2011: Abortion Access Under Attack in State Legislatures

Politicians waged the most serious and damaging attack on abortion access in decades. This map shows the states that saw major threats to abortion access and states that passed new laws taking away a woman’s ability to make her own best decision for her personal circumstances.

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  • Alabama

    • Alabama legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed law banning abortion during a time in pregnancy when
      a woman might find out something has gone seriously wrong.
      A new law in Alabama bans abortion during a time in pregnancy when a woman might find out something has gone seriously wrong. Alabama legislators came close to passing several other extreme and outrageous bills, including a ban on all abortions.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Arkansas

    • Arkansas legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      ACLU and coalition partners prevented more than a dozen measures threatening access to reproductive health care from becoming law.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Arizona

    • Arizona legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed law that punishes non-profits, like rape crisis centers,
      if they refer a woman to an abortion provider.
      Arizona passed a law that punishes non-profits, like rape crisis centers or domestic violence shelters, if they refer a woman to a health care provider for a needed abortion. We have challenged this law in court. See here for more information. The state also passed legislation intended to degrade and humiliate African-American women who decide to have an abortion.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Florida

    • Florida legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed multiple anti-choice measures, including proposal that would amend
      state constitution if passed by voters in November 2012.
      Florida politicians enacted more anti-choice legislation this session than the last four years combined, including a proposal that would amend the state constitution to limit a woman's right to get an abortion. That proposal will be on the ballot in November 2012.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Georgia

    • Georgia legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      The ACLU and its partners were able to defeat measures that deprive a woman of the ability to make personal, private decisions about her health and pregnancy.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Iowa

    • Iowa legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      The Iowa legislature came close to passing some of the most callous restrictions on abortion in the country -- including limiting the options of a woman who needs an abortion if her pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Idaho

    • Idaho legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed law banning abortion during a time in pregnancy when
      a woman might find out something has gone seriously wrong.
      A new law in Idaho bans abortion during a time in pregnancy when a woman might find out something has gone seriously wrong.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Illinois

    • Illinois legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      ACLU and allies defeated several attacks on reproductive freedom, including a measure that would have placed unnecessary, discriminatory, and burdensome regulations on clinics in an effort to eliminate access to abortion services.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Indiana

    • Indiana legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a bill defunding Planned Parenthood.
      The ACLU took the state to court on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and won a temporary suspension of the enforcement of a new law that strips the Planned Parenthood in the state of Medicaid funding. Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana and lead counsel in the case, called the decision 'a positive first step in what promises to be a long legal battle.'

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Kansas

    • Kansas legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a bill that prohibits insurance companies
      from covering abortion care.
      Most insurance companies provide coverage for abortion care as part of comprehensive health care plans, but now, because of a new law in Kansas, insurance companies are prevented from offering abortion coverage as part of comprehensive health plans. We have challenged this law in court. See here for more information.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Kentucky

    • Kentucky legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      Kentucky saw several anti-choice proposals, including legislation that attempts to force a woman to view an ultrasound in order to shame her for her decision to seek an abortion.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Louisiana

    • Louisiana legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      Louisiana politicians came close to passing an all-out ban on abortion.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Maine

    • Maine legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      Maine legislators considered one of the most restrictive proposals in the country regarding teens' access to reproductive health care.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Minnesota

    • Minnesota legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      Bills that would have prevented some women from getting needed abortions passed the legislature but were vetoed by the governor.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Missouri

    • Missouri legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a bill making it more difficult for doctors to provide abortion care.
      The Missouri legislature passed a bill that makes it more difficult for doctors to care for a woman during a time in pregnancy when she might find out something has gone seriously wrong.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Mississippi

    • Mississippi legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      Mississippi considered legislation that would have placed burdensome and medically unnecessary requirements on abortion providers in an effort to limit a woman's access to abortion.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Montana

    • Montana legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a proposal to amend the state constitution to restrict abortion access.
      Several bills restricting access to reproductive health care were passed by the legislature, but were vetoed by the Governor in Montana. But legislators managed to start the process for a state constitutional amendment that would prevent a teen from being able to make the best decision for her circumstances. This proposal to amend the state constitution and restrict on teens' access to abortion will be on the November 2012 ballot.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • North Carolina

    • North Carolina legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a law preventing Planned Parenthood from receiving funds for
      family planning and teen pregnancy prevention programs.
      North Carolina politicians passed a law that prevents Planned Parenthood from receiving state and federal funds used to subsidize family planning services and provide teen pregnancy prevention programs. Planned Parenthood is challenging the law in court.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • North Dakota

    • North Dakota legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a law that makes it more difficult and dangerous for a woman to obtain a medical abortion.
      North Dakota passed a law that imposes requirements that make it less safe and more difficult for a woman to obtain an abortion by medication and came close to passing ban on virtually all abortions.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Nebraska

    • Nebraska legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a bill that prohibits insurance
      companies from covering abortion care.
      Nebraska passed a law that takes away insurance coverage of abortion in almost all cases.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • New Hampshire

    • New Hampshire legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a law that forces a teen to notify her parents when she needs an abortion,
      even if that puts her health and safety at risk.
      Politicians in New Hampshire overrode the governor's veto and enacted a law that forces a teen to notify her parents when she needs an abortion, even if that puts her health and safety at risk.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • New Mexico

    • New Mexico legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      The ACLU, along with coalition partners, defeated several serious threats to abortion access in 2011 including a dangerous bill that denies teens the care they need if they can't safely rely on a parent for help.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Ohio

    • Ohio legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a bill that restricts public servants' ability to get health care coverage for abortion.
      The Ohio legislative session has not yet come to a close, but the legislature already passed a bill that restricts public servants' ability to get health care coverage for abortion. Among the proposals still pending is a complete ban on almost all abortions.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Oklahoma

    • Oklahoma legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a bill that prohibits insurance companies
      from covering abortion care.
      The Oklahoma legislature took steps to severely limit access to abortion in 2011, including passing a bill that would prohibit insurance companies from covering abortion care.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Pennsylvania

    • Pennsylvania legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a bill that allows unnecessary and burdensome regulations on abortion providers
      Pennsylvania passed a law that could require abortion providers follow unnecessary and burdensome regulations in an effort to make it more difficult for them to provide care to women who need it.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Rhode Island

    • Rhode Island legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      A bill that would have prevented insurance companies from providing comprehensive health care coverage that includes abortion passed the Rhode Island Senate but failed to make it to the House.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • South Carolina

    • South Carolina legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      South Carolina legislators considered several extreme attempts to take away a woman's ability to have an abortion, including a bill that would allow healthcare workers to deny reproductive health care in emergency situations.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • South Dakota

    • South Dakota legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a bill requiring a woman seeking an abortion
      be "counseled" by anti-abortion activists.
      South Dakota passed one of the most extreme bills of the year which, among other provisions, requires a woman to first visit businesses that are notorious for providing false and misleading information in an effort to shame and coerce women out of the decision to have an abortion. Together with Planned Parenthood, we took the state to court and successfully blocked the law from enforcement.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Tennessee

    • Tennessee legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a proposal to amend the state constitution to limit the
      right to abortion, which goes before voters in 2014.
      Legislators in Tennessee voted to put a proposal on the 2014 ballot that would amend the state constitution to limit the right to abortion.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Texas

    • Texas legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a bill forcing a woman seeking an abortion
      to hear description of an ultrasound.
      Texas enacted a law that attempts to require a woman to hear the description of an ultrasound, even if she refuses. The law has been challenged in court.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Utah

    • Utah legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed law making emergency abortions more difficult to obtain.
      Utah politicians passed several bills in 2011 that impact a woman's ability to obtain an abortion when she needs one, including a new law that makes emergency abortions more difficult to obtain.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Virginia

    • Virginia legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed a bill that allows unnecessary and burdensome regulations on abortion providers.
      Virginia passed a law that could require abortion providers follow unnecessary and burdensome regulations in an effort to make it more difficult for them to provide care to women who need it.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Wisconsin

    • Wisconsin legislature passed major restriction on abortion access

      Passed law preventing University of Wisconsin Medical School from training doctors in abortion care.
      Several proposals are still pending in Wisconsin, but politicians have already passed legislation that aims to prevent the University of Wisconsin training doctors in abortion care, a move that seriously undermines medical education and threatens women's health.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • West Virginia

    • West Virginia legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      West Virginia legislators considered passing a bill that would have prohibited any comprehensive health insurance policy from covering most abortions. The ACLU worked with coalition partners to fight that and other extreme proposals in the state.

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.
  • Wyoming

    • Wyoming legislature threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access

      Threatened to pass major restriction on abortion access
      Wyoming politicians tried to pass a bill that would unnecessarily delay a woman's ability to obtain an abortion solely for the purpose of providing her biased, inaccurate information and shaming her out of her decision. The ACLU and its coalition partners defeated the bill (and Rachel Maddow helped).

      This is just a small example of the activity we saw in the state legislatures in 2011. Politicians don't seem to realize that each situation is different and a woman should have the opportunity to get the care she needs and make the best decision for her circumstances. And while we may not all agree about abortion, we can all agree that we don't want government intruding in private, personal medical decisions.

Sometimes it is hard to believe how far politicians are willing to go to stop a woman from being able to make personal, private medical decisions. From denying women comprehensive health care coverage that includes abortion care, to forcing a woman to listen to scripts and speeches intended to shame her out of her decision, to debating complete bans on any abortion, the state legislatures saw it all this year. In fact, in 2011, politicians waged the most serious and successful attack on abortion in decades. There were so many threats this year we cannot list them all here – click on a state to see some examples.

But here’s the thing: Women’s lives matter. Respect for women, respect for their decisions about their health and families, respect for their basic rights, matters. Ultimately, a woman’s decision about a problematic pregnancy must be a private decision, one that is best for her and her family. And if you stop to think about it, you realize each situation is different. But politicians tried this year, and will try again next year, to take away a woman’s decision-making ability regardless of her circumstances.

Americans have a lot on our minds these days. We are worried about our jobs, about our kids' education, and whether our communities are safe. But if politicians think that the fact that we are busy with the day-to-day needs of our families means that they can get away with taking personal decisions out of the hands of a woman and her family, they’ve underestimated the American people.

Now is the time to get ready for next year when extremists again go to state capitols with proposals to take away a woman’s options and shame her for the difficult decision she has already made. And, as you stand up and say “enough is enough,” the ACLU will be with you every step of the way — fighting these intrusive laws in the legislatures and in the courts. Make sure to sign up for our email list so we can keep you posted.
 

 

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