproductive Rights Policy Specialist, Aimee Arrambide, testified before the Texas House Committee on State Affairs against HB 35, the fetal burial bill. On February 28, she testified before the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce against SB 20 which would ban private insurance plans from including abortion coverage. On February 15, she testified before the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and was quoted extensively in Newsweek, Texas Legislators Double Down, Break Glass Table in Next Big Abortion Fight, a story that was also reprinted in National Memo, Texas Legislators Double Down on Next Abortion Fight. In addition, the following proactive bills were introduced: HB 261 to enhance penalties for assault of clinic employees, HB 745 to eliminate the abortion waiting period, and HB 746 to require medical accuracy in printed materials about abortion.
Utah—Rep. Brian King introduced HB 215 to allow teen abortions without parental consent and HB 384 to repeal a TRAP law. Brian King and abortion provider Leah Torres M.D. are featured in this article: Salt Lake Tribune, This Utah abortion rule is nearly identical to an unconstitutional Texas law. A bill to undo it has stalled.
Virginia—HB 2267, which would require coverage of a twelve-month supply of birth control, passed both Houses and is ready for the governor’s signature.
Wisconsin—Senator Chris Larson introduced SJR 11, a resolution declaring that Abortion is Health Care. Assembly member Sondy Pope introduced SB 45 to eliminate an anti-abortion law that is so obsolete it was cited in Roe v. Wade.
Roe Campaign National Coverage
Vice News, States are taking reproductive rights into their own hands under Trump
True Viral News, These 18 States are introducing bills protecting reproductive rights
Truthout, States and cities push back on reproductive health attacks
Newsweek, Texas Legislators Double Down, Break Glass Table, In Next Big Abortion Fight
Lawyer Herald, Activist Outlines Plan to Protect Women Health Care Under Trump Administration
Newsmax, Trump Must Stand Against Abortion Rights Lobby
CNS News, A Militant Secular Agenda is Being Imposed on Americans