The Alan Guttmacher Institute


Monthly State Update:
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN 2004

(as of 3/31/2004)

This update summarizes major developments in the state; it includes legislation that has passed at least one house of the legislature, executive branch actions and judicial decisions.

As of April 1, legislatures in 33 states (AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, IA, KS, KY, LA ,ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN. And VT) were in regular session. Legislatures in 10 states (ID, IN, NM, SD, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI and WY) have adjourned for the year. Legislatures in six states (AR, MT, NV, ND, OR and TX) will not convene in a regular session in 2004. The North Carolina legislature will convene later in the year.

Jump to new actions around:

Abortion
Comprehensive Abortion Bans
Bans on "Partial-Birth" Abortion
Legislation Concerning Medical Abortion
Restrictions on Postviability Abortion
Limitations on Public Funding of Abortion for Low-Income Women
Restrictions on Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion
Using Revenue from "Choose Life" License Plates to Fund Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Requirements that Abortions be Performed by Physicians
Requirements for Parental Involvement in Minor's Abortions
Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods Before Abortion
Materials Claiming a Link Between Abortion and Breast Cancer
Protecting Access to Clinics
Requirements that Abortion Providers Report Statistical Information to State Agencies

Pregnancy & Birth
Infant Abandonment
Combating Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Prevention & Contraception
Abortion-Related Restrictions on State Family Planning Funds
Emergency Contraception
Providing Contraceptive Coverage
Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide General Medical Services
Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services
Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services

Youth
Parental Consent Requirements for Minors Seeking Contraceptive Services
Sex Education
Requirements for Child Abuse Reporting

Other
Penalizing Assault on Fetuses and Pregnant Women
Regulating Stem-Cell and Embryo Research


ABORTION

Comprehensive Bans on Abortion

Introduced: 4 states
Moved: TN
Vetoed: SD

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 March, the TENNESSEE Senate passed a constitutional amendment to assert that the state constitution neither protects a woman's right to abortion nor requires public funding of abortion. The amendment, however, would grant the legislature the sole authority to fund abortions in the cases of life endangerment, rape and incest. To take effect, the amendment must now be approved by the house and then ratified by the voters.

Bans on "Partial-Birth" Abortion

Introduced: 8 states
Moved: NH and MA
Enacted: UT

(ENACTED) In March, UTAH Gov. Olene Walker (R) signed legislation amending the state's "partial-birth" abortion ban. The measure eliminates the health exception in existing law, thereby allowing the procedure only when the woman's life is threatened. It also deletes any reference to dilation and extraction, making the ban potentially applicable to other abortion procedures. In addition, the measure allows the "father" of the fetus and the pregnant women's parents to sue for financial damages. The law will go into effect in June. The Senate passed the measure in January; the House passed it in February.

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.

Legislation Concerning Medical Abortion

Introduced: 5 states Moved: OH

Restrictions on Postviability Abortion

Introduced: 7 states

Limitations on Public Funding of Abortion for Low-Income Women

Introduced: 14 states
Moved: NH and TN
Enacted: UT

(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.

Restrictions on Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Introduced: 8 states Moved: RI

Using Revenue from "Choose Life" License Plates to Fund Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Introduced: 14 states
Moved: GA and KY

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 measure is now awaiting consideration by the Senate.

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 measure is awaiting consideration by the House.

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.

Requirements that Abortions be Performed by Physicians

Introduced: 5 states Moved: NH

Requirements for Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions

Parental Consent Requirements

Introduced: 12 states
Moved: WI
Vetoed: MI

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
Moved: FL and GA
Enacted: NE

In March, the FLORIDA House passed a measure that would add a proposed constitutional amendment to the 2004 ballot to require an unemancipated minor to notify a parent or guardian prior to obtaining an abortion. Proponents believe the amendment is considered necessary because the Florida Supreme Court knocked down the state's parental notification law last year, saying that it violated the right to privacy explicitly guaranteed by Florida's constitution. The proposed ballot initiative is awaiting consideration in the Senate.

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 measure is awaiting consideration by the House.

(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.

Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods Before Abortion

Women Required to Receive State-Directed Counseling:

Introduced: 13 states
Moved: MN

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

Introduced: 19 states
Moved: AZ, CO, ID and OK

In January, a U.S. District Court judge approved a settlement regarding ALABAMA'S counseling and waiting period law, which requires that the state develop informational materials that must be distributed to women 24 hours prior to an abortion. Among other things, the settlement directs the state to not include material alleging a link between breast cancer and abortion. The state has until March to change the materials. 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 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 measure is awaiting consideration in the Senate.

Materials Claiming a 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.

Protecting Access to Clinics

Introduced: 4 states

Requirements that Abortion Providers Report Statistical Information to State Agencies

Introduced: 12 states
Moved: MS, NJ, OK and VA
Enacted: SD

In March, the MISSISSIPPI House passed a measure that would require a physician to file a written report with the Health Department regarding any patient with complications as a result of an abortion. The measure would also require the physician to report the cost of the procedure and whether it was billed to private or public insurance. The measure is awaiting consideration in the Senate.

(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.


PREGNANCY & BIRTH

Legalizing Infant Abandonment

Introduced: 8 states
Moved: HI and IL

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 bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

In March, both chambers of the ILLINOIS legislature approved identical measures that would amend the state's infant abandonment law to include police stations as locations at which an infant may be abandoned. The Rules Committee in each house of the legislature is determining the next legislative step for each of the two measures.

Combating Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Introduced: 6 states Moved: HI


PREVENTION & CONTRACEPTION

Emergency Contraception

Offering Emergency Contraception Services to Sexual Assault Victims in Emergency Rooms:

Introduced: 12 states
Moved: CO, HI, IL, MA and MN

In March, the ILLINOIS Senate passed a measure that would amend the state's existing requirement that hospital emergency rooms provide information on emergency contraception. The measure would allow advanced nurse practitioners and physician assistants who are acting under the aegis of collaborative practice arrangements with physicians to prescribe emergency contraception to sexual assault victims in emergency rooms. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

Allowing Pharmacists to Provide Emergency Contraception without a Prescription:

Introduced: 9 states
Moved: IL, MA, NH and NY

(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 March, the NEW HAMPSHIRE Senate passed a measure that would allow pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception without a prescription, in accordance with standardized procedures developed by the state's pharmacy board. A pharmacist who wishes to dispense emergency contraception must complete a training program and agree to provide a fact sheet developed by the state's pharmacy board in consultation with the Department of Health and other health care organizations. The measure is awaiting consideration in the House.

Restricting Access to Emergency Contraception

Introduced: 1 state
Moved: 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.

Providing Contraceptive Coverage

Introduced: 20 states
Moved: AL, MN, OK, PA, VA and WV

Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide General Medical Services

Provisions Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse to Provide Medical Services:

Introduced: 7 states
Moved: MS, MI, WI and WA

In March, measures that would allow health care providers, pharmacists, health insurers and health care facilities to refuse to provide medical services passed each house of the MISSISSIPPI legislature. The measure passed by the Senate would allow providers and entities to refuse to provide abortion services, whereas the House-passed bill would allow them to refuse to provide any health care service. Both measures permit refusals on moral or ethical grounds. Each bill is awaiting action in the opposite chamber.

Provisions Allowing Insurers to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services:

Introduced: 2 states
Moved: MS

(See above: Provisions Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services)

Provisions Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services:

Introduced: 6 states
Moved: MS and WI

(See above: Provisions Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services)

In February, the WISCONSIN legislature passed a measure to expand the services that health care providers and institutions may refuse to provide because of their religious or moral objections; it would also expand the right to refuse to include nurses and pharmacists. Under current law, providers may refuse to provide services related to abortion, sterilization or "embryo removal." The new law would allow providers to refuse to participate in fetal tissue transplantation or the destruction of human embryos. The bill is awaiting action by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D).

Provisions Allowing Facilities to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services:

Introduced: 2 states
Moved: MS and WI

(See above: Provisions Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services and Provisions Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services)

Provisions Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services:

Introduced: 2 states


YOUTH

Parental Consent Requirements for Minors Seeking Contraceptive Services

Introduced: 3 states
Moved: MN

Sex Education

Provisions Requiring Sex Education:

Introduced: 15 states
Moved: CA, CO, MI, MN and VA

In March, the COLORADO House passed a measure that would allow parents to remove their children from sex education classes. Before the course begins, a parent would receive information about the content of the instruction and a form to use to register their "opt-out." The bill is awaiting consideration by the Senate.

In March, the VIRGINIA Senate approved a measure that would include information about sexual assault in the state's sex education curriculum. Under the measure, programs in the state would include information about sexual assault prevention, counseling and legal remedies, as well as about the importance of seeking medical care if assaulted. The bill awaits action by Gov. Mark Warner (D). The measure had passed the House in February.

Provisions Requiring HIV Education:

Introduced: 1 state

Provisions Requiring that Sex Education Curricula be Medically Accurate:

Introduced: 5 states
Moved: AZ, MN and WA

Requirements for Child Abuse Reporting

Introduced: 2 states
Moved: CA and FL


OTHER

Penalizing Assault on Fetuses and Pregnant Women

Introduced:21 states
Moved: CA, KS, MD, MS, NE, NH, OK and VA
Enacted: KY
Vetoed: WV

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 bill is awaiting consideration by the Senate.

(ENACTED) In February, KENTUCKY Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) signed legislation that would allow an "unborn child" from the moment of conception to be considered a victim of murder. The 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. The measure passed both houses of the legislature in January.

In March, the MISSISSIPPI Senate passed a measure that would revise the state's fetal homicide law, which allows an "unborn quick child" to be considered a victim of manslaughter. ("Quickening" is a concept and is the point in pregnancy when the woman first feels fetal movement.) The bill would allow an "unborn child" at any point from conception through delivery to be considered a victim of homicide or manslaughter. The bill is awaiting consideration by the House.

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 bill is now awaiting consideration by the Senate.

In February, two identical fetal homicide measures have passed both chambers of the VIRGINIA legislature. The measures would allow a fetus to be considered a victim of murder, regardless of whether the act was premeditated. The bills are now awaiting action by Gov. Mark Warner (D).

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.

Regulating Stem-Cell and Embryo Research

Introduced: 25 states
Moved: CT, MS, NE, NY and OK
Enacted: SD

In March, the MISSISSIPPI House approved a bill that would ban human cloning and research using human stem cells. The measure would also ban transferring or receiving tissue for use in human cloning. The bill is awaiting consideration by the Senate.

(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.




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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