Proactive Abortion Rights Legislation, January-March 2018

Posted on March 28, 2018

This report focuses on proactive policy, that is, legislation to expand abortion rights in states and localities. 

Roe v. Wade resolutions and bills

California’s Senate and Assembly adopted SR 72 and HR 68, both of which acknowledge the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. A California assemblywoman also introduced HR 71, which recognizes Roe and the need for reproductive rights without restrictions. A Missouri representative introduced HB 1772, which would codify the right to abortion from the Roe decision into state law. A Vermont Senator has introduced SB 268, which also codifies the Roe decision, affirming the right to abortion in state law. Rhode Island legislators introduced SB 2163 and HB 7340, both of which would prohibit the state from interfering with any individual’s reproductive health care choices, including the decision to get an abortion.

Insurance coverage for reproductive health services

Hawaiian legislators have introduced HB 2127 and SB 2341, both of which provide for contraception and abortion insurance coverage. A Hawaii representative has also introduced HB 1573  which would provide for contraception and abortion coverage as well as a wide variety of other preventative services for reproductive health. Indiana legislators have introduced SB 151 and HB 1183, both of which provide for contraceptive insurance coverage. A Mississippi representative introduced HB 874 which provides for contraceptive insurance coverage. Missouri representatives have introduced HB 1950HB 2084, and HB 2086, all of which provide for insurance coverage of contraception or abortion. Washington’s Senate passed SB 6102 which prohibit employers from denying insurance coverage for contraception based on personal beliefs. A companion bill was introduced in the Washington House in the form of HB 2908. Washington legislators also introduced SB 6105 and HB 2909, which would provide coverage for contraception and other types of preventative reproductive healthcare. An Idaho Senator has introduced SB 1281, which would provide for 12 month contraceptive coverage. An Illinois representative introduced HB 5747, which would allow pharmacists to prescribe contraception. Kansas legislators have introduced HB 2679 and SB 417, both of which would expand insurance coverage for contraception. A California senator introduced SB 1023, which allows for coverage of reproductive health care services that are provided through telemedicine. Michigan legislators have introduced SB 833 and HB 5611, both of which require employers to share information on reproductive healthcare coverage with employees. The New Jersey legislature passed, and the governor signed, SB 120 which restores state funding to family planning services and women’s healthcare facilities. The New Jersey governor also signed SB 105, which expands Medicaid coverage of family planning for low income individuals in the state. Washington’s legislature passed, and the Governor signed, SB 6219 which will provide for contraceptive and abortion coverage in the state.

Preventing fraud by crisis pregnancy centers

A Hawaiian representative has introduced HB 663 which would create transparency and disclosure requirements for crisis pregnancy centers around what reproductive services they actually provide. Missouri legislators introduced SB 670 and HB 1853, both of which require crisis pregnancy centers to provide medically accurate information on all reproductive health options. A Missouri legislator introduced HB 2298, which would prevent crisis pregnancy centers from spreading inaccurate information about abortion, as well as only allowing licensed medical staff to provide healthcare services. A Connecticut House Committee has introduced HB 5416, which would prohibit crisis pregnancy centers from engaging in deceptive advertising practices regarding the services they provide. An Arizona senator introduced SB 1360, which requires that ultrasounds provided at crisis pregnancy centers be performed only by licensed health care providers.

Clinic and patient protection

A Florida Senator introduced SB 320 which provides protections for reproductive health services clients, providers and assistants as well as safe access to reproductive healthcare facilities and clinics. The first committee in the Massachusetts Senate passed SB 591, which protects access to confidential healthcare information. The St. Louis Board of Alderman are on track to pass a board bill that will establish an 8-foot zone around the driveways to reproductive health clinics, to protect patients’ rights to access healthcare free of harassment and interference.

Prevent discrimination

The first committee in the Hawaii House passed HB 2018, which would prohibit employer discrimination based on reproductive healthcare decisions. A Missouri representative introduced HB 2173, which would also prohibit employer discrimination based on reproductive healthcare decisions. Michigan representatives introduced HB 5612 and SB 831, both of which require pharmacies to fill contraceptive prescriptions without delay or bias. The New York Assembly passed AB 566, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their reproductive health decisions.

Abortion Access

California’s Senate passed SB 320 which requires each public university’s health center to offer medication abortion services. A Maine representative has introduced HB 1217 which would allow for advanced practice clinicians, such as physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to perform abortions. A Missouri representative introduced HB 1773, which would also allow for advanced practice clinicians to perform abortions. The New York Assembly passed AB 1748, which amends state law to allow for abortions to be performed up to 24 weeks. A New York assemblyman introduced SB 7366, which would require medical residency training to include training on providing abortion care.

Contraception Access

The Hawaii House passed HB 1950, which would allow pharmacists to prescribe contraception.  Missouri representatives have introduced HB 1312 and HB 1498, both of which allow for pharmacists to prescribe contraception. A Missouri representative introduced HB 1338 which requires hospital emergency rooms to provide emergency contraception for sexual assault survivors. A Missouri representative introduced HB 2236, which establishes women’s right to fill contraceptive prescriptions or purchase emergency contraception without delay or harassment. Representatives in Arizona and Iowa introduced HB 2640 and SB 2220, both of which would require health facilities to provide emergency contraception for sexual assault survivors. The first committee in the Connecticut House passed HB 5210, which expands coverage of contraceptives. The District of Columbia’s City Council passed, and the Mayor signed, an act allowing pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives. Maryland legislators have introduced HB 1111 and SB 969, both of which would increase access to emergency contraception and contraceptive counseling on college campuses in the state. The first committee in the Massachusetts House passed HB 1214 and the New Hampshire House passed HB 1822, both of which would allow pharmacists to prescribe contraception. Michigan legislators have introduced HB 5614 and SB 834, both of which would require health facilities to provide emergency contraception for sexual assault survivors. Minnesota legislators have introduced SB 3101 and HB 3453, both of which expand coverage of contraceptives. The New York Assembly passed AB 9957, which requires comprehensive contraception coverage from health insurance policies. The Tennessee House and Senate have passed HB 1320, which creates a program intended to increase access to long acting reversible contraceptive options for women in the state. The Utah governor signed SB 184, which allows pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives.


A Kentucky representative has introduced HB 234, which satirizes government restrictions on reproductive health choices by requiring all medical and nursing schools to refer individuals who are requesting advice or health care services to their state representative or state senator.

Abortion is Healthcare Resolution

A Missouri representative introduced HCR 65, which recognizes that abortion is an essential part of women’s healthcare.

* This report does not include either anti-abortion legislation that progressives seek to defeat or strictly “repealer” bills that would reverse previously enacted anti-abortion legislation, subjects that are fully addressed elsewhere.