Abortion Rights Enacted in 2021

Posted on October 4, 2021

There were not many proactive abortion rights bills enacted in the 2021 legislative sessions, but a few of them are terrific models for other states.

Colorado SB 142 by Sen. Kerry Donovan

The state constitution actually bans Medicaid coverage of abortions except for rape, incest and life endangerment of the mother. There was a statute, not in the constitution, that essentially required such abortions to take place in hospitals. This law repeals that statutory restriction so that such abortions can take place in a licensed location such as a women’s health clinic.

Connecticut SB 835 by Joint Committee on Public Health

With this law, Connecticut becomes the first state to enact a version of the PLI Playbook’s Crisis Pregnancy Center Fraud Prevention Act, based on San Francisco’s 10-year-old statute which was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This is the most practical way to address the problem of fraud by these anti-abortion entities and can be enacted by both states and localities.

Delaware HB 31 by Rep. Valerie Longhurst

This law repeals long-time statutory language that criminalized aspects of abortion and otherwise treated abortion differently than other medical procedures.

Hawaii HB 576 by Rep. Linda Ichiyama

This law makes Hawaii the 13th state to allow advance practice registered nurses to perform first trimester abortions. It is very similar to the PLI Playbook’s Qualified Providers of Abortion Act.

New Mexico SB 10 by Senators Linda Lopez and Peter Wirth

This repeals a 1969 (pre-Roe v. Wade) law that criminalized abortion. This was done because Roe v. Wade may be overturned and, in that case, such a provision might be used against abortion providers and patients.

Virginia SB 1276 by Sen. Jennifer McClellan and the identical HB 1896 by Rep. Elizabeth Guzman

This removes statutory language that prohibited abortion coverage in private health insurance plans.

Washington HB 1009 by Rep. My-Linh Thai

State law already required insurance plans that provide maternity coverage to also cover abortion. This legislation extends that requirement to student health plans.