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Key Findings: Threats to Choice

In the 2010 elections, anti-choice politicians seized control of many state legislatures, vowing to focus on the nation's economic challenges. Once elected, however, these same lawmakers abandoned their promises and instead launched a War on Women. Now, for the fourth straight year, women have paid the price for this bait-and-switch strategy as anti-choice lawmakers restricted further the right to choose.

Among the 27 anti-choice state measures enacted in 2014, the most prominent trends were: TRAP laws, mandatory delays, and insurance-coverage bans.

Cumulative Number of Anti-Choice Statewide Measures Enacted Since 1994*

Chart of Cumulative Number of Anti-Choice Statewide Measures Enacted Since 1994

* Note: Chart includes only state measures not local ordinances.

Total Anti-Choice State Measures Enacted in 2014:

  • 16 states enacted 27 anti-choice measures in 2014.
  • Louisiana enacted the most anti-choice legislation in 2014, with four measures. Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Virginia each enacted two anti-choice measures.
  • Since 1995, states have enacted 835 anti-choice measures.

Anti-Choice State Measures Enacted in 2014 Included:

  • Indiana, Louisiana, and Oklahoma imposed onerous regulations on abortion providers that are intended to force clinics out of practice. In addition to the extensive requirements to which providers are already subject, each of these states now requires that all physicians providing abortion services must have admitting privileges at a local hospital, a near impossibility when nothing in the law requires hospitals to grant such privileges.
  • The Missouri legislature overrode the governor's veto and enacted a law forcing women to wait 72 hours before getting abortion services, worsening an already burdensome 24-hour mandatory delay. Similarly, Alabama extended its 24-hour mandatory-delay law to 48 hours. Mandatory delays create extreme burdens for many women, especially those in rural areas who must often travel long distances to reach a health-care provider, or women who simply do not have the resources to take extra time off work or pay for child care and out-of-town lodging.
  • Two states—Indiana and Georgia—enacted abortion coverage bans. Georgia's measure bans coverage of abortion in the state's health-insurance exchange and permanently blocks coverage for public employees, codifying a de facto prohibition on coverage in the state employee insurance plan. Indiana extended its existing ban on coverage within the state's exchange to apply statewide, banning coverage in the entire private market.
  • Mississippi enacted a ban on abortion care after 20 weeks.
  • South Dakota enacted a law banning abortion for sex-selection purposes, holding doctors criminally liable for knowing the reasons a woman chooses to end a pregnancy.
  • Oklahoma enacted a forced-ultrasound law that requires a woman seeking abortion care first to undergo an ultrasound procedure that neither she wants nor her doctor recommends. Additionally, the law requires doctors to use an outdated regimen for non-surgical abortion care, forbidding them from prescribing the medication off-label, a widely used practice in other areas of medicine.
  • Florida narrowed the health exception in its existing post-viability abortion ban.
  • Missouri enacted a law expanding direct funding to crisis pregnancy centers, anti-choice organizations whose sole purpose is to block women from exercising their right to choose.
  • Alaska enacted a law to restrict low-income women's access to abortion.
  • Alabama enacted a law restricting young women's access to abortion.
  • Voters in Tennessee approved a ballot measure that amends the state's constitution and allows elected officials to impose new restrictions on abortion rights. Amendment 1 makes it so that if Roe v. Wade were ever overturned, the Tennessee Supreme Court would have no authority to keep abortion legal in the state.

Anti-Choice Local Measures Enacted in 2014:

  • Portland, ME repealed an ordinance that placed a buffer zone around an abortion provider in that city.
  • Three municipalities—Burlington, VT, Madison, WI, and San Francisco—stopped enforcing their buffer-zone ordinances, citing the U.S. Supreme Court decision McCullen v. Coakley.

States that Enacted Anti-Choice Measures in 2014

Map of States that Enacted Anti-Choice Measures in 2014

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