Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
 

Monthly State Update:
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN 2009

(as of 2/28/2009)

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 February, legislatures in 47 states (AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI and WY) were in regular session. One state (VA) had adjourned its regular session. The other two state legislatures (FL and LA) will convene their regular sessions shortly.

For a state-by-state chart of legislation enacted in 2009, click here.

 

Jump to actions around:

Abortion

Abortion Bans to Replace Roe

'Choose Life' License Plates

Crisis Pregnancy Centers/Alternatives to Abortion

Fetal Pain

Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods

Medical Emergency Exception in Abortion Law

Medication Abortion

Minors Reporting
Parental Involvement
'Partial-Birth' Abortion

Physician Liability
Physician-Only Requirements
Postviability Abortion
Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Prohibiting Forcing a Woman to Have an Abortion

Protecting Access to Abortion
Protecting Access to Clinics

Public Funding of Abortion

Requiring Abortion Providers to Have Hospital Privileges
Reporting Statistical Information to State Agencies

Sex Selection

State Participation in Abortion

Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers

Ultrasound Requirements
See Also:

Contraception and Prevention: Abortion-Related Restrictions on State Family Planning FundsFetal Assault
Refusal Clauses: Abortion Services (See also General Medical Services)

Contraception & Prevention
Abortion-Related Restrictions on State Family Planning Funds
Contraceptive Coverage
Emergency Contraception

HPV: Insurance Coverage

HPV: School Entry Requirements

Parental Involvement

Partner Treatment

Requiring Pharmacists or Pharmacies to Dispense Contraception

State Medicaid Family Planning Eligibility Expansions
See Also:

Youth: Child Abuse Reporting
Refusal Clauses: Contraceptive Services (See also General Medical Services)

 

Pregnancy & Birth

Fetal Assault

HIV Testing of Infants and Pregnant Women

Infant Abandonment

Infertility Coverage

Non-Medical Use of Ultrasound

Stillborn Certificates
Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Refusal Clauses
Abortion Services
Contraceptive Services
General Medical Services

 

Youth
Child Abuse Reporting

Minors Access to Reproductive Health
Sex Education
See Also:

Abortion: Minors Reporting
Abortion: Parental Involvement
Contraception & Prevention: Parental Involvement

 

ABORTION

See also:

CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION: Abortion-Related Restrictions on State Family Planning Funds
REFUSAL CLAUSES

Abortion Bans to Replace Roe

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 8 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in MT and ND

MONTANA: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would put an initiative on the 2010 ballot to ban all induced abortions in the state. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

MONTANA: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would put an initiative on the 2010 ballot to define a fetus as a human being from the moment of fertilization or conception. The bill is awaiting action in the House. 

NORTH DAKOTA: In February, the House passed a measure that would entitle all persons, defined by the measure as any organism possessesing a human genome, to equal rights and privileges under state law. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate. 

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'Choose Life' License Plate Revenue Used to Fund Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 4 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VA

VIRGINIA: In February, the legislature passed a bill to authorize the sale of “Choose Life” license plates. Money generated from the sale of the plates would be allocated to crisis pregnancy centers across the state. The measure is awaiting action by Gov. Tim Kaine (D). 

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Crisis Pregnancy Centers/Alternatives to Abortion

Introduced in 8 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in ND and OK

NORTH DAKOTA: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would allocate $500,000 to fund alternatives-to-abortion services over the next two years. The bill is awaiting action in the House. 

OKLAHOMA: In February, the House passed a measure that would allocate state funds for alternatives-to-abortion services. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Fetal Pain

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 7 states (These bills overlap with bills in the Mandatory Counseling, Waiting Period and Ultrasound Requirements categories.)

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in UT

UTAH: In February, the House adopted a bill that would require that a woman who is seeking an abortion at 20 weeks’ gestation or more be offered anesthesia for the fetus and verbal counseling and state-developed written materials on this option. The materials would be required to be “truthful and nonmisleading” and would include information on the potential risk to the woman’s health from providing pain medication to the fetus. The provider would not be required to offer the materials or the option of providing fetal anesthesia if the woman’s life is endangered, if there is a substantial risk to her health or in cases of medical emergency. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate. 

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Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods Before Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Women Required to Receive State-Directed Counseling

Introduced in 7 states (These bills overlap with bills in the Fetal Pain and Ultrasound Requirements categories.)

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in ND

NORTH DAKOTA: In February, the House adopted a measure that would require abortion providers to inform women seeking an abortion that the procedure would end the life of a “whole, separate, and unique human being.” The measure is currently awaiting action in the Senate. 

 

Requirements for State-Directed Counseling Followed by a Waiting Period

Introduced in 7 states (These bills overlap with bills in the Fetal Pain and Ultrasound Requirements categories.)

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in SC

SOUTH CAROLINA: In February, the House passed a bill that would require a woman to wait 24 hours between receiving state-mandated counseling materials and obtaining an abortion. Under current law, the waiting period is one hour. The measure, which would also expand the requirements for an ultrasound provided in advance of an abortion, is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Medical Emergency Exception in Abortion Law

Introduced in 5 states

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Medication Abortion

Introduced in 0 states

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Minors Reporting Requirements

Introduced in 3 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in OK

OKLAHOMA: In February, the House passed a measure that would require abortion providers to report extremely detailed information regarding minors’ abortions, including whether physicians received the mandatory parental consent, whether minors sought judicial bypass and whether a bypass was granted. Similar language was passed by the Legislature in 2007 in an omnibus abortion bill. The bill, which would also ban abortions performed based on the sex of the fetus and expand abortion reporting requirements, is awaiting action by the House.

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Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions

Click here for current status of state policy

Parental Consent Requirements

Introduced in 7 states

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Parental Notification Requirements

Introduced in 8 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in MT

MONTANA: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would allow a judge to grant a judicial bypass if an abortion is in the best interest of the minor. This bill is an attempt to make the state’s currently enjoined parental notification law constitutional. The bill is awaiting action in the House.

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'Partial-Birth' Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 7 states

Bill Status:

Enacted in AR

(ENACTED) ARKANSAS: In February, Gov. Mike Beebe (D) signed a measure that bans the performance of a “partial-birth” abortion. The new law allows the procedure if it is performed in order to save the woman’s life. The state’s existing “partial-birth” abortion ban has never been in effect because of judicial action. The new law, which passed the legislature in February and went into effect when signed, mirrors the language in the federal law that was upheld in April 2007.

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Physician Liability

Introduced in 1 state

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Physician-Only Requirements

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 2 states

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Postviability Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 4 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in UT

UTAH: In February, both chambers of the legislature adopted amendments to the state’s postviability abortion law. Currently, the law prohibits an abortion of a viable fetus during the third trimester unless the woman’s physical or mental health is seriously at risk, there is a fetal abnormality or the abortion is necessary to save the woman’s life. The bill would allow abortion after viability in cases of life endangerment, “serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function,” severe fetal abnormality as certified by two physicians, or rape or incest reported to the police. Providing an abortion except in one of these circumstances would be a felony. The measure is awaiting action by Gov. Jon Huntsman (R). 

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Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 2 states

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Prohibiting Forcing a Woman to Have an Abortion

Introduced in 9 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in ND

Enacted in OH

NORTH DAKOTA: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would require abortion facilities to prominently display signs containing the following statement: “No one can force you to have an abortion. It is against the law for a spouse, a boyfriend, a parent, a friend, a medical care provider, or any other person to in any way force you to have an abortion.” The signs would be produced by the state department at no cost to abortion facilities. The measure awaits action in the House. 

OHIO: In January, a law requiring facilities that perform abortions to display a sign stating that a woman cannot be coerced into having an abortion and encouraging any woman who feels that she has been coerced to discuss the issue with clinic staff was enacted without Gov. Ted Strickland’s (D) signature. The measure passed the legislature in October 2008. The law, which also increases the penalty for domestic violence if the offender knew the woman was pregnant at the time, goes into effect in April.

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Protecting Access to Abortion

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 4 states

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Protecting Access to Clinics

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Introduced in 3 states

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Public Funding of Abortion for Low-Income Women

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Introduced in 7 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VA

VIRGINIA: In February, both chambers adopted the state’s budget without a provision that would have prohibited any funds going through the state treasury from being allocated to Planned Parenthood affiliates. The version of the bill that passed the House earlier in February included this prohibition as well as provisions that would have limited the circumstances under which public funds may be used for abortion and would have mandated that abortion clinics meet certain requirements. It is awaiting action by Gov. Tim Kaine (D).

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Reporting Statistical Information to State Agencies

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 9 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in OK

OKLAHOMA: In February, the House adopted a measure that would revise and expand the state’s requirements for abortion reporting. Among other reporting requirements, the bill would mandate that providers report on whether anesthesia was provided to the fetus, report cost and payment information and report whether and how the abortion counseling and written materials were provided to the woman. They would also be required to ask the woman why she obtained the abortion; one possible response would be that she “wanted a child of a different sex.” The bill, which would penalize providers for performing an abortion for purposes of sex selection and expand reporting requirements regarding minors’ abortions, is currently awaiting action in the Senate.

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Requiring Abortion Providers to Have Hospital Privileges

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 3 states

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Sex Selection

Introduced in 3 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in OK

OKLAHOMA: In February, the House passed a bill that would penalize providers for knowingly performing an abortion for purposes of sex selection. The bill, which would also expand reporting requirements, including reporting requirements for an abortion obtained by a minor, is currently awaiting action in the Senate. 

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State Participation in Abortion

Introduced in 0 states

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Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers

Introduced in 4 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VA

VIRGINIA: In February, both chambers adopted the state’s budget without a provision that would have classified facilities that provide 25 or more first-trimester abortions a year as ambulatory surgical centers, which would subject them to increased regulation by the state. The version of the bill that passed the House in February included these abortion facility requirements as well as provisions to limit public funds for abortion and to prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds. It is awaiting action by Gov. Tim Kaine (D).

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Ultrasound Requirements

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 19 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in ND, SC and VA

NORTH DAKOTA: In January, the House approved a provision that would require abortion clinics to offer a woman seeking an abortion an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to the procedure. The measure would also require abortion providers to keep records of the number of women who accept the offer to have an ultrasound, the number who decline and the number in each group who go on to have an abortion.  The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

SOUTH CAROLINA: In February, the House passed a bill that would expand current state policy requiring that a woman seeking an abortion be offered an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to the procedure. Under the bill, the provider would be required to tell the woman the probable gestational age of the fetus. The measure, which would also increase the waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion, is awaiting action in the Senate.

VIRGINIA: In February, a Senate committee defeated a bill that would have required abortion providers to perform an ultrasound on every woman seeking an abortion and offer the woman the option to see the image. The bill passed the House earlier in February.

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CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION

See also:

REFUSAL CLAUSES
YOUTH: Child Abuse Reporting

Abortion-Related Restrictions on Family Planning Funds

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 6 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in CO and VA

COLORADO: In February, the Legislature passed a measure that reenacts a longstanding prohibition of state family planning funds from going to organizations that provide abortion services with their own funds. The bill is awaiting action from Gov. Bill Ritter (D).

VIRGINIA: In February, both chambers adopted the state’s budget without a provision that would have limited public funds for abortion under Medicaid to cases of life endangerment, rape and incest; it would have excluded funding in cases of fetal abnormality. The version of the bill that passed the House earlier in February included these restrictions on publicly funded abortions as well as provisions that would have prohibited Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds and would have mandated that abortion clinics meet certain requirements. It is awaiting action by Gov. Tim Kaine (D).

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Contraceptive Coverage Mandates

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 6 states

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Emergency Contraception

Click here for current status of state policy

Click here for legislative activity on Requiring Pharmacists to Dispense Contraception and Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services

Offering Emergency Contraception Services to Sexual Assault Victims

Introduced in 6 states

Allowing Pharmacists to Provide Emergency Contraception without a Prescription

Introduced in 1 state

Expanding Access to Emergency Contraception

Introduced in 5 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in VA

VIRGINIA: In February, the Legislature passed a measure that would allow a “prescriber” to authorize a certified sexual assault nurse examiner to provide CDC-recommended preventative medicines, such as emergency contraception, to women who have been sexually assaulted. The bill is awaiting action from Gov. Tim Kaine (D).

Restricting Access to Emergency Contraception

Introduced in 0 states

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Requiring Pharmacists or Pharmacies to Dispense Contraception

Introduced in 9 states

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HPV: Insurance Coverage

Introduced in 5 states

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HPV Vaccine: Required for School Entry

Introduced in 2 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

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Partner Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections

Introduced in 5 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in UT

UTAH: In January, the House passed a measure that would allow a medical provider to prescribe or dispense a drug for STI treatment for partners of their patients without seeing the partner. The bill is currently awaiting action in the Senate.

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State Medicaid Family Planning Eligibility Expansions

click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 7 states

NORTH DAKOTA: In February, the Senate defeated a bill that would have required the health department to apply for a state Medicaid family planning expansion waiver.

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PREGNANCY & BIRTH

See also:

REFUSAL CLAUSES

Fetal and Pregnant Woman Assault

Introduced in 14 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in IN and WY

INDIANA: In February, the Senate adopted a measure that would allow for a separate murder charge to be filed if a fetus of any gestation dies because the pregnant woman was murdered or if an attempt was made on her life. Under current law, a separate murder charge can be filed only when the fetus was viable. The bill would also increase the penalties for providing an illegal abortion. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

WYOMING: In February, the Senate adopted a measure that would permit the imposition of the death penalty in a case involving the murder of a woman known by perpetrator to be pregnant. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

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HIV Testing of Infants and Pregnant Women

Introduced in 10 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in CO

COLORADO: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would require physicians to test pregnant women for HIV either during prenatal care or at delivery, unless the woman refuses. The bill is awaiting action from the House.

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Infant Abandonment

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 10 states

NORTH DAKOTA: In February, a Senate committee defeated a bill that would have included fire stations as a permissible location to legally relinquish an infant.

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Non-Medical Use of Ultrasound

Introduced in 2 States

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Infertility Coverage

Introduced in 12 states

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Stillborn Certificates

Introduced in 6 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in NM

NEW MEXICO: In February, the House adopted a measure that would allow for a certificate of birth resulting in a stillbirth to be issued for a fetal death. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 13 states

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REFUSAL CLAUSES

Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse

Introduced in 6 states

Allowing Insurers to Refuse

Introduced in 2 states

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse

Introduced in 7 states

Allowing Facilities to Refuse

Introduced in 5 states

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Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services

Click here for current status of state policy

Click here for legislative activity on Requiring Pharmacists to Dispense Contraception

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse

Introduced in 5 states

Allowing Insurers to Refuse

Introduced in 2 states

Allowing Pharmacies to Refuse

Introduced in 5 states

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse

Introduced in 6 states

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Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Medical Care in General

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse

Introduced in 4 states

Allowing Insurers to Refuse

Introduced in 2 states

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse

Introduced in 4 states

Allowing Facilities to Refuse

Introduced in 4 states

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YOUTH

See also:
ABORTION: Parental Involvement
CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION: Parental Involvement

Child Abuse Reporting

Introduced in 4 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in MS

MISSISSIPPI: In January, the Senate passed a measure that would require Vital Records and Board of Health employees, along with teachers and principals, to report to the authorities certain instances where a minor younger than 14 became pregnant, gave birth or had sex.  The bill is awaiting action in the House.

MISSISSIPPI: In January, the Senate passed a measure that would require individuals—including physicians and teachers—who are charged with reporting suspected cases of child abuse to report all instances of alleged or suspected sexual abuse.  It would also prohibit these individuals from using their professional discretion to determine which situations to report.  In addition, the measure would require a physician performing an abortion on a minor younger than 14 to provide a fetal tissue sample to the state bureau of investigation and crime laboratory.  The bill, which would also criminalize assisting a minor seeking an abortion without parental consent, is awaiting action in the House.

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Minors Access to Reproductive Healthcare

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 9 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in ND

NORTH DAKOTA: In February, the Senate passed a measure that would guarantee a minor’s right to consent to care related to the detection or treatment of pregnancy. Under the measure, physicians would have the right to notify a minor’s parents only if she were first informed and the notification was deemed necessary because of possible hospitalization or a threat to the “unborn child” or minor’s health. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

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Sex Education

Click here for current status of state policy

Introduced in 21 states

Bill Status:

Passed at least one chamber in HI

HAWAII: In February, the Senate passed a bill that would require all state-funded sex education to be medically accurate and include information on both abstinence and contraception. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

 

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Production of the State Update is made possible by support from The John Merck Fund.