Legislation on reproductive rights and access proposed and enacted by state legislatures in 2023 reflected the continued polarization of the nation, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights’ new 2023 State Legislative Wrap-up report.
The Center tracked and examined nearly 2,000 bills in state legislatures across the country addressing topics on abortion, maternal health, and assisted reproduction. Because the topics are interconnected, they are integrated throughout the report to present a more complete picture of reproductive health care access in the states.
Abortion Bills in the States
During 2023, state lawmakers introduced more than 900 abortion bills.
Abortion Protections: 430+ bills introduced, with 82 enacted covering interstate shield protections, state statutory protections, expansion of state public funding and private insurance, and repeal of criminal penalties.
Abortion Restrictions: 500+ bills introduced, with 58 enacted that included total bans, six- and 15-week bans, cross-border restrictions on abortion care, funding for anti-abortion centers, restrictions on telemedicine and medication abortion, and the addition of criminal penalties.
During the year, the report finds, some states acted to strongly protect reproductive rights and expand access to abortion care, while others acted to criminalize abortion care while failing to address the resulting harmful effects on maternal health care and assisted reproduction.
The report covers bills addressing a broad range of topics, including:
- Interstate shield laws.
- The FDA’s regulation of the abortion medication mifepristone.
- Extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage.
- Expanded access to midwives and doulas.
- Statutory protections and proposed state constitutional amendments.
- Fertility care.
- Protections for incarcerated pregnant people.
“Many states this year enacted supportive policies on reproductive rights and access to care. We had the opportunity to discuss those advancements at the 2023 State Leadership Summit in September with reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates and state legislators,” said Elisabeth Smith, the Center’s director of state policy and advocacy. At the Center’s 2023 State Leadership Summit, held in Chicago, approximately 150 state legislators and advocates gathered to strategize on ways to advance state reproductive rights legislation.
The Center advocates on both the federal and state levels to advance reproductive rights and access. On the state level, it works closely with partners to advance proactive state legislation and state constitutional protections, protect abortion access across state lines, support state ballot initiatives, litigate in state courts, and mitigate harm.
Read the full report: