Even before the April 18 Supreme Court decision upholding the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, legislators in several states had taken steps toward enacting state legislation aimed either at banning abortion or, in one case, protecting abortion rights. By the end of the first quarter of 2007, abortion ban bills had been introduced in 16 states, and a law that would immediately ban abortion in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned was enacted in Mississippi. Meanwhile, legislators in Rhode Island introduced measures, which are similar to laws in place in seven other states, aimed at protecting a woman’s right to abortion.

Issues related to minors’ access to abortion continue to receive significant legislative attention, as well. By the end of the first quarter, legislators in 23 states had introduced bills related to parental notice or consent. One new parental consent law was enacted, in Idaho. With passage of this law, which replaces an existing state law that has not been in effect because of a court order, 22 states now require parental consent, 11 require parental notice, and two require both notice and consent before a minor may obtain an abortion.

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Current legislative trends

Major state legislative actions so far this year

Legislation enacted in 2007

The status of state law and policy on key reproductive health issues