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Center for Reproductive Rights State Midyr Wrapup 2011 8.10.11

Center for Reproductive Rights State Midyr Wrapup 2011 8.10.11

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The Center for Reproductive's rights provide a state-by-state analysis on the war against women since the 2010 mid-term elections
The Center for Reproductive's rights provide a state-by-state analysis on the war against women since the 2010 mid-term elections

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Published by: Deb Equality Della Piana on Oct 25, 2011
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2011 MID-YEARLEGISLATIVE WRAP UP
www.reproductiverights.org
 
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2011 MID-YEAR LEGISLATIVE WRAP UP | THE CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
2011 AT THE MIDPOINT
Every year, anti-choice state legislators propose measuresintended to restrict women’s access to abortion, includingmandatory delays, biased counseling provisions and otherburdensome and unnecessary requirements. From the start,the 2011 legislative session was marked by antagonism towomen’s health and quickly devolved into an all-out assaulton women’s rights.
The environment in the states has become increasingly hostile towards reproductive rightsand towards women, with new energy directed at restricting or even trying to ban abortion inseveral states. While there are always hundreds o bills proposed that would restrict women’saccess to abortion and other reproductive health care, the great majority o these bills areusually rejected by legislators. About halway through this year, however, more than ftybills restricting women’s access to reproductive health care have become law and many arestill pending. While pro-choice legislators, advocates and governors continued to stand upor women’s health and rights and in many cases deeated harmul legislation, there is noquestion that 2011 will be viewed as a year in which women lost important ground, had theirrights violated in signifcant ways, and saw governments act time and again to harm, ratherthan improve, their health. As we begin to assess the impact o the 2011 session on women’saccess to reproductive healthcare, the Center oers this preliminary recap o the major trendsand most onerous laws enacted this session.
 
2011 MID-YEAR LEGISLATIVE WRAP UP| THE CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
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INSURANCE RESTRICTIONS
In 2010, the Patient Protection and Aordable Care Act was passed by Congress and becamelaw. Included in the Act is a provision, commonly reerred to as the “Nelson Amendment”ater its sponsor, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), which restricts the means by which insurers canoer coverage or abortion in the state insurance exchanges that will be created by 2014. TheNelson Amendment also explicitly gives states the ability to ban abortion coverage rom stateexchanges altogether. During the 2010 state legislative session, six states enacted legislationprohibiting insurers rom oering coverage or abortion through the exchanges.The 2011 legislative session brought urther proposals to restrict insurance coverage orabortion, ranging rom prohibitions on oering coverage through the exchange to bans oninsurance or abortion in the private market to restrictions on state employees’ ability to obtaincoverage or abortion through their employee health plans. At the mid-point o the year, similarlegislation has been introduced in at least twenty-six states and enacted in ten states.
ATTEMPTS TO BAN ABORTION, BANS ON LATER ABORTION
Some legislators hoped to eliminate access to abortion altogether this year. I enacted, a banon abortion would violate women’s constitutional rights and cause grievous harm to theirhealth. In at least fve states, legislatures seriously considered measures that could havebanned abortion altogether and similar bills were introduced in at least a dozen other states.While no state has passed a total ban on abortion (although legislation is still pending in a ewstates), several states enacted bans on abortions at twenty-weeks gestation, with only the mostnarrow exceptions, copying an extreme law passed in Nebraska in 2010.
Bans on Methods of Abortion 
Another new trend in 2011 involved proposals to limit access to medication abortion, both byrestricting how the medication may be given and also by prohibiting provision o medicationabortion through telemedicine. Telemedicine is an increasingly common health care deliverymethod that expands access to healthcare or many people, especially those in rural areas orwho lack unds to travel or services.A number o states considered, and two enacted, laws that deny women seeking medicationabortion access to the appropriate standard o care and to what they and their physicianbelieve is the best abortion procedure or them.All o these bills, whether intended to outlaw abortion, restrict it at twenty-weeks gestation, orprohibit certain methods o abortion, raise serious constitutional questions and are harmulto women’s health. The radical agenda o anti-abortion activists has created a climate wherewomen seeking abortions, including in situations where their health is threatened or etalhealth is severely compromised, may no longer be able to access the care they need. This is
MAJOR TRENDS IN 2011

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