More Than 300 Antiabortion-Rights Bills Proposed in State Legislatures in First Quarter of 2015

April 3, 2015 — Almost 800 reproductive health-related measures were introduced in state legislatures during the first three months of 2015, about 42% of which were antiabortion-rights bills, according to a Guttmacher Institute report released Thursday, Politico's "Pulse" reports (Villacorta, "Pulse," Politico, 4/3).

Key Findings

Specifically, more than 300 antiabortion-rights bills were introduced in 43 states. According to the report, many of the measures either aim to restrict medication abortions or ban abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The researchers wrote that the increase in these types of proposed restrictions represents "a disturbing combination of attempts to curtail access in both the early and later months of pregnancy." They added that such measures would limit women's options and result in "a greatly reduced time frame to get the care they need."

In more than a dozen states, at least one legislative chamber has passed an antiabortion-rights bill so far this year, while Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho and West Virginia passed such bills in both chambers (Ferris, The Hill, 4/2).

In total, nine antiabortion-rights measures have become law as of April 1. Idaho (HB 189) and Arkansas (Act 139, Act 577) both passed bills to limit medication abortions. Arkansas also enacted a measure (Act 535) that restricts how health care facilities, including abortion clinics, dispose of human tissue.

Meanwhile, West Virginia enacted a law that bans abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy ("Pulse," Politico, 4/3).