133 proactive abortion rights bills in 33 states

Posted on June 22, 2017

So far in 2017, 133 abortion-out-loud bills have been introduced in 33 states and four localities, including the District of Columbia.

Lawmakers in Michigan introduce ten abortion-out-loud bills all at once. The Michigan Progressive Women Caucus led the introduction of the most comprehensive abortion rights package of bills in state history—a proactive strategy to fight for women’s freedom.

Michigan Voices for Women’s Health, a coalition of legislators, health providers, abortion-rights policy experts, and activists are pursuing a straight-forward strategy:

  1. Identify abortion rights policies that are both important and popular with the public;
  2. Develop a comprehensive agenda;
  3. Train public leaders to effectively communicate about abortion rights;
  4. Focus on abortion as health care; and
  5. Use the agenda to build lasting political power in the state.

Legislators, groups and activist will use the agenda through the summer to talk about the importance of expanding access to affordable, safe and accessible abortion services, shape the public narrative. See coverage in: The Detroit Free Press, WWMT, Michigan Peninsula News, FOX 47, and WLIX.

Legislative and press activity by state:

Alaska—HB 25 which would require insurance coverage of contraceptives for up to 12 months passed the House Committee on Finance.

CaliforniaAB 1312 which would require emergency contraception to be provided at no costs to victims of sexual assault passed the Assembly. SB 320, which would make medication abortion accessible on college campuses passed the Senate Committee on Health. AB 334, which would provide emergency contraception to sexual assault survivors, passed the Assembly. AB 569, which would prevent employer discrimination for reproductive health choices, passed the Assembly. SB 309 passed the Senate and 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). The California Assembly adopted HR 37 and Senate adopted SR 38 both of which create a Women’s Health Week with the objective to empower women to make their mental, physical, and reproductive health and make this priority in their everyday lives. See: HuffingtonPost- California to Give Health Clinics $20 Million to Counter Possible Cuts, 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.

Connecticut—The Senate passed SB 586 which would require health insurance coverage for preventative services and improved access to prescription contraceptive methods.

ColoradoHB 1186 was enacted and now requires insurance to cover 12 months of birth control., Colorado Senate defeats bill on abortion waiting periods; Colorado Springs Independent, Birth control bill advances in Colorado Assembly.

DelawareSB 5 was enacted in the state and codifies Roe v. Wade. See: To defend against Trump, Delaware preemptively enshrined abortion rights, Bustle, Delaware wants to preserve abortion rights & here’s why that’s not enough, Reuters, Delaware is first U.S. state to enact abortion rights laws under Trump

Florida—The following bills were introduced but failed in committee: SB 1740 and HB 1339 would have provided freedom of access to clinics, SB 1114 would have removed restrictions on public funding for abortions, HB 6025 would have removed a provision that prohibited the state from renewing contracts with organizations that perform abortions.

HawaiiSB 501, which would require crisis pregnancy centers to be truthful about abortion options was passed by both chambers and sent to the Governor.

IllinoisHB 40, which would remove language prohibiting abortion coverage, passed the House and Senate 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.

MarylandHB 613 and SB 363 were enacted both of which authorize pharmacists to prescribe and dispense contraceptives. SB 1081 was also enacted and it provides funding to ensure access and continuity of services provided by family planning providers.  See: Refinery29, Maryland passes state law to protect Planned Parenthood funding. The Washington Post, Maryland also eases access to birth control

MaineHB 860 was enacted and will require coverage of contraceptives to include coverage for contraceptives without cost sharing for at least one drug or device.

Missouri—The following bills were introduced in the House: HB 4 would require that organizations that provide pregnancy-related services must provide medically accurate information regarding reproductive health options in order to receive state funding.  HB 8 would allow pharmacists to prescribe and dispense hormonal contraceptives. HB 10 would regulate all health care agencies and organizations that are receiving government funding by requiring transparency around services provided as well as the medical qualifications of staff members and accuracy of information given about reproductive health. HB 11 was would repeal the 72 hour waiting periods currently required for individuals seeking abortions.  HB 13 would authorize a tax credit for certain contraceptive costs. 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.

New JerseyAB 2297 was passed by the Assembly and SB 659 was passed by the Senate Committee on Budget and Appropriations, both of which would require health insurance coverage of birth control prescriptions for 12 months.

New Mexico—HB 284 which would provide for insurance coverage of contraceptives for up to a 12 month supply was passed by the House and the Senate Committee on Public Affairs. See: The Washington Post, New Mexico makes it easier for women to obtain birth control , Chicago Tribune, New Mexico joins other states trying to make it easier to access birth control , and Santa Fe New Mexican, New rule lets pharmacists prescribe contraceptives in New Mexico.

NevadaAB 249 and SB 233 were enacted both of which will require the state plan for Medicaid and other health insurance plans to provide certain contraceptive benefits.  AJR 8, a joint resolution would have urged the United States to protect a woman’s reproductive rights while vetting a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court but failed.

New YorkSB 3791, which would prohibit employer discrimination based on reproductive health decisions, passed the Senate Committee on Labor. See: Wall Street Journal, N.Y. lawsuit seeks to protect abortion clinic patients

North CarolinaHB 824 was introduced and would provide for information on Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs) 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.

OregonHB 3391, which would require health benefit plans to cover specified reproductive health, passed the House Committee on Health Care. KOBI, ‘Reproductive Health Equity Act’ passes House Healthcare Committee.

Rhode Island—See: RIFuture.org, Reproductive Justice coalition demands state level Roe v. Wade protections, The Valley Breeze, Councilors defend abortion

TennesseeHB 1320, which provides for Long-Acting Birth Control Information, passed the House. 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