The Alan Guttmacher Institute

Monthly State Update:
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN 2006

(as of 4/1/2006)

This update provides information on legislation, as well as relevant executive branch actions and judicial decisions in states across the country. For each of the topics listed below, the number of states in which legislation has been introduced is given, as are the names of the states in which subsequent action has been taken. Detailed summaries are provided for legislation that has been passed by at least one house of a legislature and for major court decisions; actions for the current month are in bold. For an archive of previous monthly updates, click here.  

As of the beginning of April, legislatures in 33 states (AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, HI, ID, IL, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT and WI) were in regular session. The North Carolina legislature has not yet convened. In 10 states (GA, IN, MS, NM, SD, UT, VA, WA, WV and WY) legislatures have adjourned the regular session. Legislatures in six states (AR, MT, NV, ND, OR and TX) will not meet in a regular session in 2006.

 

Jump to actions around:

Abortion
Abortion Bans to Replace Roe

'Choose Life' License Plates

Crisis Pregnancy Centers/Alternatives to Abortion

Fetal Pain
Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods

Medication Abortion

Minors Reporting
Parental Involvement
'Partial-Birth' Abortion
Physician-Only Requirements
Postviability Abortion
Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Protecting Access to Abortion
Protecting Access to Clinics

Public Funding of Abortion
Reporting Statistical Information to State Agencies
Stem-Cell and Embryo Research

Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers
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

HPV

Parental Involvement

Requiring Pharmacists or Pharmacies to Dispense Contraception

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

HIV Testing of Infants and Pregnant Women

Infant Abandonment

Infertility Coverage
Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Refusal Clauses
Abortion Services
Contraceptive Services
General Medical Services

Youth
Child Abuse Reporting

Minors Access to Reproductive Health
Sex Education
See Also:

Abortion: Minors Reporting
Abortion: Parental Involvement
Contraception & Prevention: Parental Involvement

 

ABORTION

See also:

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

 

Abortion Bans to Replace Roe

Introduced: 12 states

States with further action

Passed at least one chamber: MS and TN

Enacted: SD

In March, the MISSSISSIPPI House passed a bill that would ban abortion in the state, except in cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of the woman. The bill would also make the state financially responsible for the medical and educational needs of children, from birth to age 19, born to Mississippi women who receive family counseling during their pregnancies and decide to carry the pregnancy to term. The version of the bill that passed the Senate in February would have amended the state's counseling law while making no reference to an abortion ban. The two versions of the bill could not be reconciled and it died in conference committee.

(ENACTED) In March, Gov. Mike Rounds (R) of SOUTH DAKOTA signed a bill that bans all abortion in the state except when necessary to save the life of the woman. The bill passed the legislature in February and will go into effect in July.

(ENACTED) In March, Gov. Mike Rounds of SOUTH DAKOTA signed a bill that establishes an "extraordinary litigation fund," including a "life protection" sub-fund. The sub-fund will be used to pay attorney fees, expert witness fees and other litigation costs of defending the state's laws that govern abortion and contraception. The bill passed the legislature in February.

In March, the TENNESSEE Senate passed a resolution that would amend the state's constitution to provide that, "nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion." The measure, which is pending in the House, would have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of both chambers of the General Assembly during the next session, which begins in 2007, and then brought before voters in the form of a ballot referendum.

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

Introduced: 4 states

States with further action

Committee action: OK

Passed at least one chamber: GA

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the both houses of the GEORGIA legislature passed a bill that would create "Choose Life" license plates. The money generated by the license plates would be distributed to groups that encourage women to consider adoption. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. Sonny Perdue (R).

In March, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's decision that TENNESSEE'S "Choose Life" license plates were unconstitutional. The court held that the "Choose Life" license plate is protected by the First Amendment which allow the state to express views on public policy issues and does not require the state to provide a forum for a prochoice license plate. The ruling allows the plates, which were approved by the legislature in 2003, to now go on sale. The proceeds from the plates will go to organizations in Tennessee that promote alternatives to abortion.

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Crisis Pregnancy Centers/Alternatives to Abortion

Introduced: 7 states

States with further action

Passed at least one chamber: AZ, MO and OK

In March, the ARIZONA House passed a bill that would appropriate $500,000 from the state general fund to finance grants to nonprofit agencies that provide assistance to women seeking alternatives to abortion. The grants would be available only to agencies that provide medically accurate information and do not promote or provide abortion services or referrals. The bill is pending in the Senate.

In March, the MISSOURI House passed a bill that would appropriate $1.5 million dollars to fund alternative-to-abortion services. The money would be available to agencies that provide information, counseling and support services to encourage childbirth instead of abortion. The money could not be used for any family planning services and organizations that refer women to abortion providers or assist in, promote or provide the procedure would not be eligible to receive these funds. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

In March, the OKLAHOMA House passed a bill that would create the Alternatives-to-Abortion Services Revolving Fund from which money would be distributed to nongovernmental agencies that provide information, counseling and support services to encourage childbirth instead of abortion. The bill is pending in the Senate.

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Fetal Pain

(These bills overlap with bills in the Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Period category.)

Click here for the current status of state policy

Introduced: 11 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO

Passed at least one chamber: AZ, IN, OK and UT

Vetoed: WI

In February, the ARIZONA House passed a bill that would amend the state's current counseling law to require that women seeking an abortion who are at at least 20 weeks gestation be told that "the unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain" and that anesthesia may be administered directly to the fetus to help eliminate any pain caused by the abortion. The bill, which contains an exception for medical emergencies, is pending in the Senate.

In March, the INDIANA Senate removed a provision from pending legislation that would have required a woman seeking an abortion be told that a fetus may feel pain and that she has the option of having anesthesia provided directly to the fetus if the procedure takes place at least 20 weeks gestation. As passed in the Senate, the bill would have required that, as part of abortion counseling, women be told in writing about adoption the potential health risks of abortion and that life begins at fertilization. The version that passed the House in February included the fetal pain information provision, as well as adoption information and definition of human life. The two versions could not be reconciled and the bill died in conference committee.

In February, the OKLAHOMA House passed a bill that would amend the state's current counseling law to require that a woman having an abortion after at least 20 weeks' gestation be given the option to review materials that include information on the possibility of a fetus to feel pain after that point in pregnancy. The woman would also be given the option to have anesthesia administered directly to the fetus. The bill is pending in the Senate.

In March, the UTAH Senate defeated a bill that would have amended the state's existing counseling law to require that, except in the case of medical emergencies, a woman seeking an abortion who is at least 20 weeks pregnant must be told that anesthesia may be administered directly to the fetus to help eliminate pain. The bill passed the House in January.

In January, WISCONSIN Gov. Jim Doyle (D) vetoed a measure that would have amended the state's current counseling law to require that women who are seeking an abortion at least 20 weeks of gestation be told that "the unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain" and that anesthesia may be administered directly to the fetus to help eliminate any pain caused by the abortion. The bill had passed the Senate in September 2005, and the Assembly in November.

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Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods Before Abortion

Women Required to Receive State-Directed Counseling:

Introduced: 11 states

States with further action

Committee action: KY

Passed at least one chamber: GA, IN, MS, OK and UT

Enacted: MI

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the GEORGIA Senate passed a bill that would amend current counseling laws to require a physician to perform an ultrasound on the patient before performing an abortion and give her the opportunity to view the ultrasound image and receive a hard copy of it. Failure to allow a woman to view ultrasound images would be considered a misdemeanor. No further action is expected since the legislature has adjourned its regular session.

In March, the INDIANA Senate removed a provision from pending legislation that would have required a woman seeking an abortion be told that a fetus may feel pain and that she has the option of having anesthesia provided directly to the fetus if the procedure takes place at least 20 weeks gestation. As passed in the Senate, the bill would have required that, as part of abortion counseling, women be told in writing about adoption the potential health risks of abortion and that life begins at fertilization. The version that passed the House in February included the fetal pain information provision, as well as adoption information and definition of human life. The two versions could not be reconciled and the bill died in conference committee.

(ENACTED) In March, Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) of MICHIGAN signed a measure that amends current counseling laws to require a physician who performs an ultrasound on a patient prior to an abortion to give her the opportunity to view the ultrasound image and receive a hard copy of it. The measure passed the legislature in 2005 and took effect immediately upon signing.

In February, the MISSISSIPPI Senate passed a bill that would amend the state's current counseling law to require a physician to perform an ultrasound on a patient at least 24 hours prior to an abortion and give the woman the opportunity to view the ultrasound image and/or receive a hard copy of it. The measure is pending in the House of Representatives.

In March, the OKLAHOMA House passed a bill that would amend the state's counseling law to include that a woman seeking an abortion be given information about the availability of ultrasound imaging and be provided a list of agencies that provide this service. The bill would also require a physician who performs an ultrasound on a patient prior to an abortion to give her the opportunity to view the ultrasound image and receive a hard copy of it. The bill is pending in the Senate.

In January, the UTAH House passed a measure that would amend the state's current counseling law to require that the information given to women prior to an abortion include a list of adoption agencies and information on financial assistance that can be provided by adoptive parents. The measure, which also includes a provision requiring parental consent, is awaiting action in the Senate.

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

Introduced: 13 states

States with further action

Committee action: ID

Passed at least one chamber: KY

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the KENTUCKY House passed a bill that would amend the state's counseling law to mandate that counseling be provided to a woman orally and in person at least 24 hours prior to an abortion. The current law allows the information to be delivered in person, through the Internet or on the telephone. The measure is passed the Senate in February.

In March, a MISSOURI law requiring that women receive state-directed counseling at least 24 hours prior to an abortion procedure went into effect. The law, which was enacted in 2003, had been enjoined pending the resolution of a challenge in state court. The Supreme Court of Missouri upheld the law in February.

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Medication Abortion

Introduced: 2 states

In February, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld an injunction of an OHIO law that would limit the use of mifepristone except in accordance with all FDA guidelines governing the use of the drug, including limiting its use to women who are more than seven weeks pregnant. The law does not have an exception for cases when medical abortion is safer than surgical abortion in protecting the life and health of the mother. The case, originally filed in August 2004, will now be returned to the district court to determine whether the preliminary injunction should have been more narrowly drafted.

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Minors Reporting Requirements

Introduced: 9 states

States with further action

Committee action: MN and WV

Passed at least one chamber: KS and OK

In March, the KANSAS House passed a measure that would amend the state's abortion laws concerning minors' access to abortion. Current law requires someone over the age of 21 to accompany a minor to her abortion counseling session. The measure would require that person to show valid identification, state their relationship to the minor and provide any information available as to the identity of the father of the fetus. The minor would need to present valid identification proving state of residence. In addition, the measure would prohibit abortion clinic staff from aiding a minor during the course of a judicial bypass of parental notice and institute reporting requirements when a judicial bypass is obtained. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

In February, the OKLAHOMA House passed a measure mandating specific reporting requirements for abortions involving minors. Physicians would need to report the number of instances in which a parent is notified, the number of abortions performed without notice being given and the number of judicial bypasses granted. These statistics, with personal information removed, would be made public once a year. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions

Parental Consent Requirements:

Introduced: 17 states

States with further action

Passed at least one chamber: AZ and OK

Enacted: UT

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the ARIZONA House passed a measure that would amend the state's parental involvement requirement for minors obtaining an abortion. The measure would require notarized consent from a parent before a physician could perform an abortion on a minor. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

In March, the ARIZONA House passed a measure that would amend the state's parental involvement law for minors obtaining an abortion. The measure delineates criteria a judge would be able to take into account when considering a judicial waiver of parental consent for a minor seeking an abortion. These factors would include the minor's work experience, education level and experience handling major decisions. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

In February, the OKLAHOMA House passed a measure that would require a parent's consent before a physician could perform an abortion on a minor. The consent would be necessary in addition to Oklahoma 's current requirement for parental notification. Neither notification nor consent would be necessary in the case of a medical emergency or a judicial bypass, as under current law. This measure would also allow for a physician to perform an abortion without parental notification and consent if the minor declares she is a victim of sexual abuse and a report is made. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

(ENACTED) In March, the UTAH legislature passed, and Gov. John Huntsman (R) signed, a measure requiring abortion providers to obtain parental consent before performing an abortion on a minor. (State law would continue to require providers to notify one of the minor's parents 24 hours before the procedure, as well.) The measure passed the House in January and will go into effect May 1 of this year.

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Parental Notification Requirements:

Introduced: 14 states

States with further action

Passed at least one chamber: KS and WV

Click here for current status of state policy

In February, The Federal District Court for the Northern District of FLORIDA upheld the state's parental notification law. The law, which went into effect in July 2005, requires parental notification before a physician may perform an abortion on a minor.

In March, the KANSAS House passed a measure that would amend the state's abortion laws concerning minors' access to abortion. Current law requires someone over the age of 21 to accompany a minor to her abortion counseling session. The measure would require that person to show valid identification, state their relationship to the minor and provide any information available as to the identity of the father of the fetus. The minor would need to present valid identification proving state of residence. In addition, the measure would prohibit abortion clinic staff from aiding a minor during the course of a judicial bypass of parental notice and institute reporting requirements when a judicial bypass is obtained. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

In March, the WEST VIRGINIA Senate passed, and the House subsequently killed, a measure that would amend that state's law requiring parental notification before a minor obtains an abortion. The measure would have removed a provision from the state's law that allows a physician to waive notification if the minor is sufficiently mature. The bill would also have added additional reporting requirements.

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'Partial-Birth' Abortion

Introduced: 6 states

Click here for current status of state policy

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Physician-Only Requirements

Introduced: 7 states

States with further action

Committee action: MS and VA

Enacted: OH

(ENACTED) In February, OHIO Gov. Bob Taft (R) signed a measure that would prohibit physician assistants from performing an abortion or prescribing a drug that would induce an abortion. The bill passed the Senate in October 2005 and the House of Representatives in January.

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Postviability Abortion

Introduced: 6 states

Click here for current status of state policy

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Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Introduced: 3 states

State with further action

Passed at least one chamber: AZ

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the ARIZONA Senate passed a bill that would prohibit public funds from being used to pay for abortion or for insurance that covers abortion except in cases where the woman's life or health are at risk. The bill is pending in the House.

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Protecting Access to Abortion

Introduced: 4 states

States with further action

Committee action: NY

Passed at least one chamber: HI

In March, the HAWAII House passed a bill that would prohibit the state from interfering with a woman's right to obtain an abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the life and health of the woman. The bill would also repeal the requirement that a woman receiving an abortion be a resident of the state and allow abortions to be performed in a clinic or physician's office; currently the unenforced law requires that an abortion be performed only in a hospital. The bill is pending in the Senate.

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Protecting Access to Clinics

Introduced: 4 states

State with further action

Enacted: WA

Click here for current status of state policy

(ENACTED) In March, WASHINGTON Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) signed a measure that prohibits insurance companies from canceling, refusing to renew or changing the terms of an insurance policy for a health care facility or provider that is the victim of arson or vandalism. The bill passed the legislature in February.

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Public Funding of Abortion for Low-Income Women

Introduced: 10 states

States with further action

Committee action: MN

Passed at least one chamber: MD and VA

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the MARYLAND Senate passed an appropriations bill that would continue current restrictions on the use of public funds to pay for abortion. The measure would permit funding only in cases where abortion is necessary to protect the life or physical or mental health of the woman, the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or the fetus would be born with defects. The bill is pending in the House.

In March, the VIRGINIA Senate adopted the state budget that would limit Medicaid coverage of abortion services in cases of life endangerment, rape and incest. Currently Virginia also provides Medicaid coverage in cases of fetal abnormality and where the woman's health is threatened. The Senate-passed version also included a provision to direct the state to apply for federal approval to expand eligibility for Medicaid coverage of family planning services to individuals with a family income up to 133% of the federal poverty level. However, neither provision is included in the budget that is being considered during a special session.

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Reporting Statistical Information to State Agencies

Introduced: 5 states

States with further action

Committee action: WV

Passed at least one chamber: KS and VA

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the KANSAS House amended and passed a measure that would establish certain reporting requirements for physicians performing abortions. Under the House version, physicians would need to report information concerning abortions performed after 22 weeks' gestation, and all abortion reporting would need to include any fetal abnormalities uncovered. The Senate version, which passed in February, would require abortion reports to include any physical or mental disabilities on the part of the pregnant woman, as well. The measure is awaiting concurrence in the Senate.

In February, the VIRGINIA House passed a bill that would require that doctors submit a report to the state each time a patient has physical complications or dies as the result of an abortion. The bill died in the Senate.

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Stem-Cell and Embryo Research

Introduced: 24 states

States with further action

Committee action: FL, MD, MO and WI

Passed at least one chamber: AZ, DE, GA, MD, MS, NY and VA

In March, the ARIZONA House passed a measure regarding the sale and purchase of fetal matter. The measure would prohibit either the selling or purchasing of a human oocyte. Reimbursement costs associated with the donation of an oocyte for in vitro fertilization would be exempted. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

In January, the DELAWARE House amended and passed a measure that had originally been intended to promote stem cell research in the state. As passed by the Senate in June, the original version would have promoted stem cell research while banning reproductive cloning. In sharp contrast, the House-passed version would ban reproductive cloning while leaving the issue of stem cell research unaddressed. The measure's sponsor in the Senate has decided to let the bill expire rather than ratify the House version. 

In March, the GEORGIA Senate passed a measure that would create a Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Initiative. The initiative would establish a cord blood bank for collecting and storing cord blood for therapeutic and research purposes. The initiative would also seek to raise awareness of cord blood donation possibilities among pregnant women. No further action is expected since the legislature has adjourned its regular session.

In March, the MARYLAND House and Senate each passed a measure that would create the Maryland Stem Cell Fund and Commission to promote stem cell research in that state. The House measure would allocate $25 million per year to be distributed in grants and loans by the commission to approved research organizations. The commission will ensure that ethical guidelines are adhered to and report back to the governor and legislature annually. The measure also establishes guidelines for the storage, donation or destruction of unused embryos and prohibits reproductive cloning. The Senate measure does not specify particular funding amounts and does not place a priority on embryonic stem cell research. The House measure is awaiting action in the Senate while the Senate measure passed the House and is expected to be signed by Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R).

In February, the MISSISSIPPI House passed a measure banning all forms of cloning in the state, including somatic cell nuclear transfer. Therapeutic cloning not involving somatic cell nuclear transfer would be protected and an advisory committee would be established to monitor stem cell research in the state. The measure later died in a Senate committee.

In March, the NEW YORK Assembly passed a budget bill allocating $4.5 million for the New York State Institute for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine. A separate measure authorizing the creation of the institute and setting standards for stem cell research in the state is still pending in the Assembly. The budget bill is now awaiting action in the Senate.

In March, the VIRGINIA Senate and House passed separate measures creating a Virginia Cord Blood Initiative to collect, screen and store umbilical cord blood. In addition, the two measures would promote umbilical cord donation awareness among health care providers and pregnant women. Each measure was enrolled in its respective chamber in February and is awaiting action by Gov. Tim Kaine (D).

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Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers

Introduced: 11 states

States with further action

Passed at least one chamber: IN, KS and VA

Enacted: SD

In March, the INDIANA legislature ended its session for the year without final passage of a measure that would have regulated abortion clinics, which had passed both the House and Senate in February.

In February, the KANSAS House passed a measure that would regulate all office-based surgical centers in the state. What began as a bill targeting abortion clinics was amended to regulate building codes and licensing and inspection processes for all nonhospital facilities where surgery occurs. The measure was amended to win approval from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who, in the past, has vetoed similar bills that specifically targeted abortion clinics. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

In February, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in a case involving OHIO's requirement that ambulatory surgical centers, such as abortion clinics, have an agreement with a local hospital to accept clinic patients in cases of an emergency. No local hospital would agree to such a transfer arrangement with an abortion clinic, leading the facility to request a waiver of the requirement from the state. When the state refused the waiver and ordered the clinic closed, the clinic filed suit, arguing that patients would be endangered by needing to travel long distances. The court dismissed the suit, in part, because it held that traveling long distances to obtain an abortion does not constitute undue burden.

(ENACTED) In February, the SOUTH DAKOTA House passed, and Gov. Mike Rounds (R) signed into law a measure imposing regulations of abortion clinics that are more onerous than those imposed on similar types of health care facilities. The new measure gives the state Department of Health unlimited control of the regulatory process and higher application fees. The new law will go into effect July 1, 2006.

In February, the SOUTH DAKOTA House passed a measure that would have imposed regulation of abortion clinics. It would have required steep licensing fees and given the state health department virtually unlimited authority to regulate abortion providers. The measure died when it was subsequently replaced with an abortion counseling bill that was defeated.

In February, the VIRGINIA House passed a measure imposing regulations on abortion clinics that would have defined all abortion clinics as ambulatory surgical facilities. It would have required abortion clinics to meet heightened building code regulations and be subject to scrutiny greater than that imposed on other nonhospital surgical providers in the state. The measure died in Senate committee

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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

Committee action: MI, PA and VA

Passed at least one chamber: MO

Enacted: CO

Click here for current status of state policy

(ENACTED) In February, COLORADO Gov. Bill Owens (R) signed an appropriation bill for the Department of Public Health and Environment that continues the state's policy of prohibiting state family planning funds from going to organizations that provide abortion services with their own funds. The measure passed both chambers of the legislature in February.

In March, the MISSOURI House adopted the state budget for health services, which includes a provision that would prohibit funds allotted for women's health services from being used for services or referrals related to family planning and abortion. The funds could be used for cancer screening and sexually transmitted disease testing. The funds could not be allocated to an organization or affiliate of an organization that provides or refers for abortion. The bill would also allocate funds for alternatives-to-abortion services. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Contraceptive Coverage Mandates

Introduced: 7 states

States with further action

Committee action: SD and UT

Enacted: NJ

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, MONTANA Attorney General Mike McGrath (D) issued an opinion requiring health plans that provide coverage of prescription drugs to also cover contraception. The opinion held that under the state's unisex insurance law and human rights act, exclusion of contraceptives in health plans is sex discrimination.

(ENACTED) In January, NEW JERSEY Acting Gov. Dick Codey (D) signed a bill that requires health benefit plans that cover outpatient prescription drugs to include coverage of prescription contraceptives. A religious employer can be exempted from the requirement if the objection is based on bona fide religious beliefs and the organization is a church, association of churches or a religiously sponsored school. Exempted organizations must notify employees of the refusal. In 2005, the bill passed the Senate in June and the Assembly in December.

In January, a NEW YORK appeals court rejected a challenge to the state's contraceptive coverage mandate based on its provisions allowing certain religious employers to refuse to provide the coverage. The law was challenged by religiously-affiliated organizations who claimed that the existing exemption was too narrow and as such violated federal and state constitutional protections for religion. The court held that the law does not violate religious rights because it is designed to increase women's access to health care services and not impinge on religion. The religious organizations plan to appeal to the state's highest court.  

In March, the UTAH Senate defeated a bill that would have required health plans that cover prescription drugs to also cover prescription drugs for contraception. The measure would have permitted religious employers to refuse coverage if the employer had as its major purpose the inculcation of religious values, primarily employed and served people who shared those values and was a church or religious order as defined by the federal government.

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Emergency Contraception

(See Also: Requiring Pharmacists to Dispense Contraception and Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services)

Offering Emergency Contraception Services to Sexual Assault Victims:

Introduced: 12 states
States with further action

Committee action: CT, HI and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

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Allowing Pharmacists to Provide Emergency Contraception without a Prescription:

Introduced: 7 states

States with further action

Committee action: MD

Passed at least one chamber: CO and NY

Enacted: VT

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the COLORADO Senate adopted a measure that would give pharmacists prescribing authority for emergency contraception. The bill specifically excludes medication abortion from the definition of emergency contraception. It passed the House in February and is awaiting action by Gov. Bill Owens (R).

In March, the MARYLAND Senate defeated a measure that would have allowed pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception without a physician prescription as long as the pharmacist had entered into an agreement with the state.

In February, the NEW YORK Assembly passed a measure that would allow pharmacists and registered nurses to dispense emergency contraceptives without a prescription if acting under an agreement with a physician, nurse practitioner or licensed midwife. The pharmacist would have to complete training on emergency contraception and provide clients with a fact sheet that would be developed by the state Department of Health. This measure is identical to another bill that was vetoed last year by Gov. George Pataki (R).

(ENACTED) In March, VERMONT Gov. Jim Douglas (D) signed egislation that allows a pharmacist to dispense emergency contraception within a collaborative practice agreement with a physician. The measure requires the state to develop standards for the agreements, dispensing procedures for the pharmacist and informational materials to be provided to patients. A pharmacist must undergo training on emergency contraception. The bill, which passed the House in May 2005, passed the Senate in March 2006.

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Expanding Access to Emergency Contraception:

Introduced: 4 states

Click here for current status of state policy

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Restricting Access to Emergency Contraception:

Introduced: 7 states

States with further action

Committee action: AZ, IL and NH

Click here for current status of state policy

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Requiring Pharmacists or Pharmacies to Dispense Contraception

Introduced: 10 states

State with further action

Commitee action: AZ

In March, the ARIZONA Senate defeated a measure that would have established a duty for pharmacists to fill valid prescriptions except when contraindicated. Under the measure a pharmacist who wanted to refuse to fill prescriptions because of religious or ethical beliefs would have been required to notify his or her employer. For it's part, the pharmacy would not have been required to accommodate the objection if it would have caused an "undue hardship" for the business. If the pharmacy opted to accommodate the refusal, then it would have been required to take steps to ensure that the patient is nonetheless able to get the medication in a timely manner.

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HPV

Introduced: 7 states

State with further action

Enacted: WV

(ENACTED) In March, WEST VIRGINIA Gov. Joe Manchin (D) signed legislation that requires health plans to cover both conventional and Thin Prep pap tests and HPV tests for women who are at least 18 years of age. The previous law only required that pap smears be covered by health plans. The bill passed both chambers of the West Virginia General Assembly in March.

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Parental Involvement Requirements for Minors Seeking Contraceptive Services

Introduced: 11 states

States with further action

Committee action: AZ, MS and VA

Click here for current status of state policy

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State Medicaid Family Planning Eligibility Expansions

Introduced: 3 states

States with further action

Committee action: WI

Passed at least one chamber: VA

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the VIRGINIA Senate adopted the state budget that would have directed the state to apply for federal approval to expand eligibility for Medicaid coverage of family planning services to individuals with a family income up to 133% of the federal poverty level. Currently the program only applies to women who have had a Medicaid-funded delivery. The bill also included a provision that would limit Medicaid-funded abortion. However, neither provision is included in the budget that is being considered during a special session.

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PREGNANCY & BIRTH

See also:

REFUSAL CLAUSES

Fetal and Pregnant Woman Assault

Introduced: 31 states

States with further action

Committee action: CA, HI, IN, MS, NH and SD

Passed at least one chamber: AL, GA, OK and SC

In January, the ALABAMA House passed a measure that would amend the state's current law to permit a fetus of any gestational age to be considered a victim of either criminal assault or homicide. Exceptions would be made for standard medical care provided with the pregnant woman's consent. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate. 

In March, the GEORGIA legislature passed a measure that would amend the state's laws relating to fetal assault. The Senate-passed measure, which was introduced as an abortion counseling and parental involvement measure, would create the crime of voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child, make small amendments to the state's feticide laws and increase the penalty for an assault on a pregnant woman. The measure would include exceptions for abortion. The version amended in the House would include an exception for actions taken by the pregnant woman. The Senate concurred with the House amendments and the measure is awaiting action by Gov. Sonny Perdue (R).

In March, the OKLAHOMA House passed a measure that would amend the state's criminal code. The measure would define a fetus as a human being for purposes of the state's homicide laws. The measure would not apply to legal abortions, medical procedures or acts taken by the pregnant woman. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

In March, the SOUTH CAROLINA Senate passed a measure that would create a separate crime for the injury or death of a fetus. Standard penalties would apply, except that killing a fetus could not be tried as a capital crime. Exceptions are included for abortions, medical treatments and actions taken by the pregnant woman. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

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HIV Testing of Infants and Pregnant Women

Introduced: 3 states

States with further action

Passed at least one chamber: IL and NJ

In March, the ILLINOIS Senate adopted a measure that would require that newborns be tested for HIV. While a pregnant woman would be able to decline to be tested throughout her pregnancy, a newborn would be tested if the woman's HIV status were unknown. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D).

In March, the NEW JERSEY Assembly adopted a measure that would amend the state's statute on HIV testing for pregnant and postpartum women. Current law requires that women who test positive for HIV receive notification of the results as well as counseling when needed. Under the measure, pregnant and postpartum women with positive HIV test results will receive information about prenatal care to reduce the possibility of HIV transmission to the fetus or infant. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Infant Abandonment

Introduced: 9 states

States with further action

Committee action: MN and WA

Passed at least one chamber: HI, IL, SC and VT

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, each chamber of the HAWAII legislature passed a measure that would allow a person to leave an infant younger than 72 hours with personnel at a hospital, fire station or police station. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. Linda Lingle (R).

In March, the ILLINOIS House adopted a measure that would allow state-designated churches to accept an infant abandoned by a parent. Current law allows a parent to leave an infant younger than 72 hours at a hospital, fire or police station, emergency medical facility or trauma center. The measure is awaiting action by the Senate.

In March, the SOUTH CAROLINA House passed a measure that would amend the state's infant abandonment law. The bill would expand the types of facilities that could accept an infant to include a law enforcement agency, a fire station, an emergency medical services station or any staffed house of worship. Current law allows an infant to be left only at a hospital or hospital outpatient facility. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

In March, the VERMONT Senate adopted a measure that would provide immunity to a person who leaves an infant younger than 30 days with an employee or volunteer of a fire station, police station, health care facility or church that the person leaving the infant attends, or through the 911 emergency system. The bill passed the House in April 2005 and is awaiting action by Gov. Jim Douglas (D).

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Infertility Coverage

Introduced: 9 states

States with further action:

Committee action: NH and RI

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Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Introduced: 16 states

States with further action

Committee action: HI, MN and MO

Passed at least one chamber: AK, HI and ID

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the Alaska House adopted a bill that would require health care providers to report to the state if a newborn is adversely affected or experiencing withdrawal from a controlled substance or alcohol. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

In March, each chamber of the HAWAII legislature passed a measure that would establish a pilot program on Oahu to provide substance abuse services to drug addicts. Part of the program would provide prenatal delivery and postpartum care, as well as substance abuse and other social services, to pregnant women who have a history of drug abuse.

In February, the IDAHO Senate adopted a measure that would make it a criminal act for a woman to use controlled substances during pregnancy. The bill would not apply in cases when drugs are taken for legal purposes. Although the legislation would not require physicians to report prenatal substance abuse, it would grant them immunity from liability if they did so. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

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REFUSAL CLAUSES

Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse:

Introduced: 13 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Insurers to Refuse:

Introduced: 8 states

States with further action

Committee action: MI and MO

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse:

Introduced: 18 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO and SD

Passed at least one chamber: GA and OK

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the GEORGIA House defeated a measure that would have allowed a pharmacist to refuse to fill any prescription on moral or religious grounds if the pharmacist \x93believes\x94 the drug would have the effect, or possible effect, of terminating a pregnancy. The language of the bill was broad enough to include contraceptive prescriptions.

In March, the GEORIGA Senate adopted two measures that would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for drugs that cause abortion. The objection must be based on moral or religious grounds and be on file with the employer. One measure died at the end of session, while the other is awaiting action by Gov. Sonny Perdue (R).

In March, the OKLAHOMA House passed a bill that would allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill any prescription if the pharmacist \x93believes\x94 that the drug would cause an abortion. The language is broad enough to include contraceptive prescriptions. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

Allowing Facilities to Refuse:

Introduced: 9 states

State with further action

Committee action: MO

Click here for current status of state policy

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Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services

(See also: Requiring Pharmacists to Dispense Contraception)

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse:

Introduced: 10 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

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Allowing Pharmacies to Refuse:

Introduced: 9 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO and SD

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Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse:

Introduced: 18 states

States with further action

Committee action: IL, MO, NH and SD

Passed at least one chamber: GA and OK

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the GEORGIA House defeated a measure that would have allowed a pharmacist to refuse to fill any prescription on moral or religious grounds if the pharmacist "believes" the drug would have the effect, or possible effect, of terminating a pregnancy. The language of the bill was broad enough to include contraceptive prescriptions.

In March, the OKLAHOMA House passed a bill that would allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill any prescription if the pharmacist "believes" that the drug would cause an abortion. The language is broad enough to include contraceptive prescriptions. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Medical Care in General

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse:

Introduced: 9 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Insurers to Refuse:

Introduced: 7 states

State with further action

Committee action: MI

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse:

Introduced: 11 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Facilities to Refuse:

Introduced: 9 states

State with further action

Committee action: MO

Click here for current status of state policy

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YOUTH

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

Child Abuse Reporting

Introduced: 15 states

States with further action

Committee action: CA, GA and VA

Passed at least one chamber: ID, KY, MS and TN

In March, the IDAHO legislature passed a measure that would exempt certain perpetrators from having to register as sex offenders.  The measure would excuse 19 or 20 year olds convicted of statutory rape (with a minor not more than 3 years their younger) from having to register as sex offenders.  In addition, all parties would have to agree to the exemption or a judge would have to find that the defendant would not pose a risk of committing another sexual assault. The measure is awaiting the Governor's signature.

In January, a three judge panel of the U.S. 10 th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a 2003 injunction barring enforcement of KANSAS ' controversial statutory rape reporting law. As interpreted by Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, the law would have required health care providers to report consensual sexual behavior between minors under the age of 16 to law enforcement or face fines. Lawyers are currently seeking a permanent injunction in federal District Court. 

In February, the KENTUCKY House passed a measure that would expand the state's existing statutory rape laws by establishing specific criminal penalties for sexual relationships between a minor and someone in a position of authority. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

In March, the MISSOURI Senate passed a measure that would mandate reporting of statutory rape. Any health care professional involved in a pregnancy or abortion with evidence of statutory rape or sexual assault of a minor would be required to report the offense. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

In March, the TENNESSEE Senate passed a measure that would regulate physicians' duties when performing an abortion on a minor. Under the measure, physicians would be required to preserve fetal tissue from an abortion performed on a minor under the age of 13. The fetal tissue would then have to be turned over to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation along with a report including the minor's name, address and legal guardian. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

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Minors Access to Reproductive Healthcare

Introduced: 12 states

States with further action

Passed at least one chamber: CO and HI

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, the COLORADO legislature passed a measure relating to minors' rights. The House version of the measure allows a pregnant minor to consent to prenatal, delivery and post-delivery medical care. The version passed in the Senate specifies that all such care must be related to the live birth of a child. The measure is awaiting concurrence in the House.

In March, the HAWAII Senate passed a measure that would grant greater reproductive health rights to minors. The measure would allow minors to consent to STI, pregnancy and family planning services; it would specifically prohibit the imposition of parental consent requirements. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

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Sex Education

Provisions Requiring Sex Education:

Introduced: 27 states

States with further action

Committee action: GA, IL, MA, MI, MO and NH

Passed at least one chamber: HI, MS, SD, UT, VA and WI

Click here for current status of state policy

In March, both chambers of the HAWAII legislature passed measures that would require sex education and pregnancy counseling funded with state dollars to be medically accurate and age-appropriate.

In March, the KANSAS Board of Education adopted a provision that requires parental consent before a student takes part in a class on sex education. Previously parents could remove students from the instruction.

In February, a committee in the MISSISSIPPI House defeated a measure that would have required students to receive abstinence education and information on fetal development. The purpose of instruction on fetal development was to provide a "better understanding of the relationship between the mother and her unborn fetus." Currently, school districts in the state have the option of providing abstinence education. The bill passed the Senate in February.

In February, a committee in the SOUTH DAKOTA Senate defeated a measure that would have amended the state's requirements for abstinence education, which is a mandatory component of the required character education. The bill specifically would have prohibited instruction on contraception; it passed the House in February.

In February, a committee in the SOUTH DAKOTA Senate defeated a measure that would have prohibited the distribution of contraceptives and abortifacients on school grounds. It passed the House in February.

In March, a UTAH House committee defeated a measure that would have set guidelines for school boards to follow when authorizing a school club or allowing a club to use school facilities. Criteria for denial include clubs with activities that "involve human sexuality" by presenting information that violates sex education laws, discussing sex outside of legal marriage or in a manner that is prohibited by state law, or discussing contraception. The bill passed the Senate in February.

In March, a VIRGINIA Senate committee defeated a measure that would have required school-based sex education to "emphasize" abstinence. Curricula would have also been required to encourage students to "honor and respect monogamous heterosexual marriage" and to discuss the emotional and psychological consequences of adolescent sexual activity. The measure would have given parents the option to remove their children from the instruction. The bill passed the House in January.

In March, a VIRGINIA Senate committee defeated a measure that would have allowed local school boards to prohibit school facilities from being used by any student club or group that encourages or promotes sexual activity by unmarried minor students. The bill passed the House in January.  

In March, the WISCONSIN Assembly adopted a measure that would require that all sex education provided in the state devote more time to abstinence than other behaviors, teach that abstinence before marriage is the preferred behavior and emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. The bill passed the Senate in September 2005.

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Production of the State Update is made possible by support from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and The John Merck Fund.




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