Empowered by the Trump-Pence administration’s anti-women’s health agenda, politicians in states across the country are launching full-on attacks on access to safe, legal abortion. Fewer than three months into 2018, half of all states have already introduced at least one type of abortion ban and at least nine states have introduced multiple bans.
Having trouble keeping track of so many harmful bills? Here’s our rundown. Prepare to feel outraged and then join us in taking action.Learn more about anti-women’s health restrictions and bans in your state
1. Mississippi’s Extreme Anti-Abortion Ban
An extremely restrictive reproductive health care bill in the U.S. awaits the governor's signature in Mississippi. This bill bans abortion after 15 weeks of gestation in a state that has only one health center that provides abortions. As a result, many would be forced to travel long distances and cross state lines to access abortion. The restriction would especially hurt people with low incomes, who already face barriers to accessing care. Due to systemic racism and discriminatory public policy, Black women in Mississippi are disproportionately likely to have low incomes and would be most affected by this dangerous legislation.
2. Nebraska’s Move to Eliminate Planned Parenthood Funding
A dangerous new measure in Nebraska’s state budget would eliminate funding to health centers that provide abortion, including Planned Parenthood. The budget would effectively end state funding for Title X, a federal program that 93 percent of Planned Parenthood patients in Nebraska rely on. As a result, thousands of Nebraskans would lose access not only to safe, legal abortion, but also critical family planning services like birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment. If those Nebraskans are blocked from going to Planned Parenthood, many would have nowhere else to go for essential health care.
3. Iowa’s Dangerous “Heartbeat” Bill
The Iowa Senate passed legislation that would prevent abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — which is before most people even know they’re pregnant. Now it moves to the House, where it’s likely to pass. The bill’s passage would set a dangerous precedent; no such law is in effect anywhere in the country. Given her radical, personal agenda to “defund” Planned Parenthood health centers, Gov. Kim Reynolds would most certainly sign the bill.
4. West Virginia’s Attempt to Revoke Abortion Rights — Entirely
In an effort to undo the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the West Virginia House voted to include a November ballot question intended to strip abortion rights from the state constitution. If the proposed language is approved by voters, the West Virginia constitution would read: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.” If Roe v. Wade were overturned, the amendment would outright ban abortion in the state as well as end Medicaid coverage of abortion — thereby deeply affecting people with low incomes, who already face economic barriers to accessing health care.
5. South Carolina’s So-Called “Personhood” Bill
This week, supporters rallied against South Carolina’s so-called “personhood” bill. The measure would criminalize abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. If that’s not bad enough, the legislation could also interfere with personal medical decisions about birth control, access to fertility treatments, and management of miscarriages.
6. South Dakota’s Boost to “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”
South Dakota just passed a law to force people to visit a so-called "crisis pregnancy center" (CPC) if they’re seeking an abortion. CPCs aim to dissuade people from having an abortion and purport to be “women’s health” clinics, but the truth is they’re all about scaring and shaming patients out of getting an abortion. They’re also dangerous: A 2014 report found that 87 percent of CPCs provide misleading, medically inaccurate information about abortion.
7. Kentucky’s Plethora of Anti-Abortion Measures
Kentucky lawmakers are proposing not one, but two major anti-abortion measures. The first seeks to ban "dilation and evacuation," or D&E, which is one of the safest and most common procedures for safe, legal abortion. As a result, some women would be forced to undergo an abortion that’s more expensive, more time-consuming, and involves a hospital stay — barriers that especially affect people with low incomes. A second Kentucky anti-abortion measure seeks to prohibit the use of telehealth — or electronic services between a patient and a medical professional — to perform an abortion. With only one abortion provider in the state, telehealth abortion provides Kentuckians with much-needed access to safe, legal abortion without having to travel or go out of state.
8. Ohio’s Onslaught of Abortion Restrictions
Ohio became the first state in 2018 to advance a fetal disposition bill, a measure that aims to shame women who seek an abortion while also driving up the costs of abortion services. The bill, which passed the Ohio House Health Committee, would require that all fetal remains from abortions be buried, cremated, or entombed — a measure that is both costly and totally unnecessary. A second Ohio bill would effectively ban abortions in the second trimester. But it doesn’t end there. Ohio lawmakers are also considering a so-called “heartbeat bill” that would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected — in other words, before most people even know they’re pregnant.
9. Indiana’s Varied Attempts to Restrict Women’s Health
Three dangerous Indiana anti-women’s health bills are on their way to the governor’s desk and are likely to be signed. An alarming sex ed bill would make sex education programming dependent on parental “opt-in.” As explained in a Twitter thread by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, the effects would be especially harmful for LGBTQ students as well as children who experience abuse by their parents or guardians. Indiana lawmakers are also pushing a feticide bill, which would enable prosecutors to file charges against people who have miscarriages. Planned Parenthood advocates successfully fought to amend the bill to exclude women who end their pregnancies through abortion; however, the measure is still steeped in the dangerous concept of “personhood.” Lastly, a third Indiana measure would require abortion providers to report any complication arising from an abortion to the Indiana State Department of Health. The invasive measure is a clear effort to restrict abortion: No other medical procedure in Indiana falls under such scrutiny.
10. Utah’s Mandated Video to Shame Women Who Seek Abortion
A Utah bill requires patients to watch a so-called “informational” module prior to undergoing an abortion — and also penalizes any medical provider who doesn’t comply. The required material amounts to nothing more than anti-abortion propaganda designed to dissuade patients from proceeding with an abortion: It suggests adoption as a “preferred” alternative to abortion, lists "the possible detrimental psychological effects of abortion," and details fetal development. Informational? Not so much. Shaming and dishonest? 100 percent.
Safe, legal abortion access is under attack like never before.
Extreme state lawmakers will stop at nothing to take away a person’s right to safe, legal abortion. We’ll keep fighting until reproductive rights are guaranteed to everybody.