Friday, February 14, 2020

Center for Public Health Law Research Publishes New Data on Abortion Laws

February 13, 2020

Temple's Public Health Law Research Center has published data on abortion laws in effect in the 50 states from December 1, 2018 to December 1, 2019.  The interactive database provides information about 15 types of abortion laws including: abortion bans, TRAP regulations, insurance restrictions, refusal to provide abortions, abortion advertising and many other types of restrictions. In addition to statutes and regulations the data released also tracks court cases.

Some of the developments in 2019 captured in the database include:

  • Five states enacted laws banning abortion based on gestational age, including a law in Alabama that bans virtually all abortions throughout pregnancy. Four have been challenged and blocked by courts. The Louisiana law will only take effect if a similar Mississippi ban, currently blocked, is allowed to take effect.
  • Four states — Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Utah — enacted targeted “reason-based” bans that prohibit abortion based on the pregnant person’s reason for seeking an abortion. These reasons can include fetal disability or anomaly, Down syndrome, or the race or sex of the fetus.
  • West Virginia passed a new law prohibiting the use of telemedicine for medication abortion, bringing the number of states with this restriction to nine.
  • There were 37 court challenges to abortion bans in 2019 that violated constitutionally established reproductive rights.

The database was developed by the Policy Surveillance Program of the Center for Public Health Law Research in collaboration with the Guttmacher Institute, Resources for Abortion Delivery (RAD), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), National Abortion Federation (NAF), and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). It is available on

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