Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
 

Monthly State Update:
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN 2012

(as of 03/01/2012)

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 44 states (AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI and WY) and the District of Columbia were in regular session. Only one state (LA) has not yet convened its regular session. One state legislature (NM) has adjourned. Four state legislatures (MT, NV, ND, and TX) will not meet in regular session in 2012.

For a state-by-state chart of legislation enacted in 2012, click here .

 

Abortion

Adolescents

Contraception & Prevention

Pregnancy & Birth

Refusal Clauses

Reproductive Health and Environmental Hazards

 

ABORTION

Abortion Bans to Replace Roe

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 16 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in OK and VA

OKLAHOMA: In February, the Senate approved a measure that could potentially restrict women’s access to birth control and abortion services by changing the definition of “person” in the Oklahoma public health code to apply to “all unborn children or the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until birth.” The measure is currently awaiting action in the House.

VIRGINIA: In February, a Senate committee defeated a bill that could have potentially restricted women’s access to birth control and abortion services by redefining the word “person” throughout Virginia law to include “any unborn child or children or the offspring of human beings from the moment of conception until birth.”

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Abortion Clinic Regulation

Requiring All or Some Abortion Providers to Have Hospital Privileges

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Introduced in 10 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in IN

INDIANA: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would require all medication abortion providers to have hospital privileges at a hospital that is in the same county as the abortion clinic or in an adjacent county to handle complications from an abortion. The bill, which also contains provisions on abortion counseling and medication abortion, is awaiting action in the House.

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Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers

Introduced in 12 states

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Crisis Pregnancy Centers

''Choose Life' License Plates

Click here for current status of state policy on 'Choose Life' License Plate laws

Introduced in 6 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in AK

ALASKA: In February, the Legislature approved the final version of a measure that authorizes the production of “Choose Life” license plates. Funds raised by the sale of these plates shall be distributed by the legislature to programs that support adoption. The measure is awaiting action by Gov. Sean Parnell (R).

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Regulation of Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Introduced in 7 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in SD

SOUTH DAKOTA: In February, the Senate approved a measure that would amend state requirements for the inclusion of crisis pregnancy centers on the state-approved registry. Crisis pregnancy centers would be required to certify that a licensed medical or mental health professional is currently employed by the facility. The measure also includes a provision that would require crisis pregnancy centers to respect patient confidentiality. The measure, which also includes informed consent counseling provisions, is awaiting action by Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R). (The bill was signed in early March.)

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State Funding of Alternatives-to-Abortion Services

Introduced in 2 states

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Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Abortion Coverage in Health Plans Offered Through Health Exchanges

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Introduced in 14 states (These bills may overlap with bills in Private Insurance Coverage.)

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in SD

SOUTH DAKOTA: In February, the legislature passed a measure that would ban abortion coverage in the health insurance exchange that will be established under the federal health care reform law except in cases of life endangerment or when there is a possible risk of “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”  The bill is awaiting action by Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R).

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Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

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Introduced in 9 states

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Public Funding of Abortion for Low-Income Women

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Introduced in 10 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VA

VIRGINIA: In February, a Senate committee defeated a measure that would have limited coverage of abortion under Medicaid to cases of life endangerment, rape or incest. Currently, Medicaid covers abortion in those circumstances and in cases of fetal impairment.

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Requiring Abortion Coverage

Introduced in 2 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in WA

WASHINGTON: In February, the House approved a measure that would require health plans that cover maternity care to also cover abortion care unless the purchaser of the health plan opts out of the coverage. The measure is currently awaiting action in the Senate.

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Later Term Abortion

'Partial-Birth' Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 6 states

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'Postviability' Abortion

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Introduced in 4 states

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Restricts Abortion After Specific Gestational Age

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Introduced in 14 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in GA

GEORGIA: In February, the House passed a measure that would ban abortion at or beyond 20 weeks after fertilization based on an assumption that a fetus can feel pain at that point of development. The bill permits abortions at or beyond 20 weeks after fertilization in cases when the procedure is necessary to protect the woman’s life or to avert “substantial and irreversible” damage to her physical health. The bill, which also contains abortion reporting requirements, is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods Before Abortion

State-Directed Counseling

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 14 states

Including:

Information that the fetus can feel pain- 2 states

Information that the fetus is a person- 2 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in IN, SD and WI

INDIANA: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would require the state to develop written materials for abortion counseling that include information about fetal development, abortion-related risks, pregnancy-related risks, organizations that can provide assistance and child support. The bill, which also contains provisions on medication abortion and hospital privileges for providers, is awaiting action in the House.

SOUTH DAKOTA: In February, the Senate approved a measure that would amend informed consent for abortion counseling requirements. The measure amends the definition of coerced abortion and the criteria for determining whether the woman was coerced into having the procedure. The measure also contains a provision that enumerates “risk factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes following an abortion” and requires providers to counsel patients on these factors. The bill stipulates that the physician who provides the informed consent counseling must be the one to take a woman’s consent and perform the abortion. The measure, which also includes provisions relating to crisis pregnancy centers, is awaiting action by Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R). (The bill was signed in early March.)

TEXAS: In February , a US District Court judge allowed the state's law requiring an ultrasound before an abortion to go into effect. A woman who lives within 100 miles of the abortion facility must obtain the ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion, thus requiring her to make two trips to the facility. The provider must give her a detailed verbal description of the image unless she was raped, has a court order waiving parental consent or is ending the pregnancy because of a fetal abnormality. The provider will also offer her the option of viewing the image and listening to the fetal heartbeat.

WISCONSIN: In February, the Senate approved a measure that would amend the abortion counseling provisions to require providers to interview a woman to determine if she is being coerced into the abortion. The measure would also require abortion counseling materials to include information on organizations that support victims of domestic violence. The bill, which also includes restrictions on medication abortion, is awaiting action in the House.

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Requirements for State-Directed Counseling Followed by a Waiting Period

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 10 states

Including:

Requiring a woman to make two trips to the clinic- 6 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in KY and VA

KENTUCKY: In February, the Senate approved a measure that would require informed consent counseling to be conducted in person, necessitating two trips to the clinic for women seeking abortion care. The bill is currently awaiting action in the House.

VIRGINIA: In February, the legislature approved a measure that would require a woman who lives within 100 miles of the abortion facility to obtain an ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion, thus requiring her to make two trips to the facility. A woman who lives more than 100 miles away from an abortion provider would be required to obtain an ultrasound at least two hours before the abortion.  The bill also contains an exception for victims of rape or incest that has been reported to the appropriate authorities. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). (The bill was signed in early March.)

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Medication Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 11 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in IN and WI

INDIANA: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would require a physician to examine a patient in person before prescribing medication for abortion, effectively banning telemedicine. The bill, which also contains provisions on abortion counseling and hospital privileges for providers, is awaiting action in the House.

WISCONSIN: In February, the Senate approved a measure that would prohibit a physician from prescribing medication for abortion remotely through telemedicine. The bill, which also amends the state’s abortion counseling law, is awaiting action in the House.

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Parental Involvement in Minor's Abortions

Parental Consent Requirements

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Introduced in 6 states

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Parental Notification Requirements

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Introduced in 9 states

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Physicians

Physician Liability

Introduced in 8 states

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Physician-Only Requirements for Surgical and Medication Abortion

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Introduced in 10 states

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Prohibiting Coercing a Woman into Having an Abortion

Introduced in 4 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VA

VIRGINIA: In February, a House committee defeated a bill that would make it a crime for any person to coerce a woman into having an abortion. The measure also enumerates civil penalties for persons accused of coercing a woman into having an abortion. The bill had passed the Senate in February.

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Protecting Access

Clinic Access

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Introduced in 1 state

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Ensuring Legal Access to Abortion

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Introduced in 4 states

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Reporting Requirements

Abortion Reporting

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 17 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in GA

GEORGIA: In February, the House passed a measure that would revise the state’s abortion reporting requirements for abortions performed at or beyond 20 weeks after fertilization. The measure would require providers to report the specific medical diagnosis that necessitated the procedure after that point. The bill, which also limits abortion at or beyond 20 weeks after fertilization, is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Minors Reporting

Introduced in 3 states

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Self-Induced Abortion

Introduced in 1 state

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Sex and Race Selection

Introduced in 7 states

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State Employee and Facility Participation in Abortion

Introduced in 1 state

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Tax Credit Program Excludes Organizations That Provide Abortion Services

Introduced in 2 states

ARIZONA: In January, the state agreed not to enforce a provision that prohibits citizens from claiming a tax credit for donations to any organization that “provides, pays for, promotes, provides coverage of or provides referrals for abortions.”  The state’s move is in line with a U.S. District Court judge’s decision to block the tax credit provision from going into effect on the grounds that the law violates constitutionally protected free speech rights.

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Ultrasound Requirements

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 15 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in KY and VA

KENTUCKY: In February, the Senate approved a measure that would require a woman seeking abortion services to undergo an ultrasound prior to an abortion. The measure contains a provision that would require the ultrasound to be performed by the provider who performs the abortion. The woman would be offered the option of viewing the image and would have to listen to a detailed verbal description of it. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

TEXAS: In February , a US District Court judge allowed the state's law requiring an ultrasound before an abortion to go into effect. A woman who lives within 100 miles of the abortion facility must obtain the ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion, thus requiring her to make two trips to the facility. The provider must give her a detailed verbal description of the image unless she was raped, has a court order waiving parental consent or is ending the pregnancy because of a fetal abnormality. The provider will also offer her the option of viewing the image and listening to the fetal heartbeat.

VIRGINIA: In February, the legislature approved a measure that would require a provider to perform an abdominal ultrasound before an abortion. If the ultrasound cannot determine gestational age, the provider must offer the woman the opportunity, which she can refuse, to receive a vaginal ultrasound. A woman living within 100 miles of the facility would be required to obtain the ultrasound 24 hours before the abortion, thus requiring her to make two trips to the facility. A woman who lives more than 100 miles away from an abortion provider would be required to obtain an ultrasound at least two hours before the abortion.  The bill also contains an exception for victims of rape or incest that has been reported to the appropriate authorities. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). (The bill was signed in early March.)

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ADOLESCENTS

Minors Access to Reproductive Healthcare

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 6 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VA

VIRGINIA: In February, a Senate committee defeated a measure that would have eliminated the requirement that girls receive the HPV vaccination in order to attend middle school. The bill passed the House in January.

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Sex Education

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 26 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in UT

UTAH: In February, the House adopted a measure that would permit only sex education focusing exclusively on abstinence to be taught in schools. The instruction could not include information on “the use of contraceptive methods or devices,” sex outside of marriage or homosexuality. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Statutory Rape Reporting

Introduced in 6 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in MS

MISSISSIPPI: In February, the House passed a measure that would include reproductive health clinic staff and volunteers among those individuals who are charged with reporting sexual abuse of a child. The bill would also require a physician performing an abortion on a minor younger than 14 to provide a tissue sample to the state bureau of investigation and would criminalize assisting a minor seeking an abortion without parental consent. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION

Abortion-Related Restrictions on State and Family Planning Funds

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 11 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in NH

NEW HAMPSHIRE: In January, the House passed a measure that would establish a four-tiered priority system for the allocation of family planning funds that excludes family planning clinics from eligibility. Under this system, public health organizations would have the highest priority, followed by nonpublic hospitals, federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics and finally, private medical organizations that focus on primary health services. The bill would also prohibit allocating funds to organizations that perform elective abortions or run facilities that perform elective abortions. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Budget Bills: Family Planning Line Items

Introduced in 13 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in FL, GA and VA

FLORIDA: In February, the House passed a measure that would allocate more than $4 million for family planning services. The bill is currently awaiting action in a conference committee.

GEORGIA: In February, the legislature passed a supplemental budget bill that would include funding for family planning. Nearly $39 million would be allocated for teenage pregnancy prevention, tobacco use prevention, cancer screening and prevention, and family planning services. The bill also cuts $80,000 from family planning services. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. Nathan Deal (R).

VIRGINIA: In February, the House passed a measure that would allocate nearly $48 million over the next two years for family planning services. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Definitions of Contraception

Introduced in 3 states

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Emergency Contraception

Allowing Pharmacists to Provide Emergency Contraception without a Prescription

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 0 states

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Emergency Contraception Services for Sexual Assault Victims

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 9 states

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Restricting Access to Emergency Contraception

Introduced in 0 states

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Insurance Coverage

Contraceptive Coverage

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 11 states

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HPV Tests and Vaccine Coverage

Introduced in 2 states

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Medicaid Family Planning Eligibility Expansions

click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 7 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VT

Enacted in IN

(ENACTED) INDIANA: In February, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) signed into law a bill that requires the state to apply for a state plan amendment to expand Medicaid family planning services. Individuals are eligible for services if their income is at 133% or below of the federal poverty level. The bill also specifies that abortions or “a drug or device intended to terminate fertilization” would not be covered under this program. 

VERMONT: In February, the Senate passed the state’s budget bill, which would require the Commissioner of Vermont Health Access to prepare rules and procedures for the adoption of a state plan amendment for family planning services. The state is currently seeking a state plan amendment through regulatory process. The bill, which passed the House in January, is awaiting action from Gov. Peter Shumlin (D).

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Parental Involvement Requirements for Minors Seeking Contraceptive Services

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 1 state

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Partner Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 1 state

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in ID

IDAHO: In February, the House passed a measure that will allow a medical practitioner to treat a patient’s partner for STIs without having seen the partner based on CDC recommendations. The CDC recommends expedited partner therapy for treatment of chlamydia and gonorrhea. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Pharmacy or Pharmacist Requirements to Dispense Contraception

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 7 states

WASHINGTON: In February, a U.S. District Court judge found that the state’s regulation that requires pharmacies to fill all valid prescriptions and provide access to emergency contraception could not be enforced against Ralph’s Thriftway (a grocery store with a pharmacy) and two pharmacists. The judge concluded that the regulation violates the U.S. Constitution by impermissibly “targeting religious conduct.” The state is expected to appeal the decision to the U.S. Circuit Courts for the Ninth Circuit.

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PREGNANCY & BIRTH

Fetal and Pregnant Woman Assault

Introduced in 13 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in NH

NEW HAMPSHIRE: In January, the House passed a measure that would consider a fetus at 24 weeks “of gestation” as a victim of homicide.  The bill would not permit prosecution in cases of medical treatment provided with the consent of the woman or her guardian. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

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HIV Testing of Infants and Pregnant Women

Introduced in 5 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in WV

WEST VIRGINIA: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would approve a regulation adopted by the Bureau of Public Health. The regulation requires HIV screening of pregnant women in the routine panel of prenatal tests, unless the woman declines.  Also, an HIV test may be performed on an infant born to a mother who has not been tested for HIV. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

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Infant Abandonment

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 10 states

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Infertility Coverage

Introduced in 11 states

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Non-Medical Use of Ultrasound

Introduced in 0 states

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Stillbirth Certificates

Introduced in 8 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in NM

NEW MEXICO: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would allow a parent who loses a fetus to obtain a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth.  The bill is awaiting action in the House.

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Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 19 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in CO

COLORADO: In February, the legislature passed a measure that would prohibit evidence of substance abuse during pregnancy from being used in criminal prosecution if the evidence was discovered through a pregnancy test or prenatal care screening. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).

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REFUSAL CLAUSES

Abortion Services

Click here for current status of state policy

Health Professionals

Introduced in 11 states

 

Allowing Insurers to Refuse

Introduced in 4 states

 

Allowing Pharmacists or Pharmacies to Refuse

Introduced in 8 states

 

Allowing Facilities to Refuse

Introduced in 8 states

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Contraceptive Services

Click here for current status of state policy

Health Professionals

Introduced in 8 states

 

Allowing Insurers to Refuse

Introduced in 3 states

 

Allowing Pharmacies or Pharmacists to Refuse

Introduced in 6 states

 

Allowing Facilities to Refuse

Introduced in 6 states

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General Medical Care

Click here for current status of state policy

Health Professionals

Introduced in 6 states

 

Insurers

Introduced in 2 states

 

Pharmacists or Pharmacies

Introduced in 4 states

 

Facilities

Introduced in 5 states

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REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Introduced in 20 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in SD

SOUTH DAKOTA: In February, the Senate defeated a measure that would have prohibited the use of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles and sippy cups designed for children younger than three. The bill passed the House in February.

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Dioxin

Introduced in 2 states

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Flame Retardants

Introduced in 8 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in WA

WASHINGTON: In February, the Senate adopted a measure that would limit the amount of a common flame retardant (tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate) in children’s products. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

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Lead

Introduced in 14 states

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Mercury

Introduced in 19 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in OR

OREGON: In February, the legislature adopted a measure that would limit the amount of mercury in fluorescent lamps. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. John Kitzhaber (D).

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Parabens

Introduced in 0 states

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Pesticides

Introduced in 5 states

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Phthalates

Introduced in 5 states

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