Just two years after NIRH released its inaugural Local Index in 2017, which established a baseline of what can be done at the local level, cities across the country have embraced and expanded the vision of protecting reproductive freedom at the local level.
Key findings from the 2019 Local Index include cities that are protecting abortion access, improving the financial wellbeing of residents, and addressing broad reproductive health care needs:
- Columbus, OH: Having protected access to its abortion clinics in 2016, Columbus further expanded a pilot program to offer free menstrual hygiene products at all rec centers and homeless shelters and passed an ordinance that makes it illegal to deny someone services based on their immigration status. The city also adopted a resolution opposing changes to the Title X program.
- Detroit, MI: The city of Detroit launched a network of teen-friendly reproductive health care providers offering contraception and STI testing and treatment. Detroit also passed an anti-discrimination resolution in 2017 officially opposing the Trump-Pence administration’s immigration policies.
- Hartford, CT: Passed an ordinance requiring any anti-abortion pregnancy centers in the city to disclose whether they have a licensed medical provider on site providing or supervising medical services. That ordinance became the model for a statewide bill.
- Portland, OR: The Portland Public Schools Board of Education allocated $25,000 in the FY 2018/19 budget to fund free menstrual products for the entire district.
- Shelby County, TN: Although Tennessee preempts cities from raising the minimum wage, Shelby County raised the minimum wage for all county employees, including temporary workers.
- St. Louis, MO: The St. Louis Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance in February 2017 to prohibit employers or landlords from discriminating against anyone based on their pregnancy status or reproductive health decisions, including abortion care.
The 2019 Local Index also includes resources for advocates and policymakers, and a “model city,” which contains ideas that even the highest-scoring cities can implement to improve the lives of residents.
Read the press release announcing the 2019 Local Reproductive Freedom Index here.
To learn more about the Local Reproductive Freedom Index, please visit localrepro.nirhealth.org.
Download the 2017 Local Reproductive Freedom Index here.