Record Number of Localities, States Passed Legislation to Advance Abortion Access Following the Fall of Roe, A Newly Released Report Finds
A First-of-its-Kind Report from the National Institute for Reproductive Health Shows 17 States and at Least 24 Municipalities Passed Legislation or Issued Executive Orders to Protect and Expand Abortion Access in the First Three Months After Supreme Court Eliminated Right to Abortion
New York, New York – Today, the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) released a new report showing a record number of states and localities rose to the challenge to protect abortion access in the first three months after Roe v. Wade was overturned in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The report, entitled Meeting the Moment Post-Dobbs, highlights the actions taken by 17 states and at least 24 municipalities that passed legislation or issued executive orders to protect and expand abortion care. NIRH also analyzes these policies, providing recommendations for future efforts throughout the report.
For nearly a decade, NIRH has been leading the charge for local efforts to advance reproductive freedom through innovative policymaking. To that end, NIRH supported the passage of multiple initiatives pushed forward by partner organizations in many of the states and localities profiled in this latest report. A particular focus has been measures to reduce the financial barriers to abortion care, including in Atlanta, Cuyahoga County (Ohio), Los Angeles, New York City, New Jersey, New York State, and St. Louis.
“Long before the fall of Roe, NIRH has been urging state and municipal leaders across the nation to protect access to reproductive health care and expand abortion access. This report details a wave of action taken by elected leaders at a critical moment and is a powerful reminder of the tremendous impact that can be made when we fight for abortion access on the state and local level,” said Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the NIRH Action Fund. “We are proud to release this report and applaud the leadership of local advocates and government officials who have already taken steps to advance abortion access, and we encourage others to follow suit. The work we did with our partners on the ground in the first three months post-Roe is just the beginning – we will keep fighting hard until reproductive health care is safe, accessible, and protected for every single person in every single state of America.”
Meeting the Moment Post-Dobbs highlights legislative action including:
- Addressing Financial Barriers to Abortion Access: Four states and at least 11 localities removed financial barriers to abortion by providing funding to access it or expanding coverage for abortion care.
- Building Protection from Prosecution: Four states and at least 12 localities passed new policy initiatives aiming to protect providers and patients from the criminal prosecution and/or civil penalties they may face for allegedly violating the new raft of state abortion bans.
- Expanding Models of Care: Four states and at least one locality have expanded the settings where people can access abortion care, and the category of clinicians that are licensed to provide abortion care.
- Increasing Security for Providers & Patients: Two states and two localities passed legislation to protect the safety of providers and patients by funding security expansions at abortion clinics, shoring up confidentiality protections, and establishing buffer zones outside of clinics.
- Expanding Data Privacy: The state of California joined nine localities in establishing legislation that protects the privacy of reproductive health information.
- Addressing the Harms of Anti-Abortion Centers: At least five localities across the country established initiatives to educate the public and/or regulate anti-abortion centers (AAC), which use deceptive and harmful tactics to deter and delay people from getting abortions and manipulate people’s reproductive decisions by stoking fear and shame.
- Creating Public Education and Outreach Programs: The state of California and at least two localities created public education and outreach programs to inform the public about reproductive health care access and address health inequities in reproductive health education.
This momentum has created a wave of support around the country for policies and candidates that support reproductive health care. NIRH remains committed to advocating for local and state governments to pass and implement policies that support access to abortion and reproductive care.
The entire Meeting the Moment Post-Dobbs: A Review of Proactive Abortion Policies Passed in States & Localities, June 24 – October 1, 2022 report can be found here.
The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations to protect and advance just and equitable access to reproductive health care. Our strategy is to go on the offensive to pass laws that safeguard reproductive freedom. NIRH partners with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change, so the fabric of reproductive freedom becomes harder to tear apart. Our current partnerships span more than twenty states.