Gaining Ground Series 2017 Midyear Report — Gaining Ground: Proactive Legislation in the States

July 18, 2017
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Increasing Access to ContraceptionEliminating Racial & Economic DisparitiesExpanding Abortion Access

The National Institute for Reproductive Health’s 2017 Midyear Report analyzes the ways in which states are pushing forward with a proactive and unapologetic approach to reproductive freedom. The midyear report is a feature of the new Gaining Ground suite of publications.

The first half of 2017 shows that many states are seizing the opportunity to protect the gains from the past few years, and even strike back against a Trump agenda set on decimating access to all forms of reproductive health care.

In the first six months of this year, 49 states and the District of Columbia have introduced 581 pieces of proactive legislation to advance access to reproductive and sexual health care, including abortion. And the surge in state resistance has generated a significant increase in movement: In 2016, 146 bills passed at least one committee in a state legislature; to date in 2017, 202 already have done the same.

Highlights from 2017

  • Delaware’s successful passage of robust protections for abortion access in state law, mitigating any possible blow to Roe from the Supreme Court. New York also attempted to pass such protections, and efforts are underway in Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.
  • Steady successes on insurance coverage for abortion, with the Illinois legislature voting to restore public insurance, among other protections, and Oregon just this month passing a bill to guarantee that insurance plans in the state cover abortion.
  • Action to protect contraceptive access, given the uncertain fate of the ACA. Maine and Nevada enacted laws to ensure no co-pay and coverage for 12 months of contraception at a time. New York accomplished this through administrative action, and Alaska, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Washington all made progress with similar legislation.
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