NARAL Pro-Choice America released today its 16th annual report tracking reproductive choice-related legislation at the state and national levels. The report, Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States, was released just days before Americans commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion.
The report includes an assessment of each state’s decision-makers and legislatures, choice-related legislation in the past year, and accessibility to abortion services. Based on these criteria, NARAL assigned a letter grade to every state and the District of Columbia. California and Washington were the only two states to receive an A+, and 11 other states were graded either an A or A-. Four states received grades of B+, B, or B-, six states received grades of C+, C, or C-, and nine states received grades of D+, D, or D-. Nineteen states received a failing grade of F, with Louisiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania ranking the worst.
NARAL also identified trends in state legislation in 2006. In total, 470 pro-choice measures and 650 anti-choice measures were considered by state legislatures. Of these, 21 states enacted 56 pro-choice measures, nine of which emphasized pregnancy prevention, and 17 states enacted 45 anti-choice measures.
Nancy Keenan, the president of NARAL, commented on the political climate that affects reproductive freedoms and the work that still needs to be done, saying, “Events in 2006 have altered the future political landscape for choice. On November 7, Americans reaffirmed their commitment to a woman’s right to choose by electing pro-choice candidates and defeating anti-choice ballot measures across the county… This report is a reminder there is still much progress to be made. One election cycle cannot change everything, but pro-choice Americans showed that, by working together and acting on our values, we can lay the foundation for a future in which privacy and freedom are protected.”