Topics

Last updated: March 18, 2016


20-Week Bans

Current Laws 140

Often referred to as “20-week abortion bans,” these laws nominally seek to ban abortion after or around 20 weeks’ gestation, though bills in several states effectively ban abortion at 18 weeks. Legal experts believe these laws are unconstitutional on their face because they undermine a key provision of Roe v. Wade, which established the right […]

Anti-Transgender

Current Laws 185

Following the Supreme Court’s 2015 landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which affirmed that states cannot discriminate in benefits on the basis of sexual orientation and knocked down same-sex marriage bans across the country, conservative lawmakers began sponsoring laws targeting transgender people for exclusion from public spaces such as restrooms consistent with their gender identity. […]

Buffer Zones, Bubble Zones, and Clinic Access

Current Laws 6

Since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973, abortion providers, their families, clinic employees, and clinics have been the target of harassment and violence. According to the National Abortion Federation (NAF) since 1977, eight clinic workers—including four doctors, two clinic employees, a clinic escort, and a security guard—have been murdered in the United States. […]

Conscience and Refusal Clauses

Current Laws 266

“Conscience” or “Refusal” laws permit people and organizations, primarily health-care providers and institutions, to refuse to provide certain types of health care services under the guise of religious freedom. (These laws also permit religious organizations, and in some cases civil servants and others, to discriminate against LGBTQ people based upon a moral or religious opposition […]

Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Current Laws 65

Crisis pregnancy centers, often referred to as limited service pregnancy centers or pregnancy resource centers, are non-profit health clinics that intentionally mislead pregnant people about their reproductive health-care choices in order to prevent them from obtaining abortions. There are over 3,500 crisis pregnancy centers in operation across the country. CPCs are almost entirely backed by […]

Dilation and Evacuation Bans

Current Laws 71

Often referred to as “dismemberment abortion bans,” a nonmedical term, these laws seek to ban the most commonly used method of ending a pregnancy during the second trimester. Many of these laws define dismemberment abortion as “the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, to purposely dismember a living unborn child and extract […]

Forced Ultrasound

Current Laws 124

Forced ultrasound laws require that providers perform an ultrasound within a specified period of time before a woman obtains an abortion in order to fulfill state “informed consent” requirements for an abortion procedure. Many ultrasound laws also contain “speech and display” requirements, which require the provider to show and describe the ultrasound image to a […]

Funding Restrictions for Family Planning

Current Laws 219

Laws seeking to restrict funding for family planning generally attempt to limit or terminate state and federal funding to entities—specifically Planned Parenthood—that offer abortion coverage as part of their family planning services. Many laws also seek to disqualify abortion providers from state Medicaid funds. In 1973, the U.S. Congress passed the Helms Amendment, which prohibits […]

Heartbeat Bans

Current Laws 63

Heartbeat bans attempt to outlaw abortions as soon as a heartbeat can be detected, which is often in the embryonic stage, as early as six weeks’ gestation, before many women even know they are pregnant. These laws, some of the most extreme in the country, are flatly unconstitutional because they seek to ban abortion months […]

Insurance Coverage

Current Laws 222

Insurance coverage bans restrict insurance coverage of abortion in order to eliminate access to safe abortion care. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which President Obama signed into law in 2010, calls for each state to set up a health insurance exchange or “marketplace” so that people who do not have health insurance coverage through their […]

LGBTQ

Current Laws 434

Anti-LGBTQ laws are typically introduced under the guise of religious freedom with the intent to undermine same-sex marriage, protect private businesses from complying with nondiscrimination laws, and permit civil servants and health-care workers to refuse service to specific groups. More recently, anti-LGBTQ laws have evolved to specifically target transgender people in the form of “bathroom […]

Medication Abortion

Current Laws 86

Medication abortion, commonly known as the abortion pill or RU-486, is a non-surgical procedure by which pregnancy is terminated through the use of two drugs. The first drug, mifepristone, works by blocking the hormone progesterone, which causes the lining of the uterus to break down so that the pregnancy cannot continue. The second drug, misoprostol, […]

Personhood

Current Laws 169

“Personhood” laws seek to classify fertilized eggs, zygotes, embryos, and fetuses as “persons,” and to grant them full legal protection under the U.S. Constitution, including the right to life from the moment of conception. “Personhood” laws criminalize abortion with no exception, and also ban many forms of contraception, in vitro fertilization, and health care for […]

Religious Freedom

Current Laws 439

In 1993, President Clinton signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which created a statutory model for those with religious objections to laws of general applicability to avoid compliance based on religious objection. In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in City of Boerne v. Flores that RFRA is not applicable to the states. […]

Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)

Current Laws 61

In 1993, President Clinton signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which created a statutory model for those with religious objections to laws of general applicability to avoid compliance based on religious objection. In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in City of Boerne v. Flores that RFRA is not applicable to the states. […]

Religious Imposition

Current Laws 604

Religious Imposition laws cover a range of legislation designed to shield private individuals and businesses from complying with nondiscrimination laws and to affirmatively deny services such as employment, housing, and reproductive health care based on a religious objection to that service. Religious Imposition laws exist on both the federal and the state level and take […]

Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers

Current Laws 277

Targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) bills single out abortion clinics and providers and subject them to regulations that are more stringent than those applied to medical clinics generally. Unlike many restrictions intended to delay or influence a pregnant woman’s decision to obtain an abortion in the name of protecting a state’s interest in potential […]