Protect, Defend, Extend: 2018 State of the States

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A turbulent year for reproductive rights, 2018 saw a continuation of the nearly decade-long coordinated campaign to eliminate access to abortion and shutter clinics across the country as well as a significant shift in the political balance of the country’s highest court. In response to this increasingly hostile environment, reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates led innovative policy efforts to expand access to vital health care services and remove harmful barriers that disproportionately impact communities of color, young people, poor people, and those living in rural areas. The legal and legislative landscape for reproductive rights in the U.S. may be reshaped as a new wave of state leadership takes office in January 2019 and the threat to Roe v. Wade looms closer and closer.

This report provides an overview of the most recent state legislative trends, both those restricting access to abortion and those strengthening access to reproductive health care; as well as a summary of the types of legal challenges that could impact the future of abortion rights for millions of people across the country.