In 2019, while some states have moved with unprecedented hostility to ban abortion, many states are moving proactive legislation that safeguards the right to and access to abortion care.
As the national landscape shifts, it is crucial to promote state policies that proactively advance and protect reproductive rights, health, and justice. NIRH works nationally to advance policies protecting and expanding access to abortion and contraception at the state and local levels. See our 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 proactive policy reports for a detailed account of the progress that many states have made in introducing, moving, passing, and enacting legislation that proactively advances reproductive rights, health, and justice year-by-year.
Below you can find the latest proactive abortion policy in states across the country.
Enacted Proactive Legislation 2019
The Reproductive Health Act (IL S 25) was signed into law by the Governor. This bill protects access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion. Specifically, the Reproductive Health Act recognizes that each person has a fundamental right to make decisions about reproductive health care, including abortion, and treats abortion like all other health care, not as a crime. The Reproductive Health Act builds on the successful passage of HB40 in Illinois in 2017.
ME LD 1261 / H 922 was signed into law by the Governor. This bill allows qualified health care providers, operating within their scope of practice, to provide abortion care. That means a physician assistant or an advanced practice registered nurse licensed as such in this state can provide abortion care, in accordance with their training and expertise.
Enacted Proactive Legislation 2018
Enacted Proactive Legislation 2017
Delaware enacted Senate Bill 5, which repeals unconstitutional parts of the state’s pre-Roe abortion law and establishes clear protections for abortion access in the future—a victory for the coalition of state advocates and religious leaders led by the ACLU of Delaware and Planned Parenthood of Delaware.
In 2017, Idaho was forced to repeal a previously enacted restriction on access to medication abortion through telemedicine (a promising way to deliver medical care to rural residents who may not live close to a health care provider). After a court order found it to be unconstitutional, Idaho enacted House Bill 250, which repealed the restrictions on telemedicine and allows for telehealth prescription of medication abortion.
In the face of expanded federal restrictions on abortion funding, the Illinois legislature passed House Bill 40, which restores public insurance coverage for abortion for Medicaid recipients and state employees. State Representative Sara Feigenholtz, the bill’s sponsor, said that passing the bill was “a victory for every woman in our state because it protects every woman’s right to choose.”
In Oregon, the Reproductive Health Equity Act (House Bill 3391) was enacted, ensuring coverage for the full range of reproductive health services, including abortion, for all Oregonians regardless of their income or citizenship status. This was the latest version of a comprehensive coverage policy that has been supported by the Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon since 2015.