The Alan Guttmacher Institute



Monthly State Update:
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN 2004

(as of 12/31/2004)

This update summarizes legislation that has passed at least one house of the legislature, executive branch actions and judicial decisions. Entries are organized by the following topical areas. Within each topic, entries are listed alphabetically by state; actions for the current month are in bold. For an archive of previous monthly updates click here.

Jump to actions around:

Abortion
'Choose Life' License Plates
Comprehensive Abortion Bans
'Link' Between Abortion and Breast Cancer
Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods
Medical Abortion
Parental Involvement
'Partial-Birth' Abortion
Physician-Only Requirements
Postviability Abortion
Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion
Protecting Access to Clinics
Public Funding of Abortion
Reporting Statistical Information to State Agencies
Stem-Cell and Embryo Research
See Also:
Contraception and Prevention: Abortion-Related Restrictions on State Family Planning Funds

Fetal Assault
Refusal Clauses: Abortion Services (See also General Medical Services)

Contraception & Prevention
Abortion-Related Restrictions on State Family Planning Funds
Contraceptive Coverage
Emergency Contraception

Parental Involvement

State Medicaid Family Planning Eligibility Expansions

See Also:
Youth: Child Abuse Reporting
Refusal Clauses: Contraceptive Services (See also General Medical Services)

Pregnancy & Birth

Fetal Assault

Infant Abandonment
Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Refusal Clauses
Abortion Services
Contraceptive Services
General Medical Services

Youth
Child Abuse Reporting
Sex Education
See Also:
Abortion: Parental Involvement
Contraception & Prevention: Parental Involvement

 

For major actions in 2004 click here.

 

ABORTION

See also:
CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION: Abortion-Related Restrictions on State Family Planning Funds
REFUSAL CLAUSES

'Choose Life' License Plate Revenue Used to Fund Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Introduced: 17 states
States with further action
Committee action: TN
Passed at least one chamber: GA and KY
Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the GEORGIA House passed a measure that would authorize Choose Life license plates. Funds generated from the sale of the plates would support crisis pregnancy centers and nonprofit adoption agencies, and would be prohibited from supporting agencies that refer women for abortions. If the measure is enacted, the state would have to receive 1,000 applications before the plate could go into production. The legislature has now adjourned for the year.

In February, the KENTUCKY Senate passed a bill to create Choose Life license plates. If the measure is enacted, proceeds from the sale of the plates would be distributed to organizations that counsel women on the option of adoption. The legislature has now adjourned for the year.

In November, a federal district court blocked enforcement of OKLAHOMA's \x91choose life' license plate law and barred the state from distributing funds raised by sale of the plates. Under the law, proceeds from the plates would have been distributed to organizations that counsel women on adoption, but not to organizations involved in or associated with activities related to abortion, including abortion counseling and referral. The law was signed by Gov. Frank Keating (R) in May 2002.

In March, a U.S. District Court of Appeals reaffirmed a lower court's decision that SOUTH CAROLINA'S Choose Life license plate is unconstitutional. The court found that the state is unlawfully discriminating by allowing only the Choose Life license plate and rejecting a specialty plate promoting a pro-choice message.

In September, a U.S. District Court held TENNESSEE'S Choose Life license plate unconstitutional. The court found that the state had unlawfully violated free speech by allowing only the Choose Life license plate and rejecting a specialty plate that promoted a prochoice message.

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Comprehensive Bans on Abortion

Introduced: 5 states
States with further action
Passed at least one chamber: TN
Vetoed: SD

Enacted: MI and MS

(ENACTED) In June, the MICHIGAN legislature enacted a new law that significantly limits abortions by defining a fetus as a \x93legally born person\x94 when any part of the fetus is outside the woman's body and has shown signs of life. Under the new law, abortion procedures are allowed only in the case of life endangerment. It was vetoed earlier in the year by Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D).  After the veto, enough signatures were gathered through a rarely used process called the citizen's petition that the measure was returned to the legislature for a vote, allowing the measure to be enacted without the governor's approval.  The new law goes into effect in March 2005. 

In July, a U.S. District Court judge blocked enforcement of MISSISSIPPI'S law that requires abortions after the first trimester to be performed in licensed hospitals or outpatient clinics. If enforced, the law would effectively ban all second trimester abortions, because there are no hospitals or outpatient clinics that perform abortions after the first trimester in the state. The law, which had been enacted in May and scheduled to take effect July 1, is now enjoined pending further court action.

In March, the SOUTH DAKOTA legislature rejected changes to sweeping abortion legislation that had been recommended by Gov. Mike Rounds (R) when he vetoed the measure; the legislature's action effectively kills the bill. The measure as passed by the legislature would have banned all abortions, except when the pregnancy would either endanger the woman's life or cause her irreversible physical harm. The legislature had passed the original version of the measure in February.

In April, a subcommittee in the TENNESSEE House rejected a measure that would have placed a constitutional amendment on abortion on the 2004 ballot. The proposed amendment would have asserted that the state constitution neither protects a woman's right to abortion nor requires public funding of abortion. The ballot initiative had passed the Senate in March.

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'Link' Between Abortion and Breast Cancer

In January, a CALIFORNIA state appeals court upheld a lower court decision dismissing a lawsuit brought against Planned Parenthood Federation of America on the grounds that information on its Web site attesting to the safety of abortion procedures and denying a link between breast cancer and abortion is false and misleading. The judge ruled that the information on the Web site is not inaccurate and is protected speech under both the California and federal constitutions.

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Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods Before Abortion

Women Required to Receive State-Directed Counseling:

Introduced: 12 states
States with further action
Committee action: MN
Passed at least on chamber: AK

Click here for current status of state policy

In May, the ALASKA House passed a bill that would require a physician to provide counseling to a woman before performing an abortion. The physician would have to provide information on the gestational age, the abortion procedure and the risks associated with it. Additionally, the state would be required to develop printed materials and maintain a Web site containing information on fetal development, abortion methods, risks associated with abortion and with carrying pregnancies to term, and information on agencies providing childcare assistance or family planning counseling. The bill would also require abortions to be provided by physicians only (see above, Physician-Only Requirements). The bill passed the Senate last year and is awaiting consideration by Gov. Frank Murkowski (R).

In October, a FLORIDA appeals court upheld a lower-court decision finding the state's mandatory counseling law unconstitutional. The appeals court ruled that the law violates the privacy clause within the state's constitution, by requiring a physician to info rm a woman of the risks involved in the abortion procedure, a description of the fetus and a list of agencies that could offer info rmation on alternatives to abortion. The court also ruled that the law is vague because it leaves the physician with no standards by which to counsel a woman. The law was passed in 1997 but never enforced.

Requirements for State-Directed Counseling Followed by a Waiting Period:

Introduced: 20 states
States with further action
Committee action: CO
Passed at least one chamber: ID and OK
Vetoed: AZ
Click here for current status of state policy

In June, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that ALABAMA can begin distributing informational pamphlets to women seeking abortions. In January, the judge had approved a settlement regarding the state's counseling and waiting period law, which requires that the state develop informational materials must be distributed to women 24 hours prior to an abortion. Among other things, the settlement directed the state to not include material alleging a link between breast cancer and abortion. In July 2003, distribution of the materials was enjoined, pending a judicial review to determine the accuracy of the information.

In March, ARIZONA Gov. Janet Napolitano (D) vetoed legislation that would have required a woman to receive counseling and then wait 24 hours before having an abortion. The measure, which had included an exception in the case of a medical emergency, would have required the physician to inform the woman of the gestational age of the fetus, risks associated with the procedure and alternatives to abortion. Prior to the procedure, the woman would have had to certify in writing that she had received counseling. The legislature had passed the measure in February.

In March, a committee in the IDAHO House rejected a measure that would have required a woman to receive counseling either by telephone or in person, and then wait 24 hours before obtaining an abortion. The measure would have required the physician to counsel women on the abortion procedure and provide information on the gestational age of the fetus, as well as on the medical risks associated with abortion and with carrying the pregnancy to term. The physician would also have been required to inform women of the availability of additional information on a state-developed Web site. The measure was passed by the Senate earlier in March.

In June, a federal district court judge blocked MISSOURI'S law requiring women to receive counseling and wait 24 hours before obtaining an abortion. This law has been the subject of litigation since it was enacted in September 2003 over Gov. Bob Holden's (D) veto. Almost as soon as the law was enacted, a federal district court judge imposed a temporary restraining order barring its enforcement. In May, a federal appeals court lifted that order, clearing the way for the implementation of the law. At that point, Planned Parenthood of Missouri announced that it would pursue the case in state court and asked the original district court judge to enjoin enforcement in order to permit the suit to proceed; that request was granted in June.

 

In March, the OKLAHOMA House passed a measure that would require a woman to receive state-directed counseling and then wait 24 hours prior to having an abortion. The measure would require the physician to inform the woman in person or over the phone of the medical risks associated with abortion and carrying the pregnancy to term, the gestational age of the fetus and the availability of additional information on a state-developed Web site. The measure would allow an exception in the case of medical emergency, life endangerment or threat to the woman's physical health. The legislature has now adjourned for the year.

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Medical Abortion

Introduced: 4 states
States with further action
Enacted: OH

In September, a U.S. District Court issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of an OHIO law that would have limited the provision of mifepristone by requiring physicians to adhere to the precise terms of the FDA approval, which bars them, for example, from altering the dosage or administration even if done in light of new scientific evidence. In addition, the law would have precluded an exception to protect the woman's life or health. The law had been scheduled to take effect on September 23.

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Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions

Parental Consent Requirements:

Introduced: 12 states
States with further action
Committee action: WI
Vetoed: MI
Click here for current status of state policy

In July, a U.S. Court of Appeals struck down IDAHO'S law that requires parental consent for a minor to obtain an abortion. The court ruled that the law\x97which includes exceptions in cases of abuse, neglect or medical emergency\x97is unconstitutional because the definition of medical emergency included in the law is too narrow to adequately preserve the health and life of the minor. Despite the ruling, the law remains in effect pending further court action.

In February, the MICHIGAN legislature failed to override Gov. Jennifer Granholm's (D) veto of a measure to amend the judicial bypass provisions of the state's existing parental consent statute. The measure would have outlined specific factors that a judge must consider when ruling on a minor's request, including familial dependence, school attendance, academic performance, life experiences and the circumstances of the pregnancy, as well as the reasons for seeking an abortion and for wanting a judicial bypass. The current law specifies only that a judge consider the minor's maturity when ruling on a minor's request. The measure had passed the legislature in January.

Parental Notification Requirements:

Introduced: 12 states
States with further action
Passed at least one chamber: FL and GA
Enacted: NE
Click here for current status of state policy

In November, FLORIDA voters approved a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to require an unemancipated minor to notify a parent before obtaining an abortion. The amendment gives legislators the authority to permit minors to seek court approval in lieu of notifying a parent. The amendment was added to the ballot by the legislature in April ; a challenge aimed at removing the measure from the ballot was blocked by a U.S. District Court judge in August.

In February, the GEORGIA Senate passed a bill that would amend the state's parental notification law. The measure would require a parent or guardian to show proof of identification when accompanying a minor seeking an abortion. Alternatively, the physician would be required to inform one parent of the minor's intent, as well as the location of the abortion facility, at least 24 hours prior to the procedure. If the parent being notified indicates either that he or she already knew of the minor's intent or has no wish to consult with the minor, the waiting period may be waived. The bill would allow the minor to petition for a judicial bypass. The legislature has now adjourned for the year.

(ENACTED) In March, NEBRASKA Gov. Mike Johanns (R) signed legislation to eliminate the requirement that school districts inform students that a parent must be notified before a minor obtains an abortion. Currently, each district must provide this information to students, along with information about the process for obtaining a judicial bypass. It passed the legislature earlier in March.

In November, a federal appeals court upheld a district court decision striking down a NEW HAMPSHIRE law that requires parental involvement in a minor's abortion. The law required a pregnant minor to notify one parent at least 48 hours prior to an abortion. The judge ruled that although the law included a judicial bypass and an exception in the case of life endangerment, it violated the state's constitution by failing to include a health exception. The measure was signed by Gov. Craig Benson (R) in June 2003.

In November, a federal appeals court reversed a district court decision striking down OKLAHOMA'S parental involvement law. Although the law does not explicitly require a minor seeking an abortion to inform her parents or to have their consent, it does allow physicians to be held liable for the costs of any subsequent medical treatment that may arise from an abortion that was performed without parental knowledge or consent. In 2002, a federal district court found the law unconstitutional because it does not provide exceptions for medical emergencies or include a judicial bypass. However, the appeals court's decision to overturn that ruling was based on procedural rather than substantive grounds: The court held that the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to bring the challenge. The plaintiffs have asked the court to reconsider its decision.

Parental Involvement-Other:

Introduced: 1 state
States with further action

Passed at least one chamber: MO

In April, the MISSOURI House passed a measure that would prohibit a person from helping a minor obtain an abortion without parental consent, regardless of whether the procedure was performed in or out of state. In addition to imposing criminal penalties, the bill would allow a minor or her parent to sue any person who fails to comply. The legislature has now adjourned for the year.

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'Partial-Birth' Abortion

Introduced: 9 states
States with further action
Committee action: NH and MA
Enacted: UT
Click here for current status of state policy

In July, a U.S. District Court judge struck down MISSOURI'S ban on \x93partial-birth\x94 abortion procedures. The judge ruled that the law is unconstitutional because it lacks an exception to preserve the health of the woman. The law, which has been blocked since its enactment in 1999, remains enjoined, although the state may exercise its right to appeal the decision.

In May, a federal district court judge temporarily blocked enforcement of UTAH'S newly-enacted "partial-birth" abortion ban. The suit claims that the law is unconstitutional because it lacks a health exception—thereby allowing the procedure only when the woman's life is threatened—and is potentially applicable to a range of abortion procedures. The law allows the "father" of the fetus and the pregnant woman's parents to sue for financial damages. The ban, which had been signed by Gov. Olene Walker (R) in March, was blocked the day it was scheduled to go into effect.

In February, a federal District Court judge permanently enjoined VIRGINIA'S ban on "partial-birth" abortion that had been enacted last year. The judge ruled that because of the vagueness of the law's definition of the procedure being banned and the absence of a health exception, the measure did not meet the requirements of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2000 ruling in Stenberg v. Carhart.

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Postviability Abortion

Introduced: 7 states
Click here for current status of state policy

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Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Introduced: 9 states
States with further action
Committee action: NC and RI
Click here for current status of state policy

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Protecting Access to Clinics

Introduced: 4 states
Click here for current status of state policy

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In October, a U.S. appeals court upheld a MASSACHUSETTS law that creates a buffer zone around abortion clinics and prohibits \x93counseling\x94 or protesting within this area. The court ruled that the law, which requires antiabortion protesters to stay at least 6 feet away from clinic employees and patients and establishes an 18-foot protest-free zone around the clinic, is constitutional and fairly enforced. The   measure was passed in 2000 and is currently in effect.

Public Funding of Abortion for Low-Income Women

Introduced: 16 states
States with further action
Committee action: NH and TN
Enacted: UT
Click here for current status of state policy

(ENACTED) In March, UTAH Gov. Olene Walker (R) signed a measure permitting public funding of abortion when the woman would suffer irreparable physical harm as a result of the pregnancy. The state currently funds abortions only in cases of life endangerment, rape and incest. The Senate passed the measure in January; the House passed it in February.

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Physician-Only Requirements for Abortion

Introduced: 7 states
States with further action
Committee action: NH
Passed at least on chamber: AK

Enacted: OH

In May, the ALASKA House passed a bill that would reiterate the state's current law that limits the performance of abortions to physicians. This limitation is a part of a larger measure (see above, Counseling) that had passed the Senate last year and is awaiting consideration by Gov. Frank Murkowski (R).

(ENACTED) In June, OHIO Gov. Bob Taft (R) signed a measure that permits Mifepristone to be provided only by physicians. The measure also requires physicians to submit a written report to the state medical board on any complications that result from a woman's having taken Mifepristone. The bill, which had passed the Senate in May and the House last year, will take effect in September.

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Reporting Statistical Information to State Agencies

Introduced: 12 states
States with further action
Committee action: AK, NH, OK and VA
Enacted: MS and SD
Click here for current status of state policy

(ENACTED) In May, MISSISSIPPI Gov. Haley Barbour (R) signed a measure to require a physician to file a written report with the Health Department regarding any patient treated for complications resulting from an abortion. The law will require the physician to report the cost of treatment and whether it was billed to private or public insurance. The law, which had passed the House in March and the Senate in April, goes into effect in July.

(ENACTED) In March, SOUTH DAKOTA Gov. Mike Rounds (R) signed legislation expanding the information physicians are required to report about abortion procedures. Specifically, the measure requires physicians to report the woman's marital status, educational status and race, and whether she is Hispanic. Additionally, the physician will be required to include the age of the "father" if the woman is younger than 16; the measure specially permits this information to be used in any subsequent legal proceedings. Current law requires reporting of only the abortion method used, gestational age and reason for the procedure. The law will go into effect in July. The Senate passed the measure in January; the House passed it in February.

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Stem-Cell and Embryo Research

Introduced: 25 states
States with further action
Committee action: MA, NE, NY and OK
Passed at least one chamber: CT, LA and MS
Enacted: NJ and SD

In November, CALIFORNIA voters adopted a ballot initiative establishing a $3 billion fund to finance stem cell research over a 10-year period. The measure authorizes grants for research designed to develop a cure for or substantially mitigate diseases and injuries. The law specifically prohibits funding research involving human cloning.

In May, the CONNECTICUT House approved a measure that would establish a task force to study the ethical implications of cloning and stem cell research. The legislature has now adjourned for the year.

In June, the LOUISIANA House approved a measure that would ban human cloning and research that uses human embryos, but specifically excludes in vitro fertilization and adult stem cell research. The Louisiana legislature addressed several measures to ban human cloning this session. In May the Senate passed two separate measures, one to ban cloning and stem cell research and one to ban only cloning.

In April, the MISSISSIPPI Senate removed all the operative provisions of a measure to ban human cloning that was passed by the House in March; the Senate's action has effectively killed the bill for the year.

(ENACTED) In January, NEW JERSEY Gov. Jim McGreevey (D) signed a bill that bans cloning to produce a human being, but permits the use of human embryonic stem cells for therapeutic research purposes, including research involving somatic cell nuclear transfer, a process often associated with cloning. The law requires research to be reviewed to ensure that the project follows federal regulations. In addition, it requires physicians providing infertility treatment to inform patients that they have the option of donating unused embryos for research. The law went into effect upon signing.

(ENACTED) In February, SOUTH DAKOTA Gov. Mike Rounds (R) signed a bill that bans human cloning, stem cell research and a commonly used procedure that places the nucleus of one cell into a different one. The law goes into effect in July.

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CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION

See also:
REFUSAL CLAUSES
YOUTH: Child Abuse Reporting

Abortion-Related Restrictions on Family Planning Funds

Introduced: 9 states
States with further action
Passed at least one chamber: MN and PA
Click here for current status of state policy

In April, the MINNESOTA House approved restrictions on the distribution of state family planning funds to agencies that use other funds to provide abortion services. State-funded family planning providers would have to be completely independent from organizations that provide abortions. Specifically, the organizations would have to be separately incorporated and could not share a name, medical or nonmedical facilities, equipment, expenses or employee wages. Under the measure, an organization that receives state funds for family planning could provide nondirective counseling on pregnancy options but could not provide marketing materials about abortion services or advocate on behalf of abortion. Organizations that receive Title X funds may provide any and all services as required by federal statute or guideline. The bill is awaiting consideration in the Senate.

(ENACTED) In July, PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Edward Rendell (D) approved a state budget that includes the same abortion-related restriction on state family planning funds that has been enacted every year since 2002. This restriction requires programs (except hospitals) that receive state family planning funds to be financially and physically separate from organizations that provide abortions or abortion-related services. The measure allows programs that use federal Title X family planning dollars to provide nondirective counseling and referral services as required by federal law. The measure had passed both legislative chambers in May.

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Contraceptive Coverage Mandates

Introduced: 21 states

States with further action
Committee action: AL, LA, MN, OK, PA, VA and WV
Passed at least one chamber: IL and NJ
Click here for current status of state policy

In October, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a decision upholding CALIFORNIA'S contraceptive coverage statute, ending the legal challenge to the law.  Under the law, an employer may be exempt from the mandate if it's purpose is to inculcate religious values and if it primarily employs and serves people with the same religious values and is considered a church under federal law. Catholic Charities of Sacramento filed suit, arguing that the exemption in the statute is too narrow.  In March, the California Supreme Court upheld the exemption, which prompted Catholic Charities to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In May, the ILLINOIS House approved a measure that would add a refusal clause to the state's contraceptive coverage law. The state has a longstanding, comprehensive refusal clause that permits an insurer to refuse to cover a medical service because of an objection explicitly articulated in its governing documents. The House-passed measure would allow a religious or religiously sponsored insurer or employer to refuse to cover contraceptive services or supplies even in the absence of a specific provision in its governing documents. If enacted, this would expand the options available to religious employers by allowing them to purchase insurance excluding contraception through a secular insurer. The bill is awaiting action by the Senate.

In June, the NEW JERSEY Senate approved a measure that would require insurance plans that provide coverage of outpatient prescription drugs and supplies to cover contraceptive prescription drugs and supplies. The measure would exempt religious employers whose objection is based on bona fide religious beliefs. Employers utilizing the exemption must provide employees with a written notice of their refusal to provide contraceptive coverage. The bill applies to insurance plans designed for the individual, group and small-employer markets. The measure is awaiting action in the Assembly.

In August, WISCONSIN Attorney General Peggy Lautenschlager issued a formal opinion requiring health insurance plans provided by employers and state colleges and universities to cover prescription contraceptives if they cover other prescription drugs. Lautenschlager held that failing to provide contraceptive coverage violates state law prohibiting sex discrimination and cited similar rulings under federal law by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a federal district court in Washington State.

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Emergency Contraception

Offering Emergency Contraception Services to Sexual Assault Victims:

Introduced: 12 states
States with further action
Committee action: CO and MN
Passed at least one chamber: HI and MA

Enacted: IL
Click here for current status of state policy

In April, the HAWAII Senate passed a measure that would require hospital emergency rooms to offer written and oral information on emergency contraception to women who have been sexually assaulted and to provide emergency contraception to these women on request. The bill would also require individuals caring for women who have been sexually assaulted to receive training on emergency contraception. The bill, which had passed the House in March 2003, is now pending before a conference committee. (A measure with the same intent was vetoed last year by Gov. Linda Lingle (R) because it did not include a refusal clause; the current measure also does not include a refusal clause.)

(ENACTED) In August, ILLINOIS Governor Rob Blagojevich (D) signed into law a measure amending the state's existing requirement that hospital emergency rooms provide information on emergency contraception to women who have been sexually assaulted. The new law allows advanced nurse practitioners and physician assistants who are acting under the aegis of collaborative practice arrangements with physicians to prescribe emergency contraception to sexually assaulted women in emergency rooms. The measure, which passed the Senate in March and the House in May, takes effect immediately.

In June, the MASSACHUSETTS Senate passed a measure that would require health facilities to offer written information on emergency contraception to women who have been sexually assaulted and to provide the medication to these women on request. This provision is part of a larger measure (see below, Collaborative Practice ), and is awaiting consideration in the House.

In October, the NEW JERSEY Senate passed a measure that would require hospital emergency rooms to offer medically accurate and objective written and oral information about emergency contraception to women who have been sexually assaulted and to provide emergency contraception to these women on request. The bill would both require individuals caring for these women to receive training on emergency contraception and would direct the state to put a process in place for ensuring that hospitals comply with all requirements. The bill is pending before the assembly.

Allowing Pharmacists to Provide Emergency Contraception without a Prescription:

Introduced: 9 states
States with further action

Committee action: IL and NY
Passed at least one chamber: MA and NH
Enacted: ME
Click here for current status of state policy

(ENACTED) In March, MAINE Gov. John Baldacci (D) signed legislation to allow pharmacists to provide emergency contraception when acting under collaborative practice agreements with individuals permitted by state law to prescribe medication. The measure requires pharmacists to undergo specific training and to provide patients with a fact sheet that will be developed by the state's pharmacy board. The law will go into effect in July. The legislature passed the measure in February.

In June, the MASSACHUSETTS Senate passed a measure that would allow trained pharmacists to provide emergency contraception without a prescription if acting under a collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician. In order to participate, the pharmacist would need to complete a training program approved by the public health commissioner. This provision is part of a larger measure (see above, EC in the ER ), and is awaiting consideration in the House.

In June, NEW HAMPSHIRE Gov. Craig Benson (R) vetoed a measure that would have allowed pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception without a prescription. The measure would have required pharmacists to complete a training program and provide prospective patients with a fact sheet developed by the state Department of Health. The bill had passed the House in May and the Senate last year.

Restricting Access to Emergency Contraception:

Introduced: 1 state
States with further action
Passed at least one chamber: VA

In March, the VIRGINIA Senate rejected a measure that would have required minors seeking emergency contraception to obtain parental consent, except when doing so could have negatively affected the minor's health. Also, the measure would require health care providers to inform minors of the potential risks and that emergency contraception "may inhibit implantation of a live human embryo." This information would have to have been provided either in person or by telephone at least four hours before the prescription was written or by mail 48 hours in advance. The House had approved the measure in February.

In February, a committee in the VIRGINIA Senate rejected a bill that would have banned the provision of emergency contraception by public universities; the measure had previously passed the House earlier in the month.

Parental Involvement Requirements for Minors Seeking Contraceptive Services

Introduced: 3 states

States with further action

Committee action: MN

Click here for current status of state policy

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State Medicaid Family Planning Eligibility Expansions

Click here for current status of state policy

In late July, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that administers the Medicaid program, approved MINNESOTA's application for a waiver to expand eligibility for Medicaid-covered family planning services and supplies. Under the waiver, men and woman aged 15\x9650 with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level will be eligible to receive family planning services through the program.

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PREGNANCY & BIRTH

See also:
REFUSAL CLAUSES

Fetal and Pregnant Woman Assault

Introduced: 22 states
States with further action
Committee action: AL, CA, MD, NE and NH
Passed at least one chamber: AK, KS and OK
Enacted: KY, MS and VA
Vetoed: IA and WV

In April, the ALASKA Senate passed legislation that would allow an "unborn child" at any point in gestation to be considered a victim of murder and assault. The measure would not apply to legal abortion and medical treatment or to any actions taken by the pregnant woman. The legislature has now adjourned for the year.

In March, the KANSAS House approved a measure that would allow an "unborn child," from conception to birth, to be considered a victim of murder if the pregnancy is ended during the commission of a felony or misdemeanor, or as the result of a car accident. The measure would specifically exclude actions by the pregnant woman and medical treatment, including abortion. The legislature has now adjourned for the year.

In May, IOWA Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) vetoed legislation that would have allowed a fetus, at any point in gestation, to be considered a victim of murder or attempted murder. The House and Senate approved the bill in April.

In June, the KENTUCKY Supreme Court held that a viable fetus is a human being for the purposes of the state's homicide statute. The decision, which applies only to a viable fetus, is separate from legislation enacted in February that allows an \x93unborn child\x94 from the moment of conception to be considered a victim of murder. That law exempts actions taken by a health care provider during a legal abortion, fertility procedures and medical treatment, as well as actions taken by a pregnant woman that result in the end of a pregnancy.

(ENACTED) In May, MISSISSIPPI Gov. Haley Barbour (R) signed legislation that revises the state's fetal homicide law. The new law allows an "unborn child" at any point from conception through delivery to be considered a victim of homicide or manslaughter. (The prior state law had allowed an "unborn quick child" to be considered a victim of manslaughter. "Quickening" is the point in pregnancy when the woman first feels fetal movement.) The measure passed the Senate in March and the House in April. The law goes into effect in July.

In March, the OKLAHOMA House approved a bill that would allow an "unborn child" from conception through delivery to be considered a victim under the state's murder statutes. The bill would exempt legal abortion, medical treatment and any acts taken by the woman from prosecution. The legislature has now adjourned for the year.

(ENACTED) In May, VIRGINIA Gov. Mark Warner (D) signed legislation that allows a fetus to be considered a victim of murder. Gov. Warner had attempted to include an exception for legal abortion but was rebuffed by the legislature in April; as a result, the new law does not include exceptions. The two measures that comprise the law signed by the governor had passed each house of the legislature in February. The law goes into effect in July.

In March, WEST VIRGINIA Gov. Wise (D) vetoed a measure that would have allowed a fetus at any point in gestation to be considered a victim of murder. Under the measure, the pregnant woman and the fetus would have been considered two distinct victims for the crimes of murder, manslaughter and assault. Legal abortion, medical treatment, actions taken in self-defense and any actions taken by the woman were excluded.

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Infant Abandonment

Introduced: 8 states

States with further action

Passed at least one chamber: HI

Enacted: CA, IL and MA

Click here for current status of state policy

(ENACTED) In July, CALIFORNIA Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed a measure to amend the state's infant abandonment law to provide immunity to a person assisting with the surrender of an infant, except in cases of willful or gross negligence. The bill passed the Assembly in May and the Senate in June; the law goes into effect in January 2005.

In March, the HAWAII House approved a measure that would allow an infant younger than 72 hours to be legally abandoned under certain circumstances. The infant would have to be relinquished to an employee of a hospital, fire station or police station; a medical history would have to be provided. The receiving institution would not inquire into the parent's identity but could provide information on social services. The legislature is now adjourned for the year.

(ENACTED) In July, ILLINOIS Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) signed a measure that would amend the state's infant abandonment law to include police stations among the locations at which an infant may be abandoned.   (He also vetoed an identical measure.) In March both of these bills had passed the house of the legislature in which is was originally introduced and in May each passed the opposite chamber.   The bill went into effect upon signing.

(ENACTED) In July, MASSACHUSETTS Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R) acting in place of   Gov. Mitt Romney (R) signed a measure that would allow the surrender of an infant younger than seven days to an employee of a hospital, police station or fire station. Although the person receiving an infant would be required to ask for the infant's medical history and parent's contact information, the parent would not be required to provide the information. The measure passed the House in June and the Senate in July. It goes into effect in October.

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Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Introduced: 8 states
States with further action
Committee action: CA and HI
Enacted: CO
Click here for current status of state policy

(ENACTED) In April, COLORADO Gov. Bill Owens (R) signed a measure that allows a law enforcement officer to take a newborn younger than 72 hours into protective custody. While a court order is generally required if the custody lasts longer than 24 hours, a court order is not needed if the infant is affected by substance abuse or exhibits withdrawal symptoms from prenatal drug exposure. The law will go into effect in July. The Senate passed the measure in February, and the House passed it in March.

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REFUSAL CLAUSES

Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse:

Introduced: 10 states
States with further action
Enacted: MS
Vetoed: WI
Click here for current status of state policy

(ENACTED) In May, MISSISSIPPI Gov. Haley Barbour (R) signed legislation allowing health care providers—including pharmacists or other pharmacy employees, counselors, social workers, health insurers and health care facilities—to refuse to provide medical services, including counseling and referral, on religious or ethical grounds. The new law also prohibits the denial of public benefits, because of a refusal to provide or pay for services. The bill passed the Senate in March and the House in April. It goes into effect in July.

In April, WISCONSIN Gov. Jim Doyle (D) vetoed a measure that would have expanded the state's existing refusal clause in two ways. First, it would have permitted nurses and pharmacists to refuse to provide abortions because of a religious or moral objection. Second, it would have allowed a refusal to participate in fetal tissue transplantation or the destruction of human embryos.

Allowing Insurers to Refuse:

Introduced: 6 states
States with further action
Enacted: MS
Click here for current status of state policy

(See Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse for MISSISSIPPI.)

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse:

Introduced: 12 states
States with further action
Enacted: MS
Vetoed: WI
Click here for current status of state policy

(See Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse for MISSISSIPPI and WISCONSIN.)

Allowing Facilities to Refuse:

Introduced: 8 states
States with further action
Enacted: MS
Click here for current status of state policy

(See Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse for MISSISSIPPI)

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Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services

Provisions Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services

Introduced: 7 states
States with further action
Enacted: MS
Click here for current status of state policy

(ENACTED) In May, MISSISSIPPI Gov. Haley Barbour (R) signed legislation allowing health care providers—including pharmacists or other pharmacy employees, counselors, social workers, health insurers and health care facilities—to refuse to provide medical services, including counseling and referral, on religious or ethical grounds. The new law also prohibits the denial of public benefits, because of a refusal to provide or pay for services. The bill passed the Senate in March and the House in April. It goes into effect in July.

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Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Medical Care in General

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse:

Introduced: 8 states
States with further action
Committee action: WI and WA
Passed at least one chamber: MI
Enacted: MS
Click here for current status of state policy

In April, the MICHIGAN House approved a measure that would allow individual medical providers, including pharmacists, to refuse to provide health care services because of a moral, ethical or religious objection. Although the measure would explicitly prohibit an individual from refusing to provide contraceptive services, it limits that protection to services provided "in advance of sexual intercourse," thereby permitting a provider to refuse to provide emergency contraception. The measure is awaiting consideration in the Senate. (The House also approved a separate measure aimed at health care facilities—see Allowing Facilities to Refuse.)

(ENACTED) In May, MISSISSIPPI Gov. Haley Barbour (R) signed legislation allowing health care providers—including pharmacists or other pharmacy employees, counselors, social workers, health insurers and health care facilities—to refuse to provide medical services, including counseling and referral, on religious or ethical grounds. The new law also prohibits the denial of public benefits, because of a refusal to provide or pay for services. The bill passed the Senate in March and the House in April. It goes into effect in July.

Allowing Insurers to Refuse:

Introduced: 6 states
States with further action
Passed at least one chamber: MI
Enacted: MS
Click here for current status of state policy

(See Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse for MISSISSIPPI.)

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse:

Introduced: 7 states
States with further action
Passed at least one chamber: MI
Enacted: MS
Click here for current status of state policy

(See Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse for MICHIGAN and MISSISSIPPI.)

Allowing Facilities to Refuse:

Introduced: 7 states
States with further action
Passed at least one chamber: MI
Enacted: MS
Click here for current status of state policy

(See Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse for MISSISSIPPI.)

In April, the MICHIGAN House approved a measure that would allow health care facilities, including pharmacies, to refuse to provide health care services because of a moral, ethical or religious objection. The measure is awaiting consideration in the Senate. (The House also approved a separate measure aimed at individual health care providers—see Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse.)

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YOUTH

See also:
ABORTION: Parental Involvement
CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION: Parental Involvement

Child Abuse Reporting

Introduced: 2 states
States with further action
Committee action: CA and FL

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Sex Education

Provisions Requiring Sex Education:

Introduced: 16 states
States with further action
Committee action: CA and MN
Enacted: CO, MI and VA
Click here for current status of state policy

(ENACTED) In May, COLORADO Gov. Bill Owens (R) signed a measure that allows parents to remove their children from sex education classes. Before any sex education begins, a parent will receive information about the content of the instruction and a form to use in order to register their "opt-out." The bill passed the House in March and the Senate April.\xA0The law goes into effect in July.

(ENACTED) In June, MICHIGAN Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) signed legislation to require school districts that offer sex education to notify parents and provide them with information about the content of the courses. Parents will also be told about their right to remove their children from the classes, observe the instruction and review class materials. The law requires that all sex education be age-appropriate and gives parents the right to file complaints if they believe the instruction violates state law. The bill passed the House in May and the Senate in June. The law goes into effect in spring, 2005.

(ENACTED) In May, VIRGINIA Gov. Mark Warner (D) signed legislation that amends the state's sex education statute. Under the new law, any sex education provided by public schools must include information about the prevention of sexual assault and advise students that victims of sexual assault should seek general medical care. The bill, which had passed the House in February and the Senate in March, goes into effect in July.

Provisions Requiring HIV Education:

Introduced: 1 state
Click here for current status of state policy

Provisions Requiring that Sex Education Curricula be Medically Accurate:

Introduced: 7 states
States with further action
Committee action: AZ, MI, MN and WA

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Production of the State Update is made possible by support from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Prospect Hill Foundation.




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