By the beginning of October, nearly all of the state legislatures have adjourned for 2005 (only seven remain in session), and in their wake, they leave numerous new laws affecting access to and availability of reproductive health services. To date, a total of 80 laws have been enacted, compared with 28 for all of 2005.

So far this year, 43 measures that restrict access to reproductive health care have been enacted (up from 16 last year), including measures that

On the other hand, 20 measures designed to increase access to reproductive health care have been approved this year (compared with 3 last year), including measures that

In addition, other measures were enacted that would

Parental involvement in minors’ abortions has also been a hot issue this year in the states. To date, eight states—Arkansas, Idaho, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas—have passed or amended parental involvement laws this year. Missouri’s new law, which is blocked pending the resolution of a court case, would prohibit anyone from helping a minor obtain an out-of-state abortion. In addition, after seven years in legal limbo, Ohio’s parental consent law, although still being challenged, was allowed to go into effect and replace the existing parental notification law.

The question of parental involvement is likely to remain in the news. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of New Hampshire’s enjoined parental notification law during this year’s term. And the question of whether a parent must be notified before an abortion is performed on a minor is up for vote in California’s upcoming special election (see Teenagers’ Access to Confidential Reproductive Health Services).

Click on the links below for more information.

Monthly updates on sexual and reproductive health and rights developments in the states

The current status of state policies

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