Legal Restrictions

The Center works with state advocates throughout the country to promote and defend women's access to reproductive health care services in state legislatures and other policy-making bodies.  Our State Program work is critical because each year state legislatures consider hundreds of bills that would restrict abortion.  Anti-choice activists intentionally target states where they are likely to succeed in passing harmful legislation, and use those victories to push similar bills in other states and on the national level.  Indeed, much of the erosion of reproductive rights in this country has come as a result of state legislative action.  The Center's State Program pays particular attention to the impact that restrictive laws and policies have on marginalized women and women who face disproportionate difficulties in achieving meaningful access to reproductive health care. The State Program also assists activists seeking to proactively strengthen reproductive rights and improve access.   

Specifically, the Center's State Program provides legal analysis, technical support and strategic advice to state legislators, advocacy organizations and individuals who want to ensure that all women have meaningful access to safe and legal reproductive health services, including abortion and contraception.   This includes model legislation; talking points; written analyses and veto letters.

The Center's State Program also monitors and analyzes proposed state laws and policies that would affect women seeking reproductive health services. Read:

En Vedette

Historic Hearing on the Hill

At the end of June, the Center for Reproductive Rights led an energized group of women’s health advocates to Capitol Hill to lobby for a piece of legislation called the Women’s Health Protection Act…

Women’s Rights Leaders Talk to Cosmo

Three prominent voices of the women’s reproductive rights movement knock it out of the park in a compelling interview over at Cosmopolitan.com this week…

NYT Editorial Endorses Women's Health Protection Act

On the eve of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s historic hearing on the Women’s Health Protection Act, The New York Times has published an opinion

Fixes Proposed for Buffer Zone Ruling

The Boston Globe reports this week on some of the first proposed legislative responses out of Massachusetts after last…

11 Things You Need to Know: State of the States 2014 Mid-Year Review

One thing that 2014 has proved so far: this fight isn’t over by a long shot. …

Human Rights v. World Cup

“How can we balance our love of the game with our commitment to human rights?” asks Human Rights Watch Deputy Director, Iain Levine, in his timely opinion piece in Foreign Policy

Shaming El Salvador on the Global Stage

Manuela’s story is the stuff of nightmares. The young mother from El Salvador had not been feeling well for several years. She sought medical attention for what seemed to be tumors on her neck, but received no treatment or diagnosis—just some pain killers…

MSNBC: After Tiller

In a frank and unsettling segment of her show, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry talks to journalist Irin Carmon and the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Policy and Advocacy…

IUDs are Like Abortion. Wait. What?

Writer Katie McDonough’s recent article at Salon.com discusses the ludicrous logic behind proposed legislation in Ohio to ban insurers—both public…

MKB Management Corp et al. v. Burdick et al.

This case challenged North Dakota Senate Bill 2305, which requires any physician providing abortions to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility.

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Our Work in Focus

In the United States, state legislatures wield enormous power to control women's access to abortion and other reproductive healthcare services…
In their efforts to make abortion inaccessible to as many women as possible, anti-choice forces have focused on burdening minors' access to abortion…
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court held that bans on abortion are unconstitutional…
Biased counseling laws, on the books in many states, require woman seeking an abortion to receive information dictated by the state prior to undergoing the procedure…
Laws that restrict the use of public funds for abortion can create barriers to women’s abortion access that are as difficult for women to overcome as laws that directly restrict the availability of abortion.  Funding restrictions endanger women’s health and, as some state courts have held,…
Human Rights defenders are the activists, including journalists, lawyers, judges, and healthcare providers, whose work allows others to exercise their human rights…
In 1973, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, that a woman's right to obtain an abortion was protected under the federal constitution…

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