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Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP)

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What are TRAP laws, and how do they impede women's access to health-care services?

The anti-choice movement has undertaken a campaign to impose unnecessary and burdensome regulations on abortion providers—but not other medical professionals—in an obvious attempt to drive doctors out of practice and make abortion care more expensive and difficult to obtain. Such proposals are known as TRAP laws: Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. Common TRAP regulations include those that limit the provision of care only to doctors, require doctors to convert their practices needlessly into mini-hospitals at great expense, limit abortion care to hospitals or other specialized facilities, rather than physicians’ offices, an impossibility in many parts of the country, and/or require doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital with nothing requiring facilities to grant such privileges.

Current State Laws

45 states and the District of Columbia have laws subjecting abortion providers to burdensome restrictions not imposed on other medical professionals: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, 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 certain qualified health care professionals from performing abortions.
  • 25 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, UT, VA, WI.

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

2013 Enacted State Legislation

8 state enacted 8 measures that subject abortion providers to burdensome restrictions not imposed on other medical professionals: AL, IN, LA, NC, ND, OH, TX, WI.


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