Through March 31, legislators introduced 916 measures related to reproductive health and rights in the 49 state legislatures that had convened their regular session. (Louisiana’s legislature will not convene until late April.) Click here for a detailed analysis.

By the end of March, seven states had enacted 15 new laws on these issues, including provisions that:

In addition to these laws, more than 120 other bills have been approved by at least one chamber of the legislature, and some interesting trends are emerging. As a whole, the proposals introduced this year are more hostile to abortion rights than in the past: Fifty-six percent of the bills introduced so far this year seek to restrict abortion access, compared with 38% in 2010. Three topics—insurance coverage of abortion, restriction of abortion after a specific point in gestation and ultrasound requirements—are topping the agenda in several states.

At the same time, legislators are proposing little in the way of proactive initiatives aimed at expanding access to reproductive health-related services. This stands in sharp contrast to recent years, when a range of initiatives to promote comprehensive sex education, permit expedited STI treatment for patients’ partners and ensure insurance coverage of contraception were adopted. For the moment, at least, supporters of reproductive health and rights are almost uniformly playing defense at the state level.

Click here for more information on:

Detailed analysis of state legislative trends in the first quarter

Monthly state updates

The current status of state policies

Restrictions on insurance coverage of abortion

Ultrasound requirements