Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
 

Monthly State Update:
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN 2015

(as of 3/1/2015)

 

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 forty-six states (AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI and WY) and the District of Columbia were in regular session. Three state legislatures (AL, FL and LA) have not yet convened their regular sessions. One state (VA) has concluded its regular session.

 

For a state-by-state chart of legislation enacted in 2015, 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 7 states

CO, IA, MS, NH, NY, SC and WA

       Passed at least one chamber in KS, OK and SD

 

KANSAS: In February, the Senate approved a bill that is designed to ban most abortions after the first trimester by limiting how a second-trimester abortion can be provided. The ban, which allows for exceptions only to save the woman’s life or to “avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” awaits action in the House.

 

OKLAHOMA: In February, the Senate approved a bill that is designed to ban most abortions after the first trimester by limiting how a second-trimester abortion can be provided. The ban, which allows for exceptions only to save the woman’s life or to “avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” awaits action in the Senate.

 

SOUTH DAKOTA: In February, the House passed a measure “recognizing the sanctity of human life.” The measure originally would have banned most abortions in the second trimester. The bill awaits action in the Senate.

 

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Abortion Clinic Regulation

Requiring All or Some Abortion Providers to Have Hospital Privileges or a Transfer Agreement with a Hospital

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 1 state

CO

 

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Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 9 states

AZ, CO, IN, IA, MO, NE, NY, TN and TX

       Passed at lease one chamber in AZ, IN, MO and VA

 

ARIZONA: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would require an abortion provider to have admitting privileges at a local hospital in order to obtain or renew his or her medical license. The bill, which would also amend the law limiting coverage of abortion in the health exchange, is awaiting action in the House.

 

INDIANA: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would regulate any physician’s office administering five or more medication abortions per year as an ambulatory surgical center. (In 2014, a similar law was struck down by a federal court.) The bill, which also includes an abortion reporting provision, is awaiting action in the House.

 

MISSOURI: In February, the House passed a bill that would require all ambulatory surgical centers that perform at least five first-trimester abortions or any second- or third-trimester abortions to be inspected at least annually. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

 

VIRGINIA: In February, the House passed a version of the budget bill that would have barred the state health department from revising the regulations for abortion facilities. This and another amendment severely limiting public funding of abortion under Medicaid were removed from the bill in conference with the Senate. The bill, which also includes funding for family planning services, is awaiting the signature of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

 

 

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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 1 state

IL

 

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Regulation of Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Introduced in 3 states

AZ, MO and NY

 

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State Funding of Alternatives-to-Abortion Services

Introduced in 1 state

TX

 

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Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Abortion Coverage in Health Plans Offered Through Health Exchanges

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 4 states (These bills may overlap with bills in Private Insurance Coverage.)

AZ, IA, MS and WV

       Passed at least one chamber in AZ

 

ARIZONA: In February, the Senate passed a bill designed to repair a perceived flaw in the existing restriction on abortion coverage and would ensure that the abortion coverage restriction applies to the federal exchange in Arizona. The bill would also remove the option to purchase a rider for insurance coverage of abortion on the state health exchange. Abortion coverage is already banned on the exchange, except in cases of rape, incest, life endangerment or risk of “substantial or irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.” The bill, which also addresses admitting privilege requirements, is awaiting action in the House.

 

 

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Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 5 states

MI, MS, NH, SC and WV

 

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Public Funding of Abortion for Low-Income Women

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 4 states

MD, NH, PA and WV

 

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Requiring Abortion Coverage

Introduced in 2 states

NY and WA

 

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Later Term Abortion

'Partial-Birth' Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 0 states

 

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'Postviability' Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 0 states

 

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Restricts Abortion at 20 Weeks Postfertilization or at Another Specific Gestational Age

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 6 states

IA, NH, NJ, SC, VA and WV

Passed at least one chamber in SC

Vetoed in WV

 

SOUTH CAROLINA: In February, the House passed a bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks postfertilization (or 22 weeks LMP) except in cases of life endangerment or risk of a “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.” The bill, which awaits action in the Senate, also addresses abortion reporting requirements.

 

WEST VIRGINIA: In February, the legislature approved a measure that would ban abortions at and after 22 weeks LMP, with exceptions to protect the woman’s life, avert “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function” or to  terminate a pregnancy deemed “medically futile” due to fetal anomaly. In early March, the bill was vetoed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D); the veto was then overridden by the legislature.

 

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Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods Before Abortion

State-Directed Counseling

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 6 states (These bills may overlap with bills that require a waiting period.)

IN, IA, MO, NE, NY and TN

Including:

Information that the fetus can feel pain—1 state

Inaccurate information on abortion and risk of breast cancer1 state

Information that the fetus is a person—1 state

 

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Requirements for Waiting Period before an Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 3 states (These bills may overlap with bills that require abortion counseling.)

KY, MS and OK

Including:

Requiring a woman to make two trips to the clinic1 state

Passed at least one chamber in KY and OK

 

KENTUCKY: In January, the Senate approved a bill that would require in-person counseling 24 hours before an abortion can be obtained, thereby requiring the woman to make at least two trips to the facility. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

 

OKLAHOMA: In February, the House approved a bill that would increase the state’s mandatory waiting period for an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours. A patient could choose to receive the counseling materials over the phone or in the mail, but must receive them a minimum of 72 hours before her abortion. The measure awaits Senate action.

 

 

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Medication Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 3 states

AR, IA and SC

Passed at least one chamber in AR

Enacted in AR

 

(ENACTED) ARKANSAS: In February, the legislature approved and Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed into law a measure banning the provision of medication abortion through telemedicine. The law will take effect in June.

 

ARKANSAS: In February, the legislature approved a measure banning the provision of medication abortion through telemedicine. The bill is pending concurrence in the House.

 

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Parental Involvement in Minor's Abortions

Parental Consent Requirements

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 5 states

CO, IN, ME, MO and TX

     Passed at least one chamber in CO

 

COLORADO: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would establish a parental bill of rights requiring written parental consent before a minor could receive any form of health care, including abortion. The bill, which allows for exceptions only if the minor’s life is in danger or if the parent is unreachable, is awaiting action in the House.

 

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Parental Notification Requirements

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 4 states

CT, NJ, WA and WV

 

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Physicians

Physician Liability

Introduced in 0 states

 

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Physician-Only Requirements for Surgical and Medication Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 2 states

AR and SC

 

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Prohibiting Coercing a Woman into Having an Abortion

Introduced in 2 states

CT and ND

 

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Protecting Access

Attempts to Repeal Abortion Restrictions

Introduced in 4 states

AZ, GA, TX and VA

 

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Clinic Access

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 2 states

NH and NY

 

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Ensuring Legal Access to Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 0 states

 

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Protecting Patients, Physician and Employees from Interference in Medical Care

Introduced in 3 states and the District of Columbia

DC, MO, VA and WA

 

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Repealing Pre-Roe Abortion Laws

Introduced in 0 states

 

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Reporting Requirements

Abortion Reporting

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 3 states

IN, IA, NJ and SC

       Passed at least one chamber in IN and SC

 

INDIANA: In February, the House passed a bill that would require all physicians who perform abortions to submit reporting forms electronically. As is currently required, the physician would submit reports biannually. The measure awaits action in the Senate.

 

INDIANA: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would require all providers who perform surgical or medication abortion to report the abortion to the state. The bill, which also includes a provision requiring any physician’s office administering five or more medication abortions per year to be regulated as an ambulatory surgical center, is awaiting action in the House.

 

SOUTH CAROLINA: In February, the House passed a measure that contains reporting requirements specific to abortions provided at and after 20 weeks postfertilization, including the medical diagnosis that led to the abortion. The bill would also ban abortions at 20 weeks postfertilization, except in cases of life endangerment or risk of a “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.” The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

 

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Minors Reporting

Introduced in 4 states

IN, MI, SD and TX

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Self-Induced Abortion

Introduced in 0 states

 

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Sex, Race or Genetic Selection

Introduced in 8 states

CO, IN, IA, MS, MO, SD, TX and WV

       Passed at least one chamber in IN

 

INDIANA: In February, the Senate approved a bill that would ban abortions for reasons of gender selection, or diagnosis or potential diagnosis of fetal disability or Down Syndrome. The bill awaits action in the Senate.

 

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State Employee and Facility Participation in Abortion

Introduced in 1 states

WV

 

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Tax Credit Program Excludes Organizations That Provide Abortion Services

Introduced in 0 states

 

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Training in Abortion Services

Introduced in 1 state

NY

Limits Training—0 states

Requires Training—1 state

 

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Ultrasound Requirements

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 8 states

CO, KY, MD, NJ, NY, SC, TN and WY

       Passed at least one chamber in KY

 

KENTUCKY: In February, the Senate approved a measure that would require a woman to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion could be performed. The bill mandates that the physician who performs the abortion describe and display the ultrasound image to the woman. (The woman may avert her eyes, but is required to listen to the description.) The measure includes exceptions for medical emergencies.

 

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ADOLESCENTS

Minors Access to Reproductive Healthcare

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 6 states

CO, MO, NH, NJ, NY and TX

       Passed at least one chamber in CO

 

COLORADO: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would establish a parental bill of rights requiring written parental consent before a minor could receive any form of health care, including reproductive health care. The bill, which allows for exceptions only if the minor’s life is in danger or if the parent is unreachable, is awaiting action in the House.

 

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Sex Education

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 15 states

AZ, CO, HI, IA, IN, KS, MO, MS, NH, NJ, NY, SC, TX, VA and WA

Passed at least one chamber in CO

 

COLORADO: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would establish a parental bill of rights, which would reaffirm that a parent may remove a student from sex education. The bill, which would also require written parental consent before a minor could receive any form of health care with limited exceptions, is awaiting action in the House.

 

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Statutory Rape Reporting

Introduced in 0 states

 

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CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION

Definitions of Contraception

Introduced in 3 states

CO, MO and VA

 

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Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception Services for Sexual Assault Victims

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 4 states

AZ, MI, MO and TX

 

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Restricting Access to Emergency Contraception

Introduced in 0 states

 

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Family Planning Funds

Abortion-Related Restrictions on Family Planning Funds

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 4 states

CO, MO, NH and TX

       Passed at least one chamber in CO and VA

 

COLORADO: In February, both chambers passed supplemental budget appropriations that would allocate more than $6 million to family planning services for the remainder of the fiscal year. Because of existing restrictions, none of these funds may be used directly or indirectly for abortion services. The bill is awaiting the signature of Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).

 

VIRGINIA: In February, the House passed a version of the budget bill that would have allowed for public funding of abortion under Medicaid only in cases of life endangerment. This and another amendment barring the state health department from revising regulations for abortion facilities were removed from the bill in conference with the Senate. The bill, which also includes funding for family planning services, is awaiting the signature of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). 

 

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Budget Bills: Family Planning Line Items

Introduced in 8 states

CO, DE, GA, MO, NJ, NY, VA and TX

       Passed at least one chamber in CO and VA

 

COLORADO: In February, both chambers passed supplemental budget appropriations that would allocate more than $6 million to family planning services for the remainder of the fiscal year. Because of existing restrictions, none of these funds may be used directly or indirectly for abortion services. The bill is awaiting the signature of Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).

 

VIRGINIA: In February, both chambers approved a budget bill that includes nearly $24.2 million in funding for family planning services for FY2015 and FY2016. The bill is awaiting the signature of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). 

 

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Repealing Abortion-Related Restrictions on Family Planning Funds

Introduced in 0 states

 

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Insurance Coverage

Contraceptive Coverage

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 7 states

Limits Contraceptive Coverage: MT and NJ

Protects Contraceptive Coverage: CT, MT, VA and WA

Notice about coverage: NH and UT

 

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HPV Tests and Vaccine Coverage

Introduced in 0 states

 

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Protections for Confidential Medical Care within Insurance

Introduced in 1 state

ConfidentialityNJ

 

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Medicaid Family Planning Eligibility Expansions

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 6 states

NE and ND

Expands access in 2 states

Repeal of Expansion in 0 states

 

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Parental Involvement Requirements for Minors Seeking Contraceptive Services

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 1 state

CO

       Passed at least one chamber in CO

 

COLORADO: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would establish a parental bill of rights requiring written parental consent before a minor could receive any form of health care, including access to prescription contraceptives. The bill, which allows for exceptions only if the minor’s life is in danger or if the parent is unreachable, is awaiting action in the House.

 

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Partner Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 1 state

WV

Bill Status:

Enacted in MI

 

(ENACTED) MICHIGAN: In January, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed a bill that allows medical providers to prescribe or dispense a drug for treatment of an STI for a patient’s partner without first seeing the partner. The new law, which is in effect, also requires the department of health to establish rules determining allowable diseases for expedited partner therapy.

 

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Pharmacy or Pharmacist Requirements to Dispense Contraception

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 5 states

AZ, MO, NJ, NY and TX

 

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PREGNANCY & BIRTH

Fetal and Pregnant Woman Assault

Introduced in 8 states

CO, IN, KY, MT, NH, NY, RI and WV

Bill Status:

       Passed at least one chamber in MT

 

MONTANA: In January, the House approved a measure to increase the penalty for crimes against a pregnant woman when the perpetrator knew or should have known that she was pregnant. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

 

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HIV Testing of Infants and Pregnant Women

Introduced in 1 state

NJ

 

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Infant Abandonment

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 3 states

NJ, NY and VA

 

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Infertility Coverage

Introduced in 3 states

CT, HI and NJ

 

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Non-Medical Use of Ultrasound

Introduced in 0 states

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Stillbirth Certificates

Introduced in 4 states

NJ, TX, UT and WV

      Passed at least one chamber in OK and WV

      Enacted in UT

 

OKLAHOMA: In February, the House passed a bill that would amend the state’s stillbirth certificate law to allow a parent to obtain a certificate for a stillbirth at 12 weeks of pregnancy or later. Currently, a parent may obtain a stillbirth certificate at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

 

(ENACTED) UTAH: In February, the House passed a bill that would create “early term stillbirth” certificates for fetal deaths that occur between 16 and 20 weeks LMP. The measure awaits action from Gov. Gary Herbert (R).

 

WEST VIRGINIA: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would allow the state to issue stillbirth certificates for unintended fetal deaths. The measure awaits action in the House.

 

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Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 8 states

AR, IN, KY, MS, NJ, NY, VA and WV

 

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REFUSAL CLAUSES

Religious Freedom Restoration Acts

Introduced in 7 states

AR, CO, GA, IN, MI, TX and WV

       Passed at least on chamber in AR, IN and WV

 

ARKANSAS: In February, the House passed a bill that would prohibit the government from burdening a person’s exercise of religion unless the state can demonstrate that the policy is essential to a compelling governmental interest” and that it is designed to be the "least restrictive" on the exercise of religion. The measure awaits action by the Senate.

 

INDIANA: In February, the Senate approved a measure that would prohibit the government from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless the state can demonstrate that the policy represents a “compelling governmental interest” and that it is designed to be the "least restrictive" on the exercise of religion. The measure awaits action by the Senate.

 

WEST VIRGINIA: In February, the Senate approved a measure that would prohibit the government from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless the state can demonstrate that the policy represents a “compelling governmental interest” and that it is designed to be the "least restrictive" on the exercise of religion. The measure awaits action by the Senate.

                                             

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Abortion Services

Click here for current status of state policy

Facilities

Introduced in 3 states

MO, NH and PA

 

Health Professionals

Introduced in 3 states

MO, NH and PA

 

Insurers

Introduced in 1 state

NH

 

Pharmacists or Pharmacies

Introduced in 2 states

NH and PA

 

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Contraceptive Services

Click here for current status of state policy

Facilities

Introduced in 3 states

MO, NH and PA

 

Health Professionals

Introduced in 3 states

MO, NH and PA

 

Insurers

Introduced in 1 state

NH

 

Pharmacies or Pharmacists

Introduced in 2 states

NH and PA

 

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General Medical Care

Click here for current status of state policy

Facilities

Introduced in 2 states

MO and NH

 

Health Professionals

Introduced in 2 states

MO and NH

 

Insurers

Introduced in 1 state

NH

 

Pharmacists or Pharmacies

Introduced in 1 state

NH

 

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REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS

Bisphenol A (BPA)

 

 

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Dioxin

 

 

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Flame Retardants

 

 

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Lead

 

 

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Mercury

 

 

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Parabens

 

 

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Pesticides

 

 

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Phthalates

 

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