National Partnership for Women & Families

Other Issues | In the News

Unfortunately, the long list of provisions states are passing and considering to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care is not comprehensive. State legislatures are constantly coming up with new and creative ways to impose obstacles between women and high-quality health care.

Featured Blogs
"Texas Lawmakers Want Women To Present IDs Before They Get Abortions" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 5/15); "Exploiting the Black Family: A Divisive Campaign of the Anti-Woman, 'Pro-Life' Movement" (Scott, RH Reality Check, 5/15).

N.Y. AG Launches Training for State Hospital Staff on Transgender Individuals' Care
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) has announced that his office will train state hospital employees on how to ensure transgender individuals have equal access to health services, Modern Healthcare reports.

Featured Blogs
"Tennessee's New Abortion Law Could Leave the State With Just Four Abortion Clinics" (Barbato, Bustle, 5/9); "Oregon Bans 'Conversion Therapy' of LGBTQ Youth" (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 5/11).

Op-Ed Examines 'Systematic Failures' of U.S. Reproductive Health Care Behind Feticide Cases
The case of Purvi Patel has spurred "the expected anti-abortion and pro-choice debates," but it also can be used to evaluate women's access to reproductive health in the U.S., columnist Sharmila Rudrappa writes in an American Prospect/Public Voices Fellowship opinion piece.

N.Y. Assembly Passes Women's Workplace Protections; Advocates Continue To Push Bill To Codify Roe
The New York state Assembly on Tuesday passed two bills aimed at protecting women in the workplace, the AP/Miami Herald reports.

Colo. House Committee Rejects Fetal Homicide Bill
The Colorado House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on Monday voted 6-5 to reject a bill (SB 15-268) that would have allowed prosecutors to bring murder charges against an individual who unlawfully ends a woman's pregnancy, the Durango Herald reports.

D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Law Takes Effect
A Washington, D.C., reproductive health non-discrimination law (Act 20-593) took effect on Saturday despite attempts by House conservatives to block the measure, the Washington Post/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Featured Blogs
"Millennials Lead a Texas-Sized Movement for Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice" (Perez, National Partnership for Women & Families' blog, 4/29); "Colorado's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Works, and That's Why Conservatives Want to Kill It" (Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 4/28); "Michigan Continues Trend of Investigating Miscarriages as Murder" (Marty, Care2, 4/28); "Montana Governor Vetoes Telemedicine Abortion Ban" (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 4/29).

Mont. Governor Rejects Three Antiabortion-Rights Bills
Mont. Gov. Steve Bullock (D) this week vetoed a telemedicine abortion ban (HB 587) and an antiabortion-rights measure (SB 349) targeting health insurers, the AP/Belleville News-Democrat reports.

House Votes To Block D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Law
The House on Thursday voted 228-192 on a measure (HJR 43) to block a reproductive health non-discrimination law (Act 20-593) passed by the Washington, D.C., Council, the AP/New York Times reports.

Op-Ed: Texas Bills Would Help 'Protect the Patient-Provider Relationship'
Two measures introduced in Texas "would protect the patient-provider relationship from inappropriate political interference in personal decisions that should be [made] by women and their trained health care providers," family physician Bich-May Nguyen writes in a Houston Chronicle opinion piece.

''Marlise's Law' Could Give End-of-Life Rights to Pregnant Texans'
"'Marlise's Law' Could Give End-of-Life Rights to Pregnant Texans," (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 4/15)

Colo. Senate Passes Fetal Homicide Bill
The Colorado Senate on Monday passed a bill (SB 15-268) that would allow prosecutors to bring murder charges against an individual who ends a woman's pregnancy, the AP/Colorado Springs Gazette reports.

Fla. Legislature Approves Bill Prohibiting Discrimination Against Pregnant Women
The Florida Legislature on Friday passed a measure (SB 982) that would amend the state's current civil rights law to include pregnant women, the AP/Miami Herald reports.

Abortion-Rights Opponents Target Roe Protections with Fetal Homicide, Criminalizing Pregnancy Laws
Abortion-rights opponents are pursuing legislation that grants legal rights to fetuses as part of "a much broader national campaign ... to overturn Roe v. Wade," Rolling Stone reports.

Featured Blogs
"Colorado Pro-Choice Advocates: Giving Legal Rights to Fetuses Doesn't Protect Pregnant Wom[e]n" (Salzman, RH Reality Check, 4/23); "A 'New Low'? GOP Tries To Block D.C.'s New Reproductive Health Law" (Crockett, RH Reality Check, 4/22).

Advocates: Funding Restrictions on Women's Health Providers in Texas Budget Proposals Would Endanger Access
Women's health advocates warn that a Texas state budget proposal intended to prioritize funding for a women's cancer screening program for groups that do not provide abortion services could reduce women's access to health care, CQ News reports.

Texas House Panel Hears Testimony on Bill Regarding End-of-Life Care for Pregnant Women
The Texas House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday heard testimony on legislation (HB 3183) that would clarify state law on end-of-life care for pregnant women, the Kaiser Health News/Texas Tribune reports.

Featured Blogs
"California Bill Would Require Crisis Pregnancy Centers To Discuss Abortion Options," (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 4/16); "'Marlise's Law' Could Give End-of-Life Rights to Pregnant Texans," (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 4/15); "Anti-Choicers Are Going To Take Away Second-Trimester Abortion Without Much Notice," (Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 4/16).

NYT Op-Ed: Law Must Address How Violence Against Pregnant Women Harms Reproductive Freedom
The risk of legislation aimed at criminalizing fetal homicide in Colorado and other states is that, "without statutory reform, the pregnant woman as a category of victim will remain overlooked, while the fetus gets special protection," Deborah Tuerkheimer, a law professor at Northwestern University and former assistant district attorney in Manhattan, writes in a New York Times opinion piece.

Featured Blogs
"Arkansas Will Force Doctors To Tell Women Abortions Can Be Reversed" (Redden, Mother Jones, 4/7); "The New Extremes of the Anti-Abortion Movement" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 4/8); "Miscarriage of Justice: Asian-American Women Targeted -- and All Women Threatened -- by Feticide Laws Like Indiana's" (Jorawar, The American Prospect, 4/3).

Featured Blogs
"When It Comes to Abstinence-Only Education Battles, Let's Fight Anecdotes With Anecdotes," Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check (Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 4/3); "Repro Wrap: It's Not 'Motorcycle Vagina,' But North Carolina's at It Again," Robin Marty, Care2 (Marty, Care 2, 4/3); "Losing My Lege: Transgender Visibility Lobby Day Sparks Surprising Response From Capitol Staffers," Andrea Grimes, RH Reality Check (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 4/3).

Colo. Senate Leader Plans 'Fetal Homicide' Bill
Colorado's Senate president has announced plans to propose a "fetal homicide" bill that would allow prosecutors to pursue murder charges against an individual whose actions end a woman's pregnancy, the Daily Beast reports.

Featured Blogs
"Here's What Happens When Pregnant Women Lose Their Rights" (Ronan, "The Cut," New York Magazine, 4/2); "New York Legislators Move To Strengthen Abortion Rights," (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 3/31).

Tenn. Lawmaker Withdraws Mandatory Ultrasound Bill
A Tennessee bill (HB 2) that would require a women seeking an abortion to receive a mandatory ultrasound and have the images displayed to her by the provider has been withdrawn for the year, the AP/Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

Ark. Legislature Sends Parental Involvement to Governor
The state Senate on Thursday voted 24-1 to approve a measure that would increase parental involvement restrictions for minors seeking abortion care.

Featured Blogs
"Judge Strikes Down Scott Walker's Anti-Abortion Law," (Volsky, Center for American Progress' "Think Progress," 3/21); (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 3/20).

Federal Judge Hears Arguments in Ala. Parental Involvement Case
The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday argued in federal court that a judge should halt an Alabama parental involvement law (Act 2014-445) for minors seeking abortions, while the state argued that the lawsuit should be thrown out, the AP/Hartford Courant reports.

Plaintiffs Drop Some Claims To Appeal Pittsburgh 'Buffer Zone' Ruling
Five abortion-rights opponents have dropped allegations that city officials selectively enforced a Pittsburgh "buffer zone" ordinance in order to facilitate an appeal of a federal ruling that found the ordinance is constitutional, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

N.Y. Assembly Splits Up Women's Equality Act Amid Impasse Over Pro-Choice Provision
The New York Assembly plans to advance components of the Women's Equality Act without an abortion-rights measure that has faced opposition in the state Senate the past few years, the Buffalo News reports.

Texas Reps. File Opposing Bills on End-of-Life Care for Pregnant Women
Competing bills filed in the Texas Legislature aim to address who has authority to make decisions for pregnant women during end-of-life medical care, the Texas Tribune reports.

Featured Blogs
"Pro-Choice Win: Federal Court Upholds Pittsburgh Buffer Zone" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 3/10); "'Marlise's Law' Would Give Pregnant Texans Advance Directive Rights" (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 3/12).

Texas Appropriators Reconsider Certain Funding Restrictions on Women's Health Providers
A Texas House budget panel on Tuesday approved a measure that would eliminate a provision in a state budget proposal that would create a tiered system for allocating money to clinics for a women's cancer screening program, the Texas Tribune reports.

Sens. Urge Calif. To Make Pregnancy a 'Qualifying Life Event' for Insurance Enrollment
Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Wednesday sent a letter urging officials with California's insurance marketplace to allow women to sign up for coverage outside of the open enrollment period if they become pregnant, KQED's "State of Health" reports.

Calif. Bill Aims To Support Breastfeeding Among Teen Mothers Attending School
A California lawmaker has introduced legislation (AB 302) that aims to make it easier for teens with infants to breastfeed while attending school, KQED's "State of Health" reports.

Ore. Lawmakers Announce Comprehensive Women's Health Bill
A group of Oregon lawmakers on Friday announced legislation aimed at closing gaps in reproductive health care coverage for women in the state, the Portland Business Journal reports.

Ky. House Approves Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act
The Kentucky House on Thursday voted 95-0 to approve a bill (HB 218) that would require businesses to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, the AP/Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

Featured Blogs
"Oklahoma Bill Would Make Couples Prove They Don't Have STDs Before Getting Married" (Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 2/20); "Lawsuit: Washington Public Hospitals Aren't Complying With Reproductive Privacy Act" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 2/23).

Report: Incarcerated N.Y. Women Face 'Assaults on Their Basic Human Dignity and Reproductive Rights'
New York state prisons have illegally shackled inmates during childbirth, despite a law against the practice, and failed to provide inmates with sufficient reproductive health care services and supplies, according to a report released Thursday by the Correctional Association of New York, the Huffington Post reports.

Featured Blogs
"Hobby Lobby 2: Inside Republicans' Plan To Kill America's Most Effective Anti-Teen-Pregnancy Program" (Baumann, Mother Jones, 2/11); "Report Finds 'Shockingly Substandard' Reproductive Health Care in New York Prisons" (Greenberg, RH Reality Check, 2/13); "Repro Wrap: D&E Bans are Just Grandstanding and Other News" (Marty, Care2, 2/13).

Texas Lawmaker Plans Bill To Appoint Legal Representation for Fetuses
Texas lawmaker is planning a bill that would require the state to provide legal representation for fetuses when a pregnant woman is incapacitated, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Featured Blog
"New Texas Plan Would Assign Lawyers to Fetuses," (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 2/9).

Plaintiffs Argue Okla. Medication Abortion Restrictions Illegally Delegate Authority to FDA
Abortion-rights supporters in Oklahoma last week filed a motion for partial summary judgment in a case challenging the state's medication abortion restrictions, arguing that the law (HB 2684) illegally delegates authority to FDA, the Courthouse News Service reports.

Featured Blog
"Criminalizing Pregnancy: Indiana Woman Found Guilty of Feticide and Neglect for Having a Miscarriage" (Dusenberry, Feministing, 2/5).

Nev. Bill Would Require HPV Vaccination Before Enrolling in School
Nevada lawmakers on Monday introduced a bill (SB 117) that would add vaccinations against human papillomavirus and meningitis to the list of inoculations children must receive prior to enrolling in daycare, public school or private school, the AP/Miami Herald reports.

Featured Blog
"Lawyers for Fetuses? Yes, It's Absurd, But It's Worse Than You Realize," (Ainsworth, RH Reality Check, 1/30).

Texas Budget Proposal Would Cut Funding for Cancer Screenings at Planned Parenthood
The Texas Senate's proposed 2016-2017 state budget released Tuesday could reduce or eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood to participate in the state's Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program, the Dallas Morning News' "Trail Blazers Blog" reports.

Opinion: Bipartisan Pa. Agenda Improves Women's Health Through Policy Changes
The Pennsylvania Agenda for Women's Health -- "an ongoing, pro-choice campaign that addresses women's equality, safety and economic stability" -- is shaped around policy measures that embrace an "inclusive definition of women's health [that] recognizes that women and their families cannot be healthy if they are financially insecure, physically unsafe, or otherwise subjected to gender bias and discrimination," Amal Bass of the Women's Law Project writes in the Pennsylvania Legal Intelligencer.

Featured Blogs
"Virginia Lawmakers Roll Out Pro-Choice Legislative Agenda," (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 1/19); "Fetus Lawyers, Baby Daddies and 'Legitimate Rape': America's Craziest Abortion Bills," (Zadrozny, Daily Beast, 1/20); "'The Daily Show' Slams Appalling Alabama Law That Appoints Lawyers for Fetuses," (Gray, Salon, 1/16).

Va. Gov., Women's Rights Coalition Outline Legislative Agendas
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Monday unveiled his Equal Opportunity legislative agenda, which includes legislative proposals that range from protections for abortion rights to addressing college sexual assaults and domestic violence, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

N.Y. Senate Passes Women's Equality Bills, Excludes Abortion-Rights Measure
The GOP-controlled New York Senate on Monday unanimously approved eight out of nine remaining bills in the package known as the Women's Equality Act but did not take up an abortion-rights measure, setting up another potential stalemate with the state Assembly, the AP/Auburn Citizen reports.

More States Improving Workplace Protections for Pregnant Women
After an Illinois law (HB 8) improving protections against job-based pregnancy discrimination took effect on Jan. 1, 12 states and five cities now have laws in place to clarify employers' obligations to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers, Governing's "Stateline" reports.

Women's Equality Act Likely To Resurface on N.Y. 2015 Legislative Agenda
The New York Legislature in the 2015 session is expected to again consider Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) Women's Equality Act, which failed to pass in its entirety in previous sessions, the Buffalo News reports.

Featured Blogs
"The Good, the Bad, and the Truly Appalling: What Happened to Reproductive Rights in 2014" (Easter, "Womenstake," NWLC, 12/31/14); "Federal Court Agrees: Women Can't Be Forced To Have an Ultrasound Before an Abortion" (Mathews, Care2, 12/23/14); "New Jersey Supreme Court: Methadone Treatment While Pregnant Not Child Abuse" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 12/23/14).

Groups Converge To Back Proactive Reproductive Health Agenda
bout 60 women's health organizations have formed a coalition to urge state lawmakers to back policies supporting women's health and reproductive rights, the Latin Post reports.

NYT Editorial Applauds N.Y. Policies Protecting Transgender Health
A New York Times editorial praises Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for "advanc[ing] the cause of civil rights last week" by barring insurers from denying coverage for medically necessary gender dysphoria treatments, thus "declaring an end to a routine form of discrimination against transgender New Yorkers."

Ark. Legislators Plan More Abortion Restrictions in 2015
Several Arkansas legislators plan to propose additional abortion restrictions when lawmakers begin their 2015 session next month, the Arkansas News Bureau reports.

20-Week Abortion Ban, Other Bills on Wis. Anti-Choice Groups' Legislative Agendas
With conservatives retaining control of Wisconsin's Legislature, antiabortion-rights groups intend to push proposals that failed last year, as well as introduce new measures, the AP/HTR News reports.

Featured Blogs
"Pregnant Wisconsin Woman Jailed Under State's 'Personhood'-Like Law," (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 12/12); "California Parents Outraged Their Kids Are Learning About Consent, Gender Identity," (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 12/12).

Laws Criminalizing Pregnancy 'Subsume Women's Rights' to Those Granted to Fetuses, Columnist Writes
At both the state and federal level, courts are "impos[ing] additional punishments on women by dint of the fact they were pregnant" when their actions occurred, Daily Beast columnist Emily Shire writes.

N.Y. Advises Insurers To Cover Gender Dysphoria Treatments
New York's Department of Financial Services on Thursday released guidelines advising commercial health insurers in the state to cover medically necessary treatments related to gender dysphoria, the AP/NBC New York reports.

Featured Blog
"What's Next? Prosecuting a Pregnant Woman for Working Full Time?," (Kolbi-Molinas, "Blog of Rights," American Civil Liberties Union, 12/11).

Federal Judge Delays Final Ruling in Pittsburgh 'Buffer Zone' Lawsuit
A U.S. District Court judge earlier this week gave attorneys until Dec. 19 to reach an agreement on a lawsuit challenging a Pittsburgh ordinance that created a 15-foot "buffer zone" around abortion clinics, the AP/WTAE News reports.

Featured Blogs
"Activists Are Already Trying To End Legal Abortion City by City," (Marty, Care2, 11/28); "Alabama Anti-Choicers Want To Regulate Abortion Clinics Like Sex Predators," (Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 12/1).

Bar Exam Board Agrees To Accommodate Breastfeeding Women During Ill. Test
In a reversal, the board that oversees the Illinois bar exam will allow a lawyer taking the test next year to take breaks to pump breast milk, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Pa. Gov.-Elect Must Act To Improve 'Deplorable' Status of Women's Health in State, Op-Ed Urges
Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Wolf's (D) pledge to expand Medicaid coverage to 500,000 state residents "is a good place to begin improving the health and economic security of Pennsylvanians," but he also should back the Pennsylvania Agenda for Women's Health, Kate Michelman and Carol Tracy, both of WomenVote PA, write in an opinion piece in the Scranton Times-Tribune.

Featured Blogs
"New York City Commits $35 Million To Test Rape Kits Nationwide" (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 11/14); "Repro Wrap: Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide After Miscarriage and Other News" (Marty, Care2, 11/14).

Calif. Insurance Marketplace Leaves Coverage Gaps for Some High-Risk Pregnant Women
Covered California -- the state's health insurance marketplace -- does not provide sufficient maternity care coverage for high-risk pregnant women, according to a study by George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health, Medical Daily reports.

Featured Blogs
"Will Colorado and North Dakota Voters Criminalize Abortion on Tuesday?," (McClain, The Nation blogs, 10/31); "Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina? Let's Talk About Infant Mortality and Maternal Health," (Akpan, RH Reality Check, 11/3); "North Carolina is Fighting To Enact One of the Country's Most Condescending Abortion Laws," (Culp-Ressler, "Think Progress," Center for American Progress, 10/31).

Featured Blog
"New Report Shows How the 'Pregnancy Penalty' Drives Economic Inequality," (Dusenbery, Feministing, 10/20).

NYT Column: City's Pregnant Workers Fairness Act 'A Big Step Forward,' But Issues Remain
New York City's Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (Int 0974-2012), signed into law one year ago, "represents a big step forward for working women," but "pregnant women are still being pushed out of jobs they desperately need," New York Times columnist Rachel Swarns writes.

Pittsburgh Approves Workplace Protections for Pregnant City Employees
Pittsburgh's City Council last week passed a measure (Ordinance 2014-0809) that will expand workplace protections for city workers who are pregnant, the Pittsburgh City Paper reports.

Featured Blogs
"Polling Confirms That Voters See Abortion Access as an Economic Issue for Women," (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 10/16); "Pregnant Texans are Being Charged With Crimes That Don't Exist," (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 10/16).

Featured Blog: 'Pregnant Texans are Being Charged With Crimes That Don't Exist'
Despite Texas' "fetal homicide" law clearly stating that a "pregnant person cannot be charged with injury to [her] own fetus," prosecutors in West Texas have not stopped "charging women with reckless child endangerment for ingesting controlled substances while pregnant," Andrea Grimes writes at RH Reality Check.

Featured Blog: 'Polling Confirms That Voters See Abortion Access as an Economic Issue for Women'
A majority of voters see abortion "as a mainstream policy that's inextricably linked to women's financial stability," according to a poll released by the National Institute for Reproductive Health, Tara Culp-Ressler writes for "ThinkProgress."

Many States Fail To Meet Women's Health Needs, Disparities Persist
Massachusetts ranks as the best state in the U.S. for meeting women's health needs, while Mississippi is the worst state, according to the Alliance for a Just Society's 2014 Women's Health Report Card, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Featured Blogs
"Tennessee Sentenced a Woman to Six Extra Years in Jail Simply Because She Was Pregnant," (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 10/13); "Pittsburgh Passes 'Reasonable Accommodations' for Pregnant Workers," (Murtha, Women's Law Project blog, 10/13).

Featured Blog
"We Heart: California's Adoption of Affirmative Consent" (Lindsay, Ms. Magazine blog, 9/30).

Calif. Enacts 'Affirmative Consent' Standard for Campus Sexual Assault, Anti-Trafficking Bills
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Sunday signed a bill (SB 967) into law that will require colleges and universities that receive state funds to determine whether active consent occurred when investigating or adjudicating alleged sexual assaults, the New York Times reports.

Featured Blog
"'He Made Me Feel Like a Bad Mother if I Didn't Do It': California Bans Forced Sterilizations in Prison" (McDonough, Salon, 9/26).

Calif. Gov. Signs Bills To End Inmate Sterilizations
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Thursday signed a bill (SB 1135) into law that prohibits sterilization surgeries among the state's inmates without their consent, Reuters reports.

Featured Blog
"Buffalo Clinic First in the Nation To Offer Both Abortion and Birthing Services" (Bader, RH Reality Check, 9/25).

Judge Dismisses Criminal Charges Against Pregnant Woman for Allegedly Endangering Fetus
A Montana judge on Monday dismissed charges of felony child endangerment filed against a woman for allegedly ingesting drugs while 12 weeks pregnant, USA Today reports.

States Mull Surrogacy Regulations
In the absence of federal rules on surrogacy, many states are considering their own regulations for the practice and seeking a "middle ground" on the sometimes politically sensitive issue, the New York Times reports.

Reproductive Health Coverage, Parental Leave Have Strong Support in W.Va. Poll
A majority of West Virginia voters support comprehensive Medicaid coverage of reproductive health services, as well as paid parental leave, according to a poll commissioned by the women's health advocacy group WV Free, the Charleston Gazette reports.

More States Protecting Pregnant Workers Through Legislation
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) on Tuesday is expected to sign a bill (SB 212) that would bolster accommodations for pregnant workers, making Delaware the most recent on a growing list of states and localities to increase workplace protections during pregnancy, Brigid Schulte writes in the Washington Post's "She The People."

Featured Blogs
"Abortion Rights Aren't Safe in the South," (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 9/2); "Montana Charges Woman With 'Criminal Endangerment' at Just 12 Weeks Pregnant," (Marty, Care2, 9/2).

Ill. Gov. Signs Anti-Discrimination Law for Pregnant Workers
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) on Tuesday signed a bill (HB 8) into law that improves protections against job-based discrimination for pregnant workers, the AP/Rockford Register Star reports.

State 'Feticide' Laws Come 'Dangerously Close to Criminalizing Pregnancy,' Columnist Writes
"Anyone who doubts that laws restricting abortion rights actually restrict the freedom of women to fundamentally control their bodies and health should look at Indiana," Daily Beast columnist Sally Kohn writes.

Featured Blogs
"Illinois Commits To Protect Pregnant Workers," (Martin, "Womenstake," NWLC, 8/26); "'Hobby Lobby' Aftermath: Illinois Seeks To Expand Birth Control Access," (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 8/26).

Featured Blog
"Pennsylvania Law Requires Doctors To Read Scripts to Pregnant Patients With Prenatal Down Syndrome Diagnoses (Updated)," (Murtha, RH Reality Check, 7/25).

Four Organizations, Including Two on Women's Health, Should Be Exempt From N.Y. Donor Disclosure Rules, Judicial Hearing
New York's Joint Commission on Public Ethics must reverse its earlier ruling that forced New York abortion-rights advocacy groups to disclose information about their financial contributors, the North Country Gazette reports.

Featured Blogs
"How Bad Medicine is Sweeping the Country, One State at a Time," (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/14); "Tennessee Arrests First Mother Under Its New Pregnancy Criminalization Law," (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/11).

Featured Blog: 'Tennessee Arrests First Mother Under Its New Pregnancy Criminalization Law'
At "ThinkProgress," Tara Culp-Ressler discusses the case of 26-year-old Mallory Loyola who is "the first woman to be arrested under a new law [SB 1391] in Tennessee that allows the state to criminally charge mothers for potentially causing harm to their fetuses by using drugs."

Featured Blog
"Minnesota Law Protects Incarcerated Pregnant Women From Shackling, Provides Doulas," (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 7/8).

Portland, Maine, Repeals 'Buffer Zone' Law After Supreme Court Ruling
The Portland, Maine, City Council on Monday voted to repeal an ordinance that created a protest-free "buffer zone" around clinics that offer abortions, the AP/Washington Times reports.

More Men Taking Time Off Under Calif. Family Leave Law
Since California began offering paid family leave to new parents 10 years ago this month, there has been a significant increase in the number of fathers taking time off of work under the law to care for a new child, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Texas Lags Behind Other States in Lowering Teen Birth Rates
Texas has been less effective than other states at lowering the birth rate among teenagers, the Texas Tribune/New York Times reports.

New California Law Expands Paid Family Leave
A new California law expands paid family leave in the state, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Featured Blog
"What Today's Supreme Court Ruling Means for Other Laws That Protect Clinic Patients," (Flatow, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 6/26).

N.C. Efforts Address Improper Sterilizations
Advocates in North Carolina are urging the state Legislature to extend the deadline for a program designed to compensate survivors of the state's former eugenics program, which forcibly sterilized thousands of residents, Reuters reports.

Calif. Efforts Address Improper Sterilizations
A California Assembly committee on Tuesday unanimously advanced a bill (SB 1135) that would prohibit sterilization surgeries on the state's inmates, Reuters reports.

La. Gov. Signs Bill Mandating Care for Brain-Dead Pregnant Women
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has signed into law a bill (HB 1274) that requires physicians to continue medical support for brain-dead pregnant women until childbirth, WWNO reports.

Fla. Gov. Signs Bill Creating Separate Crime for Harming Fetus
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Friday signed into law a bill (HB 59) that makes it a crime to kill or otherwise harm a fetus at any stage of development, regardless of whether the perpetrator is aware of a woman's pregnancy, Reuters reports.

N.Y. Women's Equality Act Fails as Session Ends
The New York Legislature ended its session last week without passing a 10-bill package known as the Women's Equality Act for the second year in a row, the Albany Legislative Gazette reports.

Featured Blogs
"Democrats Fight To Repeal Michigan's New 'Rape Insurance' Law" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 6/20) and "This Week in the Supreme Court Could Be Make it or Break it Time for Women's Rights" (Marty, Care2, 6/23)

Portland, Maine, 'Buffer Zone' Case Could Hinge on Supreme Court Ruling
A federal judge said her eventual decision in a challenge to a Portland, Maine, "buffer zone" ordinance will likely hinge on the Supreme Court's ruling over a similar law in Massachusetts, the Bangor Daily News reports.

N.Y. Lawmakers Pass Contraceptive Coverage, Some Women's Equality Bills
The New York Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill (A 8769) aimed at protecting employees from discrimination because of their reproductive health choices, the AP/Washington Times reports.

Editorials Urge N.Y. Legislature To Take Action on Women's Equality Act
Editorials in three New York newspapers called for the state's lawmakers to act on the Women's Equality Act before the legislative session ends.

Featured Blog
"Louisiana Proposes Using Brain-Dead Women as Incubators" (Smith, Care2, 6/16).

Featured Blog
"New Hampshire Approves a Buffer Zone Around Abortion Clinics" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 6/10).

Time Running Out for Action on N.Y. Women's Equality Act
With their legislative session ending next week, New York lawmakers are weighing their options for considering a package of 10 bills, together called the Women's Equality Act, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Women's Groups Commend N.H. 'Buffer Zone' Law
Women's rights groups are applauding New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) for signing a bill (SB 319) that will impose a 25-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics in the state, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Tenn. Dems Ramp Up Efforts Against Antiabortion-Rights Amendment
The Tennessee Democratic Party has hired a veteran campaign strategist to coordinate its efforts to defeat Amendment 1, a ballot measure that would decrease abortion-rights protections in the state's constitution, the Tennessean's "In Session" reports.

La. Gov. Jindal Signs Abortion Pamphlet, Anti-Trafficking Bills
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Monday signed into law a bill (HB 1262) that mandates certain counseling prior to an abortion, as well as various measures designed to stem human trafficking in the state, the Washington Times reports.

Featured Blogs
"New Study Exposes Sex-Selective Abortion Bans for What They Are: Just Another Way To Restrict Abortion" (Bazelon, "XX Factor," Slate, 6/3),"Louisiana Lawmakers Pass Bill to Keep Women on Mechanical Support Against Their Wishes" (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 6/3) and "Pennsylvania Women's Health Caucus Unveils Second Package of Bills" (Murtha, RH Reality Check, 6/3).

ACLU Sues Calif. Sheriff Over Forced Pregnancy Tests at Jails
Three women sued a California sheriff on Monday for being forced to undergo pregnancy tests at Alameda County jails, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

More Abortion Restrictions Head to La. Gov.
The Louisiana House on Thursday passed a bill (HB 1262) that would require women seeking abortions to be given a pamphlet on the potential impact of the procedure, human trafficking and the illegality of coerced abortions, the AP/Alexandria Town Talk reports.

More Abortion Restrictions Head to La. Gov.
The Louisiana House on Thursday passed a bill (HB 1262) that would require women seeking abortions to be given a pamphlet on the potential impact of the procedure, human trafficking and the illegality of coerced abortions, the AP/Alexandria Town Talk reports.

N.Y. Dems, Women's Rights Groups Urge Vote on Entire Women's Equality Act
New York Senate Democrats and women's rights groups are urging legislative leaders to hold a floor vote on a package of 10 bills, together called the Women's Equality Act, before the session ends, the Albany Legislative Gazette reports.

Okla. Admitting Privileges Bill Heads to Gov.
The Oklahoma House on Friday passed a bill (SB 1848) that would require abortion providers in the state to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, among other provisions, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

La. Senate Advances Bill Restricting Pregnant Women's End-of-Life Care
The Louisiana Senate approved in a 36-2 vote a bill (HB 348) that would require health care providers to maintain medical care for pregnant women who are brain dead until birth if an obstetrician determines that a woman's body "can reasonably be maintained in such a way as to permit the continuing development and live birth of the unborn child," the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Featured Blogs
"Repro Wrap: Here a Clinic, There a Clinic, Soon Nowhere a Clinic, and Other News," (Marty, Care2, 5/23); "Louisiana Committee Passes Bill That Would Keep Pregnant Women on Mechanical Support Against Their Wishes," (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 5/23).

'Buffer Zone' Bill Passes N.H. Senate, Heads to Gov.
The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday voted 13-10 to approve the state House's changes to a bill (SB 319) that would create a "buffer zone" of 25 feet around reproductive health clinics, the AP/Portsmouth Herald reports.

Featured Blog
"Louisiana's War on Women: The 5 Worst Attacks on Reproductive Rights Launched This Year," (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 5/22).

N.Y. Democrats Reintroduce Women's Equality Act
New York Senate Democrats on Tuesday reintroduced a package of 10 bills, together called the Women's Equality Act, that was derailed last year amid GOP resistance to an abortion provision, the AP/Staten Island Advance reports.

'Moral Monday' Rallies Resume in N.C. With Silent Demonstration
Demonstrators on Monday initiated another round of "Moral Monday" rallies at the North Carolina Capitol, protesting legislation passed by the Republican majority, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

'Buffer Zone' Bill Clears N.H. House
The New Hampshire House last week approved a bill (SB 319) that would create a "buffer zone" of 25 feet around reproductive health clinics, the AP/Boston Globe reports.

'Stand Your Ground' for Fetuses Advances in S.C.
A South Carolina Senate panel considered legislation (SB 527) that would expand the state's "stand your ground" self-defense law to apply to fetuses, the Columbia State's "The Buzz" reports.

Minn. Gov. Expected To Sign Parental Leave, Workplace Protections Bill
The Minnesota Senate on Thursday approved a bill (HF 2536) that would expand parental leave and improve workplace protections for pregnant and breastfeeding women, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Ind. Medicaid Ends Coverage for Early Elective Deliveries
Indiana's Medicaid program on July 1 will stop paying hospitals and physicians for delivering infants before 39 weeks of pregnancy unless there is a medical reason or labor starts naturally, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Featured Blogs
"Gov. Brownback Doubles Down on Attacking Reproductive Rights" (Tweedt,"Blog for Choice," NARAL Pro-Choice America, 4/30) and "Tennessee Governor Signs Bill Criminalizing Pregnant Women" (Crockett, RH Reality Check, 4/29).

Tenn. Bill Criminalizing Drug Use During Pregnancy Signed into Law
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) on Tuesday signed into law a bill (SB 1391) that will allow the state to prosecute women suspected of using illicit drugs while pregnant, the Tennessean reports.

Featured Blogs
"Mississippi's Lone Abortion Clinic Goes to Court Today," (Dusenbery, Feministing, 4/28); "Louisiana Committee Passes Bill Preventing Removal of Mechanical Support From Pregnant Women," (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 4/25).

N.H. Senate Rejects 'Fetal Homicide' Bill
The New Hampshire Senate last week rejected legislation (HB 1503) that would have allowed criminal charges for killing a fetus during a criminal act against a pregnant woman, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Abortion Clinic Rules, Stem Cell Research Ban Advance in Okla. House
The Oklahoma House last week passed a bill (SB 1848) that would place increased restrictions on abortion clinics and doctors and bar embryonic stem cell research in the state, the AP/Washington Times reports.

La. Bill Mandating Care for Brain-Dead Pregnant Women Advances
A Louisiana House committee on Wednesday advanced legislation (HB 348) that would require health care providers to continue medical support for pregnant women who are brain dead in order to maintain their bodies' functions until birth, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Fla. Bill Making Fetal Harm a Crime Heads To Gov.
The Florida Senate on Wednesday approved legislation (HB 59) that would make it a crime to injure or kill a fetus at any stage of development, the Bradenton Herald reports.

Lawsuit Over Antiabortion-Rights Campaign Ad Reaches Supreme Court
A case being heard before the Supreme Court Tuesday morning will decide whether an antiabortion-rights group has legal standing to challenge an Ohio law prohibiting false statements in political ads, Politico reports.

Featured Blogs
"Florida Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Pregnant Workers" and "Dallas Hospital Revokes Privileges, Tells Abortion Providers They Damage its 'Reputation'"

Pressure Mounts for Tenn. Gov. To Veto Bill on Drug Use During Pregnancy
Reproductive-rights and women's rights groups continue to pressure Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) to veto legislation (SB 1391) that would allow the state to prosecute women who use illicit drugs during their pregnancies, CNN reports.

'Counterproductive' Tenn. Bill Bad for Women, Families, NYT Editorial Argues
A bill (SB 1391) recently approved by Tennessee's Legislature would give the state "the dubious distinction of being the first state to specifically authorize the filing of assault charges, carrying up to 15 years in prison, when a fetus or newborn is deemed to be harmed by illegal narcotics," a New York Times editorial states.

Colo. Dems Back Away From Reproductive Health Freedom Act
Colorado Senate Democrats on Wednesday said they will no longer pursue a bill (SB 175) that would block government entities from enacting policies that deny or interfere with reproductive health care, the Denver Post reports.

Hawaii Considers Proposal To Expand Fertility Treatment Coverage
A Hawaii House Committee has advanced a resolution (SCR 35) calling for the state auditor to study a proposal that would expand coverage of fertility treatments, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Groups Urge Veto of Tenn. Bill Allowing Criminal Charges Over Pregnancy Outcomes
Medical and women's rights groups are urging Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) to veto legislation (SB 1391) that would allow the state to file criminal charges against women suspected of misusing drugs during pregnancy, the New York Times reports.

Featured Blogs
"It's Time To Pass the NY Women's Equality Act, Tenth Point Included," (Ruoff, Huffington Post blogs, 4/11); "While One State Wants To Criminalize 'Bad' Pregnant People, Another Goes After 'Bad' Mothers," (Marty, Care2, 4/11); "America's Abortion-Free Zone Grows," (Marty, Daily Beast, 4/14); "Is Preventing Surrogacy Feminist? No, It's Anti-Choice," (Matson, RH Reality Check, 4/11).

Colo. Reproductive Health Freedom Act Advances
A Colorado Senate committee has advanced a bill (SB 175) that would prohibit government entities from enacting policies that deny or interfere with reproductive health care, Fox31 Denver reports.

Featured Blogs
"Rick Perry Dodges Measures To Address the Prison Sexual Assault Crisis," (Knefel, RH Reality Check, 4/8); "The 5 Most Surprising Things About My Abortion," (Stewart, Huffington Post blogs, 4/9); "Colorado Lawmakers Introduce an Ambitious Bill To Protect Reproductive Rights," (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 4/10); "Missouri Lawmaker Compares Getting an Abortion To Buying a New Car or Re-Carpeting," (Dusenbery, Feministing, 4/10); "It's Time To Repeal State Advance Directive Laws That Discriminate Against Women," (Taylor/Paltrow, RH Reality Check, 4/10).

Record Number of State Bills Favor Abortion Rights
Although state lawmakers have continued with an onslaught of antiabortion-rights bills this year, a record number of states are considering measures aimed at protecting abortion rights and access, according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute, the Christian Science Monitor's "DC Decoder" reports.

Ariz. Sends Surprise Abortion Clinic Inspections Bill to Gov.
The Arizona Senate on Wednesday approved a bill (HB 2284) that would allow the state to conduct unannounced abortion clinic inspections without a warrant, Reuters reports.

Calif. Hospital Allowed To Continue Abortion Ban With Stipulations
The California attorney general's office and a Catholic-affiliated hospital have reached an agreement that allows the facility to continue a ban on most abortions as long it refers women elsewhere, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Featured Blogs
"Repro Wrap: Everyone Hates National Right to Life (Even Abortion Opponents) and Other News" (Marty, Care2, 4/4) and "Murder Charges Dismissed in Mississippi Stillbirth Case" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 4/4).

La. House Approves Measure Regulating Surrogacy
The Louisiana House in a 79-14 vote on Tuesday approved a bill (HB 187) that would regulate surrogacy contracts between married couples and women who bear their children, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Featured Blogs
"Kansas Moves To Defund Planned Parenthood and Force Doctors To Report Every Miscarriage," (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 3/26); "Two Anti-Choice Candidates in Colorado Rescind Support for 'Personhood,' (Salzman, RH Reality Check, 3/26).

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Fla. City Ordinance Banning 'Targeted' Picketing
In a case spurred by antiabortion-rights protests outside the home of a Planned Parenthood official, a federal appeals court upheld a Winter Park, Fla., ordinance that prohibits "targeted" picketing within 50 feet of a city resident's home, but it struck down another rule that more broadly banned loitering in the 50-foot zone, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Featured Blogs
"A Mississippi Teen is Facing Life in Prison for Using Cocaine During Her Pregnancy" (Dusenbery, Feministing, 3/19), "One City's 6 Month Quest To Take Its Sidewalks Back from Anti-Abortion Protesters" (Marty, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 3/19) and "Louisiana House Committee Passes Admitting Privileges Bill" (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 3/20).

N.J. City Adopts 'Buffer Zone' Rules
The Englewood, N.J., City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved new regulations that would bar individuals from protesting within eight feet of any health care facility in the city, including abortion clinics, the North Jersey Record reports.

Blogs Comment on Abortion Clinic Closures, 'Birth Control Truthers,' More
"Three More Abortion Clinics Forced To Close in Texas: 'This is a State of Emergency,'" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress); "Alabama Report Makes it Clear How Brutally Women Are Treated in Prison," (Marty, Care2, 3/5); "Nation's First Birthing Center/Abortion Clinic Opens in Buffalo. This Is Huge," (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 3/6).

Ariz. House Advances Bill Authorizing Unannounced Abortion Clinic Inspections
The Arizona House on Tuesday approved a measure (HB 2284) that would allow the state to conduct unannounced inspections of abortion clinics, the New York Times reports.

Featured Blog
"Who's to Blame When a Woman Experiences Abortion Regret?" (Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 3/3).

New 'Buffer Zone' in Madison, Wis., Quickly Draws Lawsuit
A coalition of antiabortion-rights groups has filed a federal lawsuit against a new "buffer zone" ordinance in Madison, Wis., arguing that it violates First Amendment rights, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

Abortion-Rights Supporters Go on Offensive at State Level
State legislators this year have introduced more bills supporting abortion access than any time since the early 1990s, according to Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, Bloomberg reports.

Featured Blogs
"Could This Be the Year the Pro-Choice Movement Goes on the Offensive?" (Dusenbery, Feministing, 2/24), "Supreme Court Turns Away Arizona Planned Parenthood Funding Ban" ((Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 2/24) and "Repro Wrap: Here Come the Personhood Bids Again and Other News" (Marty, Care2, 2/21).

N.H. Senate Passes 'Buffer Zone' Law; House Approval Expected
The New Hampshire Senate on Wednesday passed a measure (SB 319) that imposes a 25-foot buffer zone around the state's abortion clinics, New Hampshire Public Radio reports.

Hospice Notification Bill Advances in Okla.
The Oklahoma House on Thursday unanimously approved a bill (HB 2685) that would require abortion providers to notify women whose fetuses have fatal defects that they may seek out perinatal hospice care instead of abortion, even though the services are not available in the state, the AP/Oklahoman reports.

Colo. Will Not Sanction Catholic Hospital Over Abortion Dispute
Colorado health officials will not sanction a Catholic hospital that allegedly admonished a physician for a conversation he had with a patient about considering an abortion, the Durango Herald reports.

S.D. House Advances Bill on Prenatal Care for Undocumented Immigrants
The South Dakota House on Monday passed a bill (HB 1158) that would allow the state to offer prenatal care to low-income, undocumented immigrants, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Featured Blog
"GOP Candidates in Texas Say Pregnant, Brain Dead Woman Should Have Been Kept on Life Support" (Rivera, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 1/29).

Legislative Changes Proposed in Wake of Texas Life-Support Case
Both Republicans and Democrats in the Texas Legislature want to clarify a state law on end-of-life care after a hospital sparked a national debate by refusing to end life support for a brain-dead pregnant woman, WFAA reports

Featured Blogs
"Texas Judge Rules Brain Dead Pregnant Woman Must Be Taken Off Life Support" (Robin Marty, Care2, 1/24), "Bill Regulating Certified Professional Midwives Needs a Push" (Judy Norsigian, Our Bodies Ourselves' "Our Bodies, Our Blog" 1/27) and "New Law Could Force All of Louisiana's Abortion Clinics To Close" (Zoe Carpenter, The Nation, 1/27).

Hospital Removes Brain Dead Woman From Life Support After Court Order
A Texas hospital has removed a brain dead pregnant woman from life support after a judge ruled that it was misapplying a state law that bars withdrawing "life-sustaining treatment" from a pregnant patient, the New York Times reports.

Appeals Court Partially Reinstates NYC Crisis Pregnancy Center Disclosure Law
A federal appeals court on Friday reversed part of a ruling that barred New York City from enforcing a law that requires crisis pregnancy centers to disclose more information about their services, the AP/Wall Street Journal reports.

Ethicists: Texas Life Support Law 'Unconstitutional'; NYT Columnist Blasts 'Cruel' Policy
Although a Texas law barring hospitals from ending life-sustaining treatment for pregnant patients "is almost certainly unconstitutional," it does not apply to a controversial case in which a pregnant woman is being kept on life support against her and her family's wishes, according to a Los Angeles Times opinion piece by Arthur Caplan, director of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Thaddeus Pope, director of the Health Law Institute at Hamline University School of Law.

Justices Appear Divided Over 'Buffer Zone' Law During Oral Arguments
The Supreme Court justices on Wednesday seemed "evenly divided" over the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law that prohibits protests within 35 feet of abortion clinics, although Chief Justice John Roberts -- likely the decisive vote -- remained silent, the New York Times reports.

Midwives Gain More Autonomy Under New Calif. Law
A new California law (AB 1308) gives midwives more autonomy and lifts a requirement that a doctor be present during childbirth, KQED's "The California Report" reports.

Half of States Fail Reproductive-Rights Report Card; Some Show Promise on Pro-Choice Laws
On Tuesday, two groups on opposite sides of the abortion-rights debate released reports grading states on abortion-related legislation, Politico Pro reports.

Family Sues To End Forced Life Support for Pregnant Texas Woman
The husband of a pregnant woman being kept on life support against her family's wishes has sued the hospital involved and asked a judge to strike down the state law the facility cites in the case, the New York Times reports.

New York Times Editorial: Supreme Court Should Uphold Buffer Zone Law
A New York Times editorial on Monday discussed the Supreme Court's involvement this week in a case involving a Massachusetts law that creates a protest-free buffer zone around abortion clinics.

Justices Revisit Clinic 'Buffer Zones' This Week; Op-Ed Defends Mass. Law
The Supreme Court on Wednesday is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case challenging a Massachusetts law that prohibits protests within 35 feet of abortion clinics, the AP/Modern Healthcare reports.

NYT: Complex Debates Intersect in Dispute Over Life Support for Pregnant Texas Woman
A case of a pregnant Texas woman being kept on life support against her and her family's wishes is sparking debate about the intersection of medical, legal and ethical issues involving abortion and end-of-life care, the New York Times reports.

States Shift Tactics on Abortion Restrictions for 2014
Facing legal challenges to sweeping antiabortion-rights laws, conservative state lawmakers are shifting focus to incremental measures that regulate clinics, physicians and abortion methods, Politico reports.

Featured Blogs
"More Abortion Restrictions Were Enacted From 2011 to 2013 Than in the Entire Previous Decade" (Gold/Nash, RH Reality Check, 1/6); "Fifth Circuit Judges Hear Arguments on Texas' Omnibus Anti-Abortion Law" (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 1/6); "Texas Family Describes 'Pure Hell' of Being Forced To Keep Their Loved One on Life Support" (McDonough, Salon, 1/6); and As Abortion Providers Are Under Attack, Fake Anti-Choice Clinics Are Gaining Ground" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 1/2).

Featured Blogs
"When Pro-Life Goes Frankenstein: The Case of Marlise Munoz" (Morgan Guyton, Huffington Post blogs, 12/31/13) and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Women's Rights in 2013" (Alexander Sanger, Huffington Post blogs, 12/30/13).

Pa. Lawmakers Unveil Women's Health Package
The Pennsylvania Legislature's Women's Health Caucus this week unveiled a package of seven bills related to women's health, WESA reports.

American Prospect Piece Suggests Focus Areas for Reproductive-Rights Advocates in 2014
Facing an "ever-growing maelstrom of incursions on abortion rights, pro-choice politicians have stayed on the defensive, clinging to the standards established by Roe v. Wade even as conservatives whack relentlessly at their foundations," writes Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux, an American Prospect writing fellow, in an opinion piece.

Featured Blogs
"Pennsylvania's New 'Women's Health Caucus' Unveils Package of Pro-Active Bills" (Tara Murtha, RH Reality Check, 12/11) and "After Lawmaker Discloses Her Own Sexual Assault, Michigan Approves 'Rape Insurance' Bill Anyway" (Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 12/12).

La. Appeals Court Reverses Ruling Against Abortion Provider, Says State Lacked Authority To Fine Clinics
A Louisiana appeals court has thrown out fines levied against a New Orleans abortion provider, ruling that the state's health agency lacked the legal authority to impose the penalties, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports.

Pa. Suspends Abortion Clinic for Undisclosed Link to Prohibited Provider
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has suspended the registration of a abortion clinic in the state after it failed to disclose its affiliation with Steven Brigham, an abortion provider who is prohibited from operating in the state, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Featured Blogs
"On Abortion, the People Keep Speaking. Is Anyone Listening?" (Jacobson, RH Reality Check, 11/20); "Maine City Approves a Buffer Zone Around Planned Parenthood To Prevent Anti-Abortion Harassment" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 11/20); "A Dark Day for Texas Women. A Dark Day for Justice" (Amiri, "Blog of Rights," ACLU, 11/20).

Mass. AG Files Supreme Court Brief in Defense of 'Buffer Zone' Law
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's (D) office on Friday filed a U.S. Supreme Court brief defending a state law that prohibits protests within 35 feet of abortion clinics, the AP/Springfield Republican reports.

Portland, Maine, City Council Approves Buffer Zone Around Planned Parenthood Clinic
The Portland, Maine, City Council on Monday unanimously passed an ordinance creating a buffer zone around a Planned Parenthood clinic to protect clients from protesters outside the facility's entrances, the Portland Press Herald reports.

Wis. Assembly Approves 'Choose Life' License Plates After Republicans Drop Compromise Plan
Wisconsin's Assembly last week approved legislation (AB 206) that would create "Choose Life" license plates and funnel proceeds from the plates to an antiabortion-rights organization, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Legal Fights Over State Laws Offer Ample Chances for Supreme Court Intervention
It is "only a matter of time" before the Supreme Court decides to hear one of several ongoing challenges to state-level abortion restrictions, USA Today reports.

Calif. Referendums Could Block Laws That Expand Abortion Access
Opponents of new California laws (AB 154, AB 980) that aim to expand abortion access have launched referendum efforts that would block the state from implementing the laws, City News Service/Los Angeles Daily News reports.

New L.A. County Ordinance Against Maternity Hotels Unnecessary, Report Finds
A new Los Angeles County ordinance requiring stronger oversight of so-called maternity hotels will not be necessary because the facilities already are illegal under existing law, according to a report released last week by the county's Department of Regional Planning, the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" reports.

Ala. Abortion Clinic Regulations Debated at Public Hearing
Alabama abortion-rights opponents last week urged state health officials to go further than an existing proposal to regulate abortion clinics, the AP/Huffington Post reports.

Law Pitting 'Fetal Protections' Against Pregnant Women's Rights Faces First Federal Lawsuit
A lawsuit filed this month is the first test in federal court for a 1998 Wisconsin law (Act 292) allowing child-welfare officials to forcibly confine pregnant women who allegedly use illegal drugs or alcohol "to a severe degree" and refuse to accept treatment, the New York Times reports.

Calif. Bucks National Abortion Restriction Trend, Stirs Debate
While other states are moving to restrict abortion, California has passed two new laws expanding access to abortions, the Washington Times reports.

Coloradans Will Vote on 'Personhood' Measure for Third Time on Nov. 2014 Ballot
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced on Monday that a proposal to amend the state's constitution to redefine "personhood" will be on the November 2014 ballot, KWGN reports.

Featured Blog
"The Gold Standard: Safe, Licensed Professional Abortion Care" (Taylor, ANSIRH Blog, 10/11).

Other Issues | In the Courts

This section provides a brief overview of significant cases impacting reproductive rights and health related to Other Issues.

Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma v. Cline
Federal court challenge to an Oklahoma Department of Health decision to exclude Planned Parenthood from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, which provides food and resources to low-income pregnant women, new mothers, and children.

Hope Medical Group for Women v. LeBlanc
Challenge in federal court to a Louisiana law that exposes abortion providers to legal liability and exempts them from medical malpractice suit restrictions.

Planned Parenthood v. Iowa Board of Medicine
State court challenge to a rule prohibiting the use of telemedicine to provide medication abortion to patients.

Planned Parenthood Arizona Incorporated et al v. Humble
Federal court challenge to Arizona statute and implementing regulations that impose restrictions on medication abortion and force abortion clinics to administer medication in an outdated manner.

Pre-Term Cleveland, Inc. v. Kasich
State court challenge to abortion restrictions passed by the legislature as part of the state's 2014-2015 budget bill.

Reddy v. Foster
Federal court challenge to a New Hampshire law prohibiting protests within 25 feet of abortion clinics.

McCullen et al. v. Martha Coakley
Federal court challenge to a Massachusetts law prohibiting protests within 35 feet of abortion clinics.

Mahoney v. Kliebert
State court case against the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals demanding access to mandatory reports detailing each pregnancy termination performed in the state.

ACLU of North Carolina v. Conti
Federal court challenge to North Carolina decision to issue a pro-life license plate, while refusing to approve a pro-choice license plate

Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region and Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee v. Dreyzehner
Challenge to Tennessee decision to stop allocating federal disease prevention funding to Planned Parenthood

Hodes & Nauser MDs, P.A. v. Schmidt
State court challenge to the provisions of a Kansas law, HB 2253, which limit the medical emergency exception in Kansas abortion restriction laws.