U.S. Repro Watch provides periodic updates on news of interest on U.S. reproductive rights. Here are a few recent items you won’t want to miss:
Some states acted to protect abortion care. . .
1. In New Jersey, a new law took effect requiring health plans from large employers to cover abortion care.
- Employers with at least 50 workers must now include coverage for abortion care. The new regulations follow the 2022 passage of the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, which imposed similar regulations on individual and small employer plans earlier this year.
2. California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit against a network of anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers”—facilities that use deceptive practices to divert people away from receiving abortion care.
- Filed September 21, the lawsuit argues that the anti-abortion centers violated state law by deceptively telling patients that a medication abortion can be “reversed”—an unproven and potentially dangerous claim with no basis in science.
While others continued attempts to restrict it. . .
3. Wisconsin lawmakers proposed a set of anti-abortion legislation.
- Proposed just days after Planned Parenthood resumed abortion services in the state, the legislation includes a bill that would prohibit the University of Wisconsin health system from providing, promoting or teaching about abortion.
4. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita was charged with misconduct due to his treatment of Dr. Caitlin Bernard, a doctor who provided an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio.
- After Dr. Bernard shared the patient’s story last year, Rokita targeted her by suing the Indiana University hospital system where she works, alleging that the hospital system violated patient privacy laws.
- A few days after the lawsuit was filed, the Indiana Supreme Court’s disciplinary commission filed a complaint against Rokita, arguing that his public statements about Dr. Bernard last year violated professional conduct rules.
Did you know?
A new report from Pregnancy Justice, “The Rise of Pregnancy Criminalization,” found nearly 1,400 cases of people arrested for their pregnancy outcomes between 2006 and 2022. The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision eliminating the constitutional right to abortion “will further accelerate an existing crisis, putting anyone who is pregnant or has the capacity to become pregnant at even greater risk of arrest, prosecution, and conviction,” says the report.
The data represents a sharp increase compared to the findings of the group’s 2013 study, which reported 413 cases during a 33-year period—meaning there are now over three times as many cases in half as many years. Nearly 80% of arrests took place in just five states: Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Mississippi—states that have acted to ban or severely restrict abortion since the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling.
The cases show that people are criminalized for a wide range of pregnancy outcomes including birth, pregnancy loss and abortion.
September 28: International Safe Abortion Day
International Safe Abortion Day draws attention to the need for safe, legal and stigma-free access to abortion care. The day is also a reminder that while everyone, in every country, deserves access to such care, unsafe abortion is still a leading cause of maternal deaths and morbidities in countries across the globe.
Where do abortion laws stand in countries across the globe? Find out with the Center’s updated World’s Abortion Laws Map.