Proactive Policy on Abortion Access

Proactive Policy on Abortion Access2019-07-18T15:32:59-04:00

About This Work

Access to high-quality, trustworthy abortion care is central to our ability to control our bodies, our lives, and our futures. Advancing abortion care means both ensuring that abortion clinics are safe for patients and providers, and preventing the deception of “crisis pregnancy centers,” which are fake clinics that lie and deceive women.

For the last decade, NIRH has worked to increase access to reproductive health care facilities that provide abortion, using all the policy tools at our disposal to ensure that women are able to access the quality care they need free from fear, intimidation, and violence. NIRH works with partners to develop local policy strategies to address clinic violence, encouraging clinics and advocates to seek appropriate policy remedies for threats to patients and clinics in communities.

At the same time, we’ve worked to ensure that so-called crisis pregnancy centers – fake clinics that pose as legitimate reproductive health care facilities – are not able to deceive and manipulate women in an effort to prevent them from making their own decisions about abortion. Nearly 2,500 fake clinics exist in communities across the country. Common tactics of fake clinics include presenting an aura of medical authority to trick women into thinking they are in an abortion clinic, lying to women about the gestational age of their fetuses, and dispensing intentionally misleading information to prevent women from accessing abortion. NIRH has worked with advocates to pass city regulations in cities across the country, including Austin, Baltimore, Hartford, and New York City. Although some of these ordinances are no longer enforced following legal challenges, advocates in several cities have been successful in regulating these dangerous centers. Amidst ongoing momentum at both the state and local levels to improve access to reproductive health care, NIRH will continue to work with advocates on the ground to fight the deception of fake clinics in cities and states across the country.

Our Successes

Establishing a Reproductive Health Fund in Kalamazoo

NIRH believes that localities are laboratories for innovation in policy-making that centers equitable access to reproductive health care. We are committed to securing municipal funding to support abortion access, and we ground our strategy in the growing movement to create municipal budgets that truly invest in community health and safety rather than over-policing. In 2021, NIRH worked with All* Above All and the YWCA of Kalamazoo to become the first city with a Reproductive Health Fund that supports the full range of reproductive and sexual health care options. Through a shared vision and strategy, we secured county funding for the [...]

April 8th, 2021|

New Mexico

Both NIRH and the NIRH Action Fund have worked steadily in New Mexico for several years to ensure that New Mexico repeals its pre-Roe law criminalizing abortion access and continues to be a haven for abortion access in the Southwest. In 2021, with a newly strengthened majority in support of abortion access in the State Senate, New Mexico successfully repealed its outdated criminal abortion law. 

March 1st, 2021|

Virginia Legislative Victories

Both NIRH and the NIRH Action Fund have worked steadily in Virginia for several years — Virginia has now passed proactive abortion laws two years in a row, rolling back a host of restrictions to create a much-needed access point in the Southeast. Virginia had once been infamous for its attacks on abortion care, passing a raft of barriers to abortion access throughout the 2010s. The NIRH Action Fund worked in Virginia in 2017 and 2019, and in the 2019 elections, Virginia voters elected a pro-choice majority in the General Assembly for the first time in two decades. New lawmakers [...]

February 25th, 2021|

Massachusetts legislative victories

One of our core strategies has been to pass laws in every state possible to secure reproductive freedom. In Massachusetts, we worked alongside partners for many years to reform the Commonwealth’s surprisingly restrictive reproductive health laws, securing reproductive freedom in state law, removes barriers to abortion and expands access to this care. In 2017, we worked together to pass the ACCESS (Advancing Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security in our State) bill, which put in place state-level protections for contraceptive access without a copay. In 2018, we passed the NASTY Woman Act, repealing the commonwealth’s centuries-old criminal abortion law. Armed with [...]

January 2nd, 2021|
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