Report findings indicate momentum is high for reproductive freedom in 2018
For Immediate Release: February 15, 2018
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Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America released the 27th edition of its annual report: Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States. The report finds that while no state has total access to reproductive healthcare and 29 states have severely restricted access, 25 states, and the District of Columbia, enacted 52 pro-choice measures in 2017, nearly double the number enacted in 2016. While states enacted high numbers of anti-choice legislation in 2017, it is clear that Americans in states from Oregon to Virginia are demanding reproductive freedom.
“Seven in 10 Americans believe that abortion should remain legal and accessible, and it’s encouraging that the pro-choice policies enacted this year match the real values of a majority of hard working American families,” said Ilyse Hogue, NARAL Pro-Choice America President. “The American people want policies that uphold their fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which is inextricably linked to the ability of women to achieve their fullest potential. The momentum of the pro-choice movement is strong and growing–with a series of candidates winning this past year while running on their values and not shying away from abortion rights, and lawmakers across the country standing up and fighting for these policies. But there are still politicians representing huge swaths of the country who remain dangerously hostile toward women and reproductive freedom. NARAL members will remain steadfast in our support for lawmakers who trust women, and we will continue to hold out-of-touch, anti-choice politicians accountable when they fall short.”
While anti-choice legislators and organizations feel emboldened to eliminate access to abortion and contraception by any means necessary, NARAL members and the legislators who stand with us will continue to push pro-active, pro-choice policy in state houses across the country. These pro-choice laws cover a wide-range of reproductive rights, including expanding access to birth control, protecting pregnant women in the workplace, and ensuring abortion remains legal and accessible.
Some of the strongest pieces of pro-choice legislation enacted in 2017 include:
- Illinois passed groundbreaking legislation that allows for abortion coverage of low-income women and public employees—removing a long-time barrier to care. The state also enshrined the protections of the Roestandard into state law.
- Nevada passed a whopping seven pro-choice measures this year, one of which enshrined the protection of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit into state law. Maine also passed similar legislation, guaranteeing Maine and Nevada women will continue to have access to the single greatest advancement in reproductive healthcare in a generation.
- Oregon enacted truly revolutionary legislation that enshrines women’s constitutionally protected right to abortion as established under Roe. The state also passed legislation requiring insurance companies to cover FDA-approved contraceptives and abortion services without cost-sharing, greatly expanding access to affordable care.
- Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington State enacted a law requiring health-insurance plans to cover a 12-month supply of contraception at once. This will give women more control over their bodies and lives, without worrying about how to access birth control on a regular basis.
- Delaware passed legislation that codifies a woman’s right to access abortion prior to viability and repeals the state’s unconstitutional abortion ban.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”