State Attacks on Sexual and Reproductive Health
Backwards politicians in states across the country are attacking access to reproductive health care and sex education through dangerous bills, regulations, and executive actions. These attacks include attempting to "defund" Planned Parenthood health centers, limit health care coverage for birth control, and promote abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Foes of safe, legal abortion also have stepped up their use of state legislation to thwart personal, private medical decisions about pregnancy that are best left between patients and doctors.
Americans have resisted efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade for decades, but recent years have set records for laws that meddle with individuals' sexual and reproductive health decisions — particularly in the South, Midwest, and Plains. States enacted a whopping 424 new abortion restrictions from 2010 to 2018, and an additional 58 new abortion restrictions in just the first half of 2019.
The types of tactics employed to interfere with access to safe, legal abortion at the state level include:
- Targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws meant to create onerous, medically unnecessary, expensive burdens on abortion providers
- Unconstitutional measures that ban abortion at specific weeks of pregnancy
- Bills that restrict access to nonsurgical abortion, or block access entirely
- Biased interventions — mandatory ultrasounds, waiting periods, and state-scripted counseling — that inject politics into the exam room
- So-called “personhood” measures
The Planned Parenthood Action Fund and local Planned Parenthood political organizations are fighting back against these attacks in statehouses and courtrooms, and working with legislative champions to introduce bills to expand access to reproductive health care — all while more than 600 Planned Parenthood health centers care for patients nationwide.
Regardless of where you live, you can help to ensure that access to health care doesn’t depend on your zip code. See the top ways to take action and get involved today!