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THREATS TO ABORTION RIGHTS/Other Types of Bills


In addition to the four main types of bills - abortion bans, biased counseling/waiting periods, TRAP, and parental involvement - that most commonly limit women's access to abortion, every year there are other types of anti-choice bills filed across the country. To find out if any of these bills are in danger of becoming law in your state this year, sign up for NAF's Act for Choice email list.

Fetal Homicide Bills

Fetal homicide bills are bills that grant fetuses additional rights, usually in the context of criminal offenses. Some criminal assault and homicide bills allow separate criminal or civil charges to be filed on behalf of a fetus when a woman is a victim of a crime.

Another recent trend is the attempt of some states to allow "wrongful death" claims to be filed on behalf of fetuses, through which abortion providers can be sued by women who have abortions and later regret their decision.

Refusal Clauses That Apply To Abortion

Refusal clause bills vary from state to state, but generally allow health care providers and institutions to refuse to provide, pay for, or make referrals for reproductive health services, based on their subjective religious or personal beliefs. The bills usually do not protect patients by making sure they receive notice that reproductive health services are being denied or are available elsewhere.

Medical Abortion Restrictions

With the more widespread use of medical abortion, some states are now attempting to limit even the provision of abortion medications such as mifepristone (RU-486). Such legislation is onerous and unnecessary as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved mifepristone as safe and effective and implemented requirements ensuring its safe use.

Funding Bills: Limiting Funds for Real Clinics And Increasing Funds for Fake Clinics

There are several types of state bills which limit funding for abortions. Some bills limit Medicaid funding for abortions, prohibiting public funding for abortion for women whose health would be threatened by continuing their pregnancies. Other bills prohibit public funding for abortions for specific state employees, by insurance companies, or in other circumstances. Other bills prohibit facilities which receive state family planning funding from providing or even making referrals for abortion services.

Even while state bills limiting abortion funding are filed and passed across the country each year, states have been increasing the amount of tax dollars given to "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) or organizations devoted to "abortion alternatives."

CPCs, which greatly outnumber abortion clinics across the country, are often designed to look like legitimate reproductive health care clinics but do not always provide women with their full reproductive health options, provide full medically accurate and unbiased information, or make referrals. CPCs have a well documented history of misinforming and intimidating women in order to prevent them from accessing abortion care.

Some CPCs are getting state funding in the form of direct allocations or tax credits in state budgets. More often, states have introduced and passed legislation creating "choose life" license plates, the revenues of which are used to fund CPCs.

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