So far, 118 proactive bills in 33 states—As of today, 118 abortion-out-loud bills have been introduced in 33 states and four localities including the District of Columbia. Since we are working with advocates who haven’t yet introduced all their bills (including Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania), we expect to end up with at least 125 bills introduced.
Women using “The Handmaid’s Tale” costumes in very effective protests against anti-abortion legislation. To demonstrate against draconian anti-abortion bills and laws, Texas advocates—for the second time this year—dressed up in red capes and white bonnets from “The Handmaid’s Tale.” This effort is led by PLI’s partner NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. Each handmaid held a sign highlighting one of the many abortion restrictions that have been enacted since 1977. Aimee Arrambide, PLI’s Reproductive Rights Policy Specialist, was the 7th handmaid from the left with a sign underscoring the millions of Texas dollars that have funded Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) since 2005. More Handmaid’s Tale demonstrations are planned across the country and have already taken place in Missouri and Iowa. See Texas: The Hill, Women wear ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ costumes during protest against Texas anti-abortion bills; Newsweek, Real-Life ‘Handmaids’ Are Forming a Pro-Choice Resistance Movement; Yahoo, Abortion Rights Activists Stage ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Protest at Texas Capitol; and ATTN, These Women Dressed Up as Characters From “The Handmaid’s Tale to Protest Anti-Abortion Laws. See Missouri: Huffpost, Women dressed up as handmaids to defend reproductive rights in Missouri; Think Progress, Reproductive rights advocates demonstrates against the dystopia they fear Missouri is becoming; Bustle, Missouri Women channeled ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ to protest abortion restrictions.
Legislative and press activity by state:
California—SB 320, which would make medication abortion accessible on college campuses, passed the Senate Committee on Education on 4/19/2017 and passed the Senate Committee on Health on 4/24/2017. AB 334, which would provide emergency contraception to sexual assault survivors, passed the Assembly Committee on Judiciary on 4/25/2017. AB 569, which would prevent employer discrimination for reproductive health choices, passed the Assembly Committee on Judiciary on 4/25/2017. SB 309 would allow the Department of Health Care Services to accept and use donated artwork from California artists for the license plates, the revenue to be deposited in the California Reproductive Freedom Fund, created by the bill, and to be used, upon appropriation, for the Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment program (Family PACT). HR 37 was introduced Creates a Women’s Health Week with the objective to empower women to make their mental, physical, and reproductive health a priority in their everyday lives. See: JDSupra, Hot List–What’s Happening in the California legislature; Rewire, California students and state senator press colleges for on-campus medication abortion; LifeSiteNews, California considering law forcing universities to commit abortions on campus ; MRC TV, California may force public colleges to offer ‘free’ abortion pills; Broadly, You can now get Plan B out of a vending machine in Yolo County; and The Mercury News, California campuses would provide abortion pills under new proposal.
Colorado—HB 1186, which requires insurance to cover 12 months of birth control, passed both houses and is eligible for the Governor’s signature. AP, Colorado Senate defeats bill on abortion waiting periods; Colorado Springs Independent, Birth control bill advances in Colorado Assembly.
Delaware—Senator Townsend’s SB 5, which would codify Roe v. Wade, passed the Senate and was sent to the House. See: Reuters, Delaware legislature moves to guarantee abortion access in Trump era; WMDT, Delaware Senate passes abortion bill.
Hawaii—SB 501, which would require crisis pregnancy centers to be truthful about abortion options, was approved by the conference committee on 4/28/2017.
Illinois—HB 40, which would remove language prohibiting abortion coverage, passed the House on 4/25/2017. See: Chicago Tribune, Illinois House could vote on abortion bill Rauner opposes as women march on Capitol; Chicago Tribune, Dems turn up heat on Rauner with bill to expand taxpayer funded abortion; Alton Daily News, House passes abortion funding bill; AND, Abortion expansion passes Senate committee.
Iowa—Des Moines Register, Basu: Myths like ‘life begins at conception’ don’t belong in the law; Des Moines Register, Iowa abortion lawsuit referred back to lower court.
Louisiana—Rewire, Federal court permanently blocks another Texas-style anti-abortion law; AP (via The News Tribune), Louisiana will keep fighting to save abortion law; The Times-Picayune, Abortion in Louisiana: See existing and proposed laws.
Maryland—Refinery29, Maryland passes state law to protect Planned Parenthood funding.
Missouri—The Kansas City Star, Planned Parenthood abortion services in Missouri to expand after judge issues injunction; KY3, Planned Parenthood clinic in SW Missouri will offer abortions.
Nevada—AJR 8, a joint resolution urging the United States to protect a woman’s reproductive rights while vetting a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, failed on 4/25/2017.
New York—SB 3791, which would prohibit employer discrimination based on reproductive health decisions, passed the Senate Committee on Labor on 5/1/2017.
North Carolina—Rep. Fisher introduced HB 824, which would provide for information on Long Acting Reversible Contraception to be available for individuals receiving treatment or services for substance abuse. Salon, Red-state progressives fight to protect abortion rights: turning the table on right-wing lawmakers.
Oregon—HB 3391, which would require health benefit plans to cover specified reproductive health, passed the House Committee on Health Care on 4/19/2017. KOBI, ‘Reproductive Health Equity Act’ passes House Healthcare Committee.
Rhode Island—RIFuture.org, Reproductive Justice coalition demands state level Roe v. Wade protections.
Tennessee—HB 1320, which provides for Long-Acting Birth Control Information, passed House Committee on Health on 5/2/2017. ABC News, AG agrees Tenn to stop enforcing two abortion limits; WRCE, Federal judge signs order halting 2 Tennessee abortion laws.
Texas—Refinery29, The Clinic At The Heart Of Last Year’s Supreme Court Abortion Case Reopens, KUOW, Medication abortions in Texas have climbed in the year since FDA updated drug label.