Just this week, lawmakers across the United States are attempting to pass at least 15 different laws in 7 states that would block access to reproductive health care for patients and contribute to bad reproductive health care outcomes in these states.
The laws range from direct attacks on Planned Parenthood to wide-range assaults on women’s health care.
Here’s what else these bills include:
In Louisiana, the legislature is pushing six different anti-women’s health measures this week, including a bill that would prevent patients from accessing birth control, cancer screenings and other care at Planned Parenthood through Medicaid.
One bill, called the “Women’s Enhanced Reflection Act,” would make the current requirement that forces women to make two visits before having an abortion even more onerous by tripling the length of the waiting period to 72 hours.
The Missouri legislature’s continued attacks on reproductive health care have gone so far as to pass a bill that could potentially block access to preventive care for more than 7,000 Planned Parenthood patients -- and in the process, they have rejected more than $8.3 Million in federal family planning funds. If this bill goes into law as it stands, fewer women will have access to care they need, and Missouri taxpayers will pay more for it in the process.
Arizona’s governor is poised to sign a bill that could prevent the more than 2,500 Medicaid patients who rely on Planned Parenthood from coming to us for birth control, cancer screenings, STD tests, and other critical care.
In Alabama, lawmakers have passed two bills in the final hours of their legislative session, one of which prohibits abortion clinics from operating within 2,000 feet of an elementary or middle school. If this is enacted, it could result in the actual closure of two of the five abortion clinics in the state, which together provide well over half of the abortions in the state.
One lawmaker even went so far as to draw a comparison between these restrictions and those imposed on sex offenders: “We can put a restriction on whether a liquor store opens up across the street and make sure pedophiles stay away from schools … I just think having an abortion clinic that close to elementary-age school children that actually have to walk on the sidewalk past it is not the best thing."
A defund measure in Mississippi was just signed into law by the Governor this week. This law would prevent low-income patients on Medicaid from getting services like cancer screenings, STD testing, birth control, HIV testing, pregnancy testing and even vaccines at Planned Parenthood healthcare centers.
This week in Oklahoma, the governor is set to sign a bill to revoke the medical licenses of any and all doctors who perform abortions. Why do we think the governor will sign it? Because this is the same governor who tripled the forced delay for obtaining an abortion, and signed restrictions on medication abortion and a Texas-style law designed to shut down health centers.
This isn't the only outrageous bill working its way through the Oklahoma legislature this week: there are at least three more anti-women’s health bill moving through the legislature. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is already one of the worst states for women's health—more than half of women in the state live in a county without a single abortion provider.
Finally, this week in Alaska, the legislature voted to restrict access for much-needed sex education for young people in the state. The bill, in practice, could prevent Planned Parenthood educators from teaching in the public schools.
Alaska is already worse than 46 other states when it comes to health education for our youth.