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Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP)

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Jeni, 34

At almost 21 weeks, Scott and I went to our appointment with the specialist. The sonogram operator asked us to be quiet, immediately changing the mood of the room.

Gina, 13

Gina is a 13-year-old who was raped. When she worried about missing her period and got a pregnancy test, she was 19 weeks pregnant.

Some politicians are trying to make it harder for women to get abortion and other health care.

These politicians are passing Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws. TRAP laws have nothing to do with women’s health or safety. They’re cleverly designed to drive doctors out of practice and make abortion care more expensive and difficult to obtain.

For example, some TRAP laws require the janitor’s closet to be a certain size. There are even TRAP laws that require health centers to keep the grass outside cut to a certain height.

The Challenge

We know TRAP laws are burdensome and unnecessary because they only apply to abortion providers, not to other types of health-care providers.

There are already very few abortion providers in the United States. In fact, 87 percent of counties have no health center where women can turn for abortion care. TRAP laws make this situation even worse—especially for women who live rural areas.

TRAP laws do not improve women’s health. They just make it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion if she chooses one.

Our Solution

All health-care centers should be held to the highest safety standards—and centers that provide abortion care are no exception.

But that’s not what TRAP laws do. TRAP laws single out abortion providers with regulations that have nothing to do with women’s health or safety.

These laws are just another attempt to make it harder for women to access safe, legal abortion care.

We must keep fighting these laws that are designed to block women from getting health care. Medical regulations should be based on legitimate health and safety needs—not anti-choice politics.

Laws About Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP)

Summary of State and Federal Laws

Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP)

44 states and the District of Columbia have measures subjecting abortion providers to burdensome restrictions not imposed on other medical professionals: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY.

  • All of these states prohibit some qualified health care professionals from providing abortion care.
    • 6 states and the District of Columbia have expanded the scope of practice of advanced-practice clinicians to include medical and/or surgical abortion services: CA, CT, DC, IL, NY, RI, WA.
  • 26 of these states restrict the provision of abortion care—often even in the early stages of pregnancy—to hospitals or other specialized facilities: AK, AR, CT, GA, ID, IN, MA, MN, MS, MO, NV, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI.

  • 19 of these laws are at least partially unenforceable: AL, AK, AZ, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MS, MO, NY, ND, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, WI.

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