Troubling trends abound, but some bright spots provide hope for the future of reproductive health care access. 2015 saw the continuation of harmful trends in state legislatures to restrict reproductive rights and access, either through sham laws that force clinics to close their doors for medically unnecessary reasons or through efforts to interfere with women’s decision-making abilities. New attempts to restrict abortion—relying on junk science and outrageous claims—appeared in state legislatures and may set the stage for future trends. Meanwhile, the legal outcomes of multiple state abortion restrictions remain unclear as cases wind their way through the courts.
But reasons for optimism in our movement to change the landscape of state reproductive rights and access also continue. New resources and partnerships are percolating to shift our culture to one of proactive, forward-thinking action. While we track hundreds of state bills regarding reproductive health and rights, here are some key developments at the 2015 midpoint.