Anti-Choice Bills Flooded State Legislatures in 2005, But Few Passed

In 2005, anti-choice bills were proposed in every state except Alaska and Nevada, according to a new report from the National Abortion Federation. Yet of the more than 500 anti-choice bills considered, only 26 were signed into law, according to the report (PDF).

Anti-choice legislation that passed included both bans on abortion and restrictions on abortion access. Florida and Oklahoma enacted new parental notification laws, both of which are being challenged in court. Seven other states tightened their parental notification laws. Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, and Missouri passed Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider (TRAP) laws, which impose medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion clinics that are not imposed on comparable health clinics. Missouri’s TRAP law requires abortion providers to have clinical privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic.

A major anti-choice ballot initiative in California was defeated, and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle (D) vetoed a bill requiring that women be given information about the possibility of fetal pain after 20 weeks’ gestation. “It would be reckless to inject a requirement that doctors communicate unproven science to their patients during an already difficult and sometimes traumatic time,” Doyle said in his veto message.

Seventeen states considered pro-choice bills, and five bills passed. Bills that create buffer zones around abortion clinics, to protect patients from protestors, were enacted by the state of Montana and the cities of West Palm Beach, Florida and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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National Abortion Federation report ÒReproductive Choice in the States in 2005,Ó 1/23/06

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