Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
 

Monthly State Update:
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN 2008

(as of 3/01/2008)

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 March, legislatures in 41 states (AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI and WY) were in regular session. The New Mexico legislature has adjourned its regular session. Three state legislatures (FL, LA and NC) have not yet convened their regular sessions. Six state legislatures (AR, MT, NV, ND, OR and TX) will not meet in regular session in 2008.

For a state-by-state chart of legislation enacted in 2008, click here.

 

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

Medical Emergency Exception in Abortion Law

Medication Abortion

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

Prohibiting Forcing a Woman to Have an Abortion

Protecting Access to Abortion
Protecting Access to Clinics

Public Funding of Abortion

Requiring Abortion Providers to Have Hospital Privileges
Reporting Statistical Information to State Agencies

State Participation in Abortion
Stem-Cell and Embryo Research

Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers
See Also:

Contraception and Prevention: Abortion-Related Restrictions on State Family Planning FundsFetal 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: Insurance Coverage

HPV: School Entry Requirements

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

Stillborn Certificates
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

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 8 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in TN

TENNESSEE: In February, a House committee defeated a bill that would have amended the state constitution to explicitly not protect a woman’s right to an abortion. The bill passed the Senate in January.

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

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 1 state

ARIZONA: In January, a federal appeals court judge ordered the state to issue “Choose Life” license plates as an option for motorists in the state. The case was filed by the Arizona Life Coalition, Inc., whose application for the license plates had been denied.  The license plates are awaiting approval from the Arizona License Plate Commission.

MISSOURI: In January, a district court judge ordered the state to issue “Choose Life” license plates as an option for motorists in the state. The lawsuit was brought by Choose Life of Missouri, Inc., whose application for “Choose Life” license plates had been denied.  The attorney general has not decided if the state will appeal.

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Crisis Pregnancy Centers/Alternatives to Abortion

Introduced in 11 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in OK

OKLAHOMA: In February, the House passed two measures that would earmark Department of Health funds for an alternatives-to-abortion fund. The bills are awaiting action in the Senate.

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Fetal Pain

Click here for the current status of state policy

Introduced in 7 states (These bills overlap with bills in the Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Period category.)

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in IN and VA

INDIANA: In January, the Senate adopted a measure that would require that a woman seeking an abortion be told that there is “differing” medical evidence on when a fetus feels pain. The measure, which would require that an abortion provider have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, also would amend the abortion counseling statute to include a statement that human life begins at fertilization, plus information on adoption and the risks of abortion. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

VIRGINIA: In February, a Senate committee defeated a measure that would have required a woman seeking an abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation to be offered anesthesia specifically for the fetus. In addition, the woman would have also been told that anesthesia may not prevent the fetus from feeling pain, that anesthesia is routine for fetal surgery, and that at 20 weeks a fetus “has the physical structures necessary to experience pain” and evades stimuli in a manner that, in a person, would be interpreted as a pain response. The provider would also have been required to describe the risks of fetal anesthesia, as well as the costs of providing it. In addition, the measure would have mandated the inclusion of information on fetal pain in state-developed abortion counseling materials. The bill, which also would require each woman seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound, also passed the House in February.

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Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods Before Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

 

Women Required to Receive State-Directed Counseling

Introduced in 16 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in IN, KY, SD and VA

INDIANA: In January, the Senate adopted a measure that would amend the state’s abortion counseling statute to require that a woman seeking an abortion be told that human life begins at fertilization. In addition, the bill would also require that a woman seeking an abortion be told about adoption, the risks of abortion to the woman’s physical health and the purported ability of a fetus to feel pain. The bill, which is awaiting action in the House, would also require an abortion provider to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

KENTUCKY: In February, the Senate adopted a bill that would require abortion counseling to take place at a clinic, rather than over the telephone. Given the state’s existing 24-hour waiting period, this measure would require women to make two trips to the clinic to obtain the procedure. The measure would also require an abortion provider to perform an ultrasound on each woman seeking an abortion. Moreover, the physician would be required to review the image with the woman, although she would be permitted to “avert” her eyes. The measure would also require that state-developed abortion counseling materials be given the woman; current law requires only that she be offered these materials. The measure, which would also ban “partial-birth” abortion, require abortion providers to have ultrasound equipment, and amend the state’s definitions of medical emergency and abortion in the abortion code, is awaiting action in the House.

SOUTH DAKOTA: In February, the Senate adopted a provision that would require an abortion provider to offer a woman seeking an abortion the option of viewing an ultrasound. The bill, which would also amend the state’s abortion reporting requirements, is awaiting action by Gov. Mike Rounds (R).

VIRGINIA: In February, a Senate committee defeated a measure that would have required an abortion provider to perform an ultrasound on each woman seeking an abortion. The measure, which would also have required abortion providers to have costly ultrasound equipment on-site, passed the House in February.

VIRGINIA: In February, a Senate committee defeated a measure that would have required that each woman seeking an abortion be given an ultrasound in order to determine if the pregnancy is at least 20 weeks gestation in order to determine whether information on fetal pain should be provided to her. The bill, which passed the House in February, also would have established counseling requirements on fetal pain and anesthesia.

 

Requirements for State-Directed Counseling Followed by a Waiting Period

Introduced in 12 states

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Medical Emergency Exception in Abortion Law

Introduced in 4 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in KY

KENTUCKY: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would require a physician to certify in writing the basis for having invoked the medical emergency exception to state abortion requirements. The measure, which would also establish a “partial-birth” abortion ban, require abortion providers to have costly ultrasound equipment, amend the state’s definition of abortion to include medication abortion and require additional abortion counseling procedures, is awaiting action in the House.

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Medication Abortion

Introduced in 5 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in KY and MS

KENTUCKY: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would alter the definition of abortion to include medication abortion. The measure, which would also establish a “partial-birth” abortion ban, require abortion providers to have costly ultrasound equipment, amend the state’s definition of medical emergency in the abortion code and require additional abortion counseling procedures, is awaiting action in the House.

MISSISSIPPI: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would require that medication abortion be used in accordance with FDA protocol. It would also require a physician dispensing the medication to have a contract with a second physician who would be responsible for treating any complications that might occur; the woman would be given contact information for that physician. Physicians providing medication abortions would be required to report any complications to the FDA and the state department of health within 24 hours. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

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Minors Reporting Requirements

Introduced in 4 states

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Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions

Click here for current status of state policy

Parental Consent Requirements

Introduced in 12 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in MS

MISSISSIPPI: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would make it a crime to assist a minor in obtaining an abortion without parental consent. Specifically, the measure would make it a crime to intentionally assist a minor obtaining an abortion without the consent mandated by state law, even if the procedure is performed in a state where parental involvement is not required. The bill, which would also amend statutory rape reporting in the state, is awaiting action in the House.

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Parental Notification Requirements

Introduced in 11 states

ILLINOIS: In February, a Federal District Court judge barred enforcement of that state’s law requiring parental notification before a minor’s abortion. The law, which was passed in 1995 and has never been in effect, was cleared for enforcement in 2006 when the state Supreme Court approved a judicial waiver process. At that point, the law was put on hold yet again, while courts were given time to adjust to the process. This most recent judicial decision found the law contradictory and incomplete, without a workable solution for teenagers seeking a judicial waiver. The law is not in effect pending a decision on whether or not to appeal by the state’s attorney general.

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'Partial-Birth' Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 11 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in KY, MI and WI

KENTUCKY: In February, the Senate adopted a bill that would ban the performance of a “partial-birth” abortion. Kentucky’s existing “partial-birth” abortion ban has never been in effect because of judicial action. The new measure includes a more precise definition of the procedure and would allow for exceptions only when a woman’s life is at risk. The measure, which would also mandate additional abortion counseling procedures, require that abortion providers have costly ultrasound equipment, and amend the state’s definitions of medical emergency and abortion in the abortion code, is awaiting action in the House.

MICHIGAN: In January, the Senate passed a measure that would ban “partial-birth” abortions. The measure would allow for civil action to be brought against physicians performing the procedure, but would include an exception for life endangerment. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

WISCONSIN: In February, the Assembly passed a bill that would ban “partial-birth” abortions. Wisconsin currently has a “partial-birth” abortion ban that has never been in effect because of judicial action. The new measure would override that law and include a more precise definition of the procedure and allow for exceptions only when a woman’s life is at risk. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Physician-Only Requirements

Introduced in 3 states

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Postviability Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 7 states

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Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 5 states

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Prohibiting Forcing a Women to Have an Abortion

Introduced in 7 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VA

VIRGINIA: In February, the House passed a measure that would prohibit forcing a woman to have an abortion against her will. The bill was defeated in a Senate committee.

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Protecting Access to Abortion

Introduced in 4 states

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Protecting Access to Clinics

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 3 states

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Public Funding of Abortion for Low-Income Women

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 10 states

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Reporting Statistical Information to State Agencies

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 10 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in SD

SOUTH DAKOTA: In February, the legislature passed a measure that would require providers to report the number of women who have an abortion after choosing to view the ultrasound image. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. Mike Rounds (R).

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Requiring Abortion Providers to Have Hospital Privileges

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 3 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in IN

INDIANA: In January, the Senate passed a measure that would prohibit a physician from performing an abortion unless he or she has admitting hospital privileges at a nearby hospital. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

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State Participation in Abortion

Introduced in 0 states

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Stem-Cell and Embryo Research

Introduced in 15 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in MA, NM and OK

MASSACHUSETTS: In February, the House passed a measure that would appropriate $475 million to a life sciences fund that could support stem cell research, among other activities. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

NEW MEXICO: In January, the Senate passed a measure that would allow stem cell research and ban human cloning.  No further action is expected since the legislature has adjourned its regular session.

OKLAHOMA: In February, the House passed a measure that would allow stem cell research if the research is performed safely and ethically and either adult stem cells or embryonic stem cell lines created prior to August 2001 are used. The measure would also prohibit further cloning human embryos that had themselves been produced through cloning. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers

Introduced in 11 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in IN and VA

INDIANA: In January, the Senate adopted a measure that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within or adjacent to the county in which the abortion is performed. The measure also would amend the abortion counseling statute to include information on adoption, the risks of abortion, the potential of a fetus to feel pain and a statement that human life begins at fertilization. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

KENTUCKY: In February, the Senate adopted a bill that would require abortion providers to have costly ultrasound equipment. The measure requires that an ultrasound be performed prior to any abortion, regardless of medical necessity, and that the provider go over the ultrasound with the woman. The measure, which would also require additional abortion counseling procedures, ban the performance of a “partial-birth” abortion, and amend the state’s definitions of medical emergency and abortion in the abortion code, is awaiting action in the House.

VIRGINIA: In February, a Senate committee defeated a measure that would have classified facilities that provide 25 or more first-trimester abortions a year as ambulatory surgical centers, which would subject them to increased regulation by the state. The bill passed the House in January.

VIRGINIA: In February, a Senate committee defeated a measure that would have required abortion providers to have costly ultrasound equipment on-site. The measure would also have required an abortion provider to perform an ultrasound on each woman seeking an abortion, regardless of medical necessity. The measure passed the House in February.

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CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION

See also:

REFUSAL CLAUSES
YOUTH: Child Abuse Reporting

Abortion-Related Restrictions on Family Planning Funds

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 5 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in CO and VA

COLORADO: In February, the legislature adopted a supplemental budget bill that would continue to prohibit state family planning funds from going to organizations that provide abortion services with their own funds. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. Bill Ritter (D).

VIRGINIA: In February, the Senate adopted the state’s budget, which includes a provision that prohibits any funds going through the state treasury from being allocated to Planned Parenthood affiliates. The bill is awaiting action in a conference committee.

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Contraceptive Coverage Mandates

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 6 states

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Emergency Contraception

Click here for current status of state policy

(Click here for legislative activity on: Requiring Pharmacists to Dispense Contraception and Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services)

 

Offering Emergency Contraception Services to Sexual Assault Victims

Introduced in 10 states and Washington DC
Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in WI

PENNSYLVANIA: A new state regulation effective in January requires a hospital to provide a woman who has been sexually assaulted with information on emergency contraception; the hospital must also dispense the medication upon her request. While the rule permits a hospital to refuse to provide the medication for religious or moral reasons, it must immediately transport the woman to the nearest medical facility that will provide her with the medication.

WISCONSIN: In February, the Senate accepted Assembly amendments to a measure that would require that a woman who has been sexually assaulted receive medically accurate and unbiased information on emergency contraception, as well as the medication upon request. The hospital would not be required to provide the medication if the woman has a positive pregnancy test. The measure, which passed the Assembly in January, is awaiting action by Gov. Jim Doyle (D).

 

Allowing Pharmacists to Provide Emergency Contraception without a Prescription

Introduced in 1 state

 

Expanding Access to Emergency Contraception

Introduced in 2 states

 

Restricting Access to Emergency Contraception

Introduced in 0 states

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Requiring Pharmacists or Pharmacies to Dispense Contraception

Introduced in 7 states

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HPV: Insurance Coverage

Introduced in 6 states

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HPV Vaccine: Required for School Entry

Introduced in 13 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in KY and VA

KENTUCKY: In February, the House adopted a measure that would add the HPV vaccine to the list of vaccinations required for school entry. The measure allows parents to refuse to consent to the vaccination. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

VIRGINIA: In January, the House adopted a measure that would push back the effective date for the requirement that girls receive the HPV vaccine before entering middle school from October 1, 2008 to July 1, 2010. The measure died in a Senate committee.

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Parental Involvement Requirements for Minors Seeking Contraceptive Services

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 2 states

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State Medicaid Family Planning Eligibility Expansions

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 3 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in CO

COLORADO: In February, the House adopted a measure clearing the way for the state to seek federal permission to expand Medicaid eligibility for family planning services. While the bill does not include a specific income ceiling, the fiscal note accompanying the bill, written by Colorado Legislative Council staff, indicates that the state agency administering Medicaid “expects” to seek to raise the ceiling to 200% of the federal poverty level. The measure is awaiting action by Gov. Bill Ritter (D).

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PREGNANCY & BIRTH

See also:

REFUSAL CLAUSES

Fetal and Pregnant Woman Assault

Introduced in 13 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VA

VIRGINIA: In February, a Senate committee defeated a measure that would have made it a crime to purposefully attempt to illegally terminate a pregnancy. A pregnant woman would not have been immune from prosecution, but the measure would have excluded medically approved contraceptive devices used either before or after pregnancy. The bill passed the House in February.

                                                      

VIRGINIA: In February, a Senate committee deferred until 2009 consideration of a measure that would have increased penalties for certain crimes committed against pregnant women. The measure would have created the crime of unintentionally causing miscarriage or stillbirth. The bill passed the House in February.

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HIV Testing of Infants and Pregnant Women

Introduced in 6 states

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Infant Abandonment

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 13 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VT and WA

Enacted in AK and NE

(ENACTED) ALASKA: In February, Gov. Sarah Palin (R) signed into law a measure that will provide immunity for a parent who leaves an unharmed infant no more than 21 days old with a police officer, medical personnel, hospital employee and emergency services personnel. The infant can also be left with any person the parent feels will act in the infant’s best interest. Although the person receiving the newborn is required to ask about the infant’s identity and medical information, the parent is not required to provide the information. The law will go into effect May 11, 2008.

(ENACTED) NEBRASKA: In February, Gov. Dave Heineman (R) signed into law a bill that will prohibit prosecution of someone who relinquishes a child to an on-duty hospital employee. The law will go into effect in July.

VERMONT: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would permit a person or facility receiving an infant to not reveal the identity of the person relinquishing the child unless there is suspected abuse. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

WASHINGTON: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would add medical clinics to the list of approved places one can relinquish an infant. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

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Infertility Coverage

Introduced in 17 states

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Stillborn Certificates

Introduced in 3 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in NH

NEW HAMPSHIRE: In February, the House passed a measure that would require a certificate of birth resulting in a stillbirth to be issued for each fetal death occurring after 24 weeks’ gestation. The certificate would be filed with the state registrar. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 18 states

BIll Status:

Passed at least one chamber in UT and VA

UTAH: In February, the legislature passed a measure that would require substance abuse treatment programs receiving public funds to give priority admission to pregnant women and teenagers. The bill is awaiting action from Gov. Jon Huntsman (R).

VIRGINIA: In February, the legislature passed a measure that would include emergency services personnel to a list of required reporters of suspected child abuse, including cases of in utero exposure to controlled substances. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. Tim Kaine (D).

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REFUSAL CLAUSES

Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse

Introduced in 8 states

Allowing Insurers to Refuse

Introduced in 5 states

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse

Introduced in 10 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in IN

INDIANA: In January, the Senate adopted a measure that would allow a pharmacist to refuse to dispense or sell any drug the pharmacist “believes” would cause an abortion. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

Allowing Facilities to Refuse

Introduced in 5 states

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Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services

Click here for current status of state policy

(Click here for legislative activity on: Requiring Pharmacists to Dispense Contraception)

 

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse

Introduced in 6 states

Allowing Insurers to Refuse

Introduced in 5 states

Allowing Pharmacies to Refuse

Introduced in 5 states

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse

Introduced in 9 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in IN

INDIANA: In January, the Senate adopted a measure that would allow a pharmacist to refuse to dispense or sell any drug the pharmacist “believes” would cause an abortion. The use of the term “believes” may allow a pharmacist to also refuse to dispense or sell hormonal contraceptive methods. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

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Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Medical Care in General

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse

Introduced in 5 states

Allowing Insurers to Refuse

Introduced in 4 states

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse

Introduced in 6 states

Allowing Facilities to Refuse

Introduced in 4 states

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YOUTH

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

Child Abuse Reporting

Introduced in 3 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in MS and UT

MISSISSIPPI: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would require individuals— including physicians and teachers—who are charged with reporting suspected cases of child abuse to report suspected cases of statutory rape; they would not be allowed to use professional discretion about whether a particular situation warranted reporting. In addition, the measure would require a physician performing an abortion on a minor younger than 14 to provide a tissue sample to the state bureau of investigation and crime laboratory. The bill, which would also criminalize assisting a minor seeking an abortion without parental consent, is awaiting action in the House.

MISSISSIPPI: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would require certain individuals to report statutory rape. Under the measure, vital statistics and board of health employees, along with teachers and principals, would have to report to the authorities certain instances where a minor younger than 16 has become pregnant, given birth or had sex. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

UTAH: In February, the legislature passed a bill that would criminalize any sexual behavior between certain categories of minors and defines almost any sexual behavior between minors 17 years of age or younger as a misdemeanor. The measure is awaiting action from Gov. Jon Huntsman (R).

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Minors Access to Reproductive Healthcare

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 5 states

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Sex Education

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 18 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VA

VIRGINIA: In February, the Senate defeated a measure that would have required discussion of FDA-approved contraceptive methods in any sex education provided in public elementary, middle and high schools in the state.

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Production of the State Update is made possible by support from The John Merck Fund.