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Counseling Bans & Gag Rules

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Tell Republicans: Stop Playing Politics with Human Trafficking Survivors

A Senate bill supported by both parties would help survivors of sex trafficking get their lives back on track, but anti-choice Republicans refuse to support it unless survivors are denied access to abortion care.

Tell Sen. McConnell: Stop Playing Politics and Start doing your job!

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants an abortion ban included in a bill that would help survivors of human trafficking and has publicly announced he won't consider the attorney general nomination until that bill passes.

Featured Efforts

Exposing Anti-Choice Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Anti-choice CPCs mislead and manipulate people facing unintended pregnancies. Learn More »

What are counseling bans and gag rules, and how do they impede women's access to health care?

To make informed health-care decisions, patients must have access to full, complete, and accurate information about their options. Women seeking reproductive-health care are no different. Counseling bans, also known as gag rules, typically prohibit organizations that receive state and/or federal funds from counseling or referring women for abortion services, hinder doctors from treating their patients responsibly, and severely limit women’s ability to make informed choices.

Current State Measures

21 states have measures that prohibit some or all state employees or organizations that receive state funds from providing, counseling, or referring women for abortion services: AL, AZ, AR, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, TX, VA, WI.

  • 1 state prohibition has been held partially unconstitutional: ND.

2014 Enacted State Legislation

1 state enacted 1 measure that prohibits organizations or individuals associated with abortion providers from offering any education or information to students at public or charter schools: LA.


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