State

Briefs

Bioethics in Law & Culture                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Summer  2021      vol.  4  issue  3

 

 

A summary of state legislation - April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021

Joe Kral, M.A.

 

Alabama:

Born Alive Infant Protection Act:

May 25, 2021 – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed HB 237 into law. The new law provides that a child born due to an attempted or botched abortion must be given the required medical care/treatment for a child of that age.

 

 

Arkansas:

Abortion Ban:

May 26, 2021 – The ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed suit to block enforcement of SB 6, which was scheduled to go into effect July 28. The new law is set to ban all abortions, except if the mother’s life is in danger. The new law would not punish women receiving the abortion, but would punish abortionists for performing an abortion (up to 10 years in prison).

 

Abortion Clinic Regulations (Hospital Transfer Agreement):

April 22, 2021 – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed SB 527 into law. The law requires clinics to have transfer agreements in place with a nearby hospital to handle complications from abortions.

 

Abortion Clinic Regulations (Licensing Requirements):

April 28, 2021 – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed SB 388 into law. The new law requires any facility that performs abortions, regardless of how many, must be licensed by the state Department of Health. It also mandates that hospitals within the state are not to perform abortions unless it is a medical emergency.

 

Rape and Incest Exception Ban:

April 22, 2021 – Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed SB 463 into law. The law will ban abortions, if the child is conceived in rape and/or incest until the twentieth week of gestation, and will only allow the late-term abortion if a criminal report has been filed.  

 

 

Arizona:

Eugenic Abortion Ban:

April 7, 2021 – The Arizona Senate failed to pass SB 1457, 14-16. If passed, the bill would have prohibited abortionists from performing an abortion if the unborn child had been diagnosed as having a disability.

 

April 19, 2021 – After a series of negotiations and procedural maneuvers, SB 1457 has been revived.

 

April 22, 2021 – The Arizona Senate and House passed SB 1457 on final reading. The bill now proceeds to Governor Doug Ducey’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

April 27, 2021 – Arizona Doug Ducey signed SB 1457 into law.

 

 

California:

Abortion Insurance Coverage:

April 8, 2021 – The California Senate Health Committee passed SB 245, 8-2. The bill would require every health insurance program within the state to cover abortions without a co-pay, deductible, or any other costs. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

June 4, 2021 – The California Senate passed SB 245, 31-8. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

Connecticut:

Assisted Suicide:

April 21, 2021 – HB 6425 did not meet legislative marker deadlines and as a result died in the legislature.

 

Florida:

Eugenic Abortion Ban:

April 6, 2021 – The Florida House Health and Human Services Committee passed HB 1221. If enacted, the bill would prohibit abortionists from performing an abortion if the unborn child has been diagnosed as having a disability. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

April 23, 2021 – The Florida House passed HB 1221, 77-44. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

Hawaii:

Non-Physician Abortions:

April 13, 2021 – Hawaii Governor David Ige signed HB 576 into law. The law will allow nurses to perform surgical and chemical first trimester abortions.

 

Idaho:

Defunding Abortion (Contract Restrictions):

April 8, 2021 – The Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee passed HB 220 that would prohibit the funding of those organizations that provide, assists, or counsels a woman into getting an abortion. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

April 27, 2021 – The Idaho Senate passed HB 220. The bill now proceeds to Governor Brad Little for either his signature or veto.

 

May 10, 2021 – Idaho Governor Brad Little signed HB 220.

 

Eugenic Abortion Ban (Down Syndrome):

April 8, 2021 – The Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee passed a Eugenic Abortion Ban (Down syndrome). If enacted, the bill would prohibit abortionists from performing an abortion if the unborn child has been diagnosed as having Down syndrome. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

Fetal Heartbeat Trigger Bill:

April 6, 2021 – The Idaho Senate passed SB 1085. If signed, the law would only go into effect if another fetal heartbeat law is upheld in another court. The bill would prohibit the abortion of an unborn child when a fetal heartbeat is detectable, around the sixth week of gestation. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

April 20, 2021 – The Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee has passed a revised version of SB 1085 (SB 1183). The revised bill corrects a wording error. The bill proceeds to the Senate for consideration. 

 

April 21, 2021 – The Idaho Senate has approved the corrected version of SB 1183, 25-7. The bill now goes to the House for approval.

 

April 21, 2021 – The Idaho House approved the corrected version of SB 1183. The bill is now being sent to Governor Brad Little for either his signature or veto.

 

April 27, 2021 – Idaho Governor Brad Little signed SB 1183 into law.

 

 

Indiana:

Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act:

April 6, 2021 – The Indiana Senate passed HB 1577, 36-14. If enacted, the law would provide information to the mother that would let her know that the process of the chemical abortion can be stopped, if done by a certain time, thereby saving the life of her unborn child. The bill must go back to the House so the House can concur with the changes made in the Senate.

 

April 14, 2021 – The Indiana House concurred with the Senate changes to HB 1577. The bill now proceeds to Governor Eric Holcomb for either his signature or veto.

 

April 29, 2021 – Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed HB 1577 into law.

 

May 18, 2021 – Planned Parenthood sued to block enforcement of HB 1577.

 

Parental Consent:

April 15, 2021 – The Indiana Senate passed HB 1577. The bill would require a parent who consents to their daughter getting an abortion must have that permission notarized before receiving the abortion. The bill now proceeds to Governor Eric Holcomb for either his signature or veto.

 

Iowa:

Constitutional Amendment (No Right to Abortion):

April 6, 2021 – The Iowa Senate passed HJR 5 which if passed by the legislature and approved by the voters would amend the Iowa Constitution to recognize that there is no right to abortion. The bill moves back to the House so that the House may concur with changes made in the Senate.

 

May 18, 2021 – The Iowa House passed HJR 5, but with changes. The measure will have to pass the Senate again.

 

May 19, 2021 – The Iowa Senate passed HJR 5. Now that the Resolution has passed both chambers it will need to pass both chambers in the 2023-24 legislative session. If it passes both chambers again in that session, it will then be placed on the November 2024 ballot for the voters.

 

 

Kansas:

Dismemberment Abortion Ban:

April 7, 2021 – County Judge Teresa Watson struck down the Dismemberment Abortion Ban as unconstitutional. Her decision was based on a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that ruled that abortion was a “fundamental right” under the state constitution. The law prohibited the dismemberment of a living unborn child.

 

Kentucky:

Constitutional Amendment (No Right to Abortion):

April 8, 2021 – Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams signed HB 91. The bill would amend the state constitution to recognize that there is no right to abortion or require funding for abortion. The proposed amendment must be approved by a majority of the voters on the November 2022 ballot.

 

Louisiana:

Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act:

May 5, 2021 – The Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee passed HB 578. If enacted, the law would provide information to the mother that would let her know that the process of the chemical abortion can be stopped, if done by a certain time, thereby saving the life of her unborn child. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

May 12, 2021 – The Louisiana House passed HB 578, 71-27-7. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

June 8, 2021 – The Louisiana Senate passed HB 578, 31-7. The bill now proceeds to Governor Jon Bel Edwards for either his signature or veto.

 

Missouri:

Gestational Age Trigger Bans:

June 9, 2021 – The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that the “Missouri Stands For The Unborn Act” was unconstitutional. Originally designed as a law that banned abortion at the eighth week of gestation, the law stated that if that gestational age was found unconstitutional then the next gestational age was triggered, 14 weeks. The Court ruled that the 8 week, 14 week, 18 week, and 20 week marks were unconstitutional. The Missouri Attorney General has stated the ruling will be appealed to the US Supreme Court.

 

Montana:

Abortion Pill Regulations (In Person Requirement; Reversal Information):

April 26, 2021 – Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed HB 171 into law. The law requires that the abortion pill be given in-person, thereby banning Telemed abortions. The law would also provide information to the mother that would let her know that the process of the chemical abortion can be stopped, if done by a certain time, thereby saving the life of her unborn child.

 

Constitutional Amendment (No Right to Abortion):

April 14, 2021 – The Montana Legislature failed to garner the needed two-thirds votes, 95 votes in both the House and Senate, to pass HB 337. The bill was an amendment to the state constitution and would have amended the state constitution to recognize the unborn, even at the moment of conception, as a full person with constitutional rights.

 

Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act:

April 26, 2021 – Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed HB 136 into law. The law would prohibit abortions after the twentieth week of gestation since the medical consensus holds this is the age in which the unborn child feels pain.

 

Ultrasound Requirement:

April 26, 2021 – Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed HB 140 into law. The law requires that a pregnant woman be given the opportunity to view the ultrasound of her unborn child prior to the abortion in addition to hearing the fetal heartbeat if audible.

 

New Hampshire:

Late Term Abortion Ban (24 weeks):

May 25, 2021 – The New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee passed HB 625 that would ban abortion after the twenty-fourth week of gestation. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

June 3, 2021 – The New Hampshire Senate passed a budget bill containing an amendment that is essentially identical to HB 625, banning abortion after the twenty-fourth week of gestation. The bill must now be reconciled in a conference committee.

 

June 24, 2021 – The New Hampshire Legislature passes the budget bill containing both the late-term abortion ban (24 weeks) and an ultrasound requirement.

 

June 26, 2021 – New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has signed the budget bill with both the pro-life provisions.

 

New Mexico:

Assisted Suicide:

April 8, 2021 – New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed the “End of Life Options Act” into law. The bill will allow physicians to assist in terminally ill patients receiving a lethal dose of medication at their request.

 

North Carolina:

Born Alive Infant Protection Act:

May 6, 2021 – The North Carolina Senate Committee passed SB 405. The bill requires that a child born due to an abortion or abortion attempt be given the same standard of medical care that is appropriate for a child of that gestational age. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

May 11, 2021 – The North Carolina Senate passed SB 405. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

Eugenic Abortion Ban (Down Syndrome):

May 4, 2021 – The North Carolina House Health Committee passed HB 453 which would prohibit the abortionist from knowingly aborting an unborn child with Down syndrome or because of the child’s race. The bill, if passed and enacted, would add to the existing law that prohibits abortions based on gender. The bill now proceeds to the full House for consideration.

 

May 6, 2021 – The North Carolina House passed HB 453, 67-42. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

June 2, 2021 – The North Carolina Senate Health Committee passed HB 453. The bill proceeds to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration. The Senate Judiciary Committee has also passed HB 453. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

June 9, 2021 – The North Carolina Senate passed HB 453. The bill now proceeds to Governor Roy Cooper for either his signature or veto.

 

June 26, 2021 – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed HB 453.

 

Informed Consent:

June 4, 2021 – A state judge has ruled that the lawsuit that is challenging the laws dealing with the state’s informed consent laws (waiting period, information provided to the mother and a ban on TeleMed abortions) can continue.

 

Late Term Abortion Ban (20 weeks):

June 16, 2021 – The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that North Carolina’s law prohibiting abortion after the twentieth week of gestation was unconstitutional.

 

North Dakota:

Public Funding of Abortion (University Grants):

April 7, 2021 – The North Dakota House passed SB 2030, 66-25, which would restrict public universities from contracting with organizations that perform or promotes abortions. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for a concurrence vote.

 

April 26, 2021 – The North Dakota Senate voted to concur with the House changes, 35-11. The bill now proceeds to Governor Doug Burgum for either his signature or veto.

 

May 9, 2021 – North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum did sign SB 2030 and retained the provision that prohibits public universities from contracting with organizations that perform or promote abortions. However, he line-item vetoed the provision that penalizes any faculty/staff member that violates the law.

     

         

Ohio:

Abortion Clinic Regulations (Hospital Admitting Privileges):

June 9, 2021 – The Ohio Senate approved an amendment to the State budget that requires abortionist to have admitting privileges to nearby local hospital (within 25 miles).

 

Eugenic Abortion Ban:

April 14, 2021 – The US Sixth Court of Appeals ruled against an injunction that was placed against Ohio’s Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act. The law, passed in 2017, prohibits the intentional abortion of an unborn child based on the child’s race, gender, or disability.

 

Humane Fetal Disposition Law:

April 5, 2021 – Ohio Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Alison Hatheway has granted a preliminary injunction pausing the enforcement of the Humane Fetal Disposition Law in the state. The judge said the pause was done because the state had not created forms, rules, and procedures for abortion clinics to follow.

 

Telemedicine Abortion Ban:

April 1, 2021 – Planned Parenthood sued the state of Ohio trying to block enforcement of the state’s Telemed Abortion Ban which is set to go into effect in mid-April.

 

April 19, 2021 – Hamilton County Pleas Court Judge Alison Hatheway blocked enforcement of the state’s TeleMed Abortion Ban.

 

Oklahoma:

Abortion Trigger Ban:

April 27, 2021 – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed SB 918 into law. The law would take immediate effect when the Oklahoma Attorney General certifies that Roe v Wade has been overturned and will immediately ban abortion.

 

Fetal Heartbeat Bill:

April 20, 2021 – The Oklahoma Senate passed HB 2441. The bill would prohibit the abortion of an unborn child when a fetal heartbeat is detectable, around the sixth week of gestation. The bill now proceeds to Governor Kevin Stitt’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

April 26, 2021 – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed HB 2441 into law.

 

Physician Only Requirement (Only OB/Gyn’s):

April 20, 2021 – The Oklahoma Senate passed HB 1904. The bill mandates that only licensed OB/Gyn’s perform abortions within the state. The bill now proceeds to Governor Kevin Stitt’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

April 26, 2021 – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed HB 1904 into law.

 

Oregon:

Born Alive Infant Protection Act:

June 10, 2021 – The Oregon Senate voted down SB 586, 18-11. The bill would have required that a child born due to an abortion or abortion attempt be given the same standard of medical care that is appropriate for a child of that gestational age.

 

Pennsylvania:

Eugenic Abortion Ban (Down Syndrome):

May 25, 2021 – The Pennsylvania House Health Committee passed HB 1500 (The Down Syndrome Protection Act). The bill prohibits the intentional and knowing abortion of an unborn child diagnosed with Down syndrome. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

June 8, 2021 – The Pennsylvania House passed HB 1500, 120-83. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

June 21, 2021 – The Pennsylvania Senate Health & Human Services Committee has passed HB 1500, 7-4. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

Humane Fetal Disposition Requirement:

May 25, 2021 – The Pennsylvania House Health Committee passed HB 118. The bill requires that when an unborn child is aborted the remains be buried or cremated. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

June 9, 2021 – The Pennsylvania House passed HB 118, 118-83. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

               

Fetal Heartbeat Law:

May 25, 2021 – The Pennsylvania House Health Committee passed HB 904. The bill would prohibit the abortion of an unborn child when a fetal heartbeat is detectable (usually around the sixth week of gestation). The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

South Carolina:

Fetal Heartbeat Law:

April 2, 2021 – The State of South Carolina has filed notice to appeal the decision by Federal District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis to enjoin the law which would prohibit abortions of an unborn child when a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around the sixth week of gestation.

 

Tennessee:

Humane Fetal Disposition Requirement:

April 8, 2021 – The Tennessee House Health Committee passed HB 1181 on a voice vote. The bill would require that the remains of an unborn child killed by an abortion be either buried or cremated. The bill now proceeds to the House Floor for consideration.

 

April 8, 2021 – The Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee passed SB 828, 7-2. The bill would require that the remains of an unborn child killed by an abortion be either buried or cremated. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Floor for consideration.

 

April 19, 2021 – The Tennessee House passed HB 1181, 69-22. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

April 21, 2021 – The Tennessee Senate passed HB 1181. The bill now proceeds to Governor Bill Lee for his signature or veto.

 

May 6, 2021 – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed HB 1181.

 

Unborn Victims of Violence Act/Wrongful Birth Lawsuit Prohibition:

April 29, 2021 – Both the Tennessee House and Senate passed HB 1252/SB 1370 on the same day. Eventually HB 1252 was substituted with SB 1370 and so SB 1370 passed the House, 69-20. The bill now recognizes that an unborn child can be a victim of a crime apart from the mother. As is typical of these laws, this law exempts abortion; it only charges crimes against those criminals who commit a criminal act against the mother or baby as enumerated under current state law. The bill would also prohibit wrongful birth lawsuits. The measure now proceeds to Governor Bill Lee for either his signature or veto.

 

Waiting Period:

April 5, 2021 –The State of Tennessee has asked the US Sixth Court of Appeals to allow them to enforce their 48-hour waiting period law while they appeal the ruling from a federal district court that ruled it to be unconstitutional. The state argues that the law is materially indistinguishable from the law that was upheld in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey.

 

April 23, 2021 – The US Sixth Court of Appeals has reinstated Tennessee’s 48-hour waiting period law while the law itself is being challenged.

 

Texas:

Abortion Ban (Human Life Protection Act):

April 15, 2021  -  The Texas House Public Health Committee passed SB 9. This bill would allow Texas to ban abortion to the extent that the US Supreme Court allows. So if the Court allows a fifteen week ban, Texas then would ban abortions at fifteen weeks gestation. If Roe is overturned, then abortion would be completely banned in the state. The bill now proceeds to the full House for consideration.

 

April 15, 2021  - The Texas House Public Health Committee passed HB 1280. This bill would allow Texas to ban abortion to the extent that the US Supreme Court allows. So if the Court allows a fifteen week ban, Texas then would ban abortions at fifteen weeks gestation. If Roe is overturned, then abortion would be completely banned in the state. The bill now proceeds to the full House for consideration.

 

May 5, 2021 – The Texas House passed HB 1280. The bill now proceeds to the Senate for consideration.

 

May 25, 2021 – The Texas Senate passed HB 1280.

 

June 16, 2021 – Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1280 into law.

 

Abortion Ban (Texas Abolition Strategy):

April 15, 2021 – The Texas House Public Health Committee passed SB 1647. The bill is an omnibus bill which would 1) prohibit eugenic abortions, 2) prohibit the abortion of the unborn child when a fetal heartbeat is detected, and 3) prohibit all elective abortions. Each has different effective dates. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

               

April 15, 2021 – The Texas House Public Health Committee passed HB 3760. The bill is an omnibus bill which would 1) prohibit eugenic abortions, 2) prohibit the abortion of the unborn child when a fetal heartbeat is detected, and 3) prohibit all elective abortions. Each has different effective dates. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

 

Abortion Pill Regulation:

April 15, 2021 – The Texas House Public Health Committee passed SB 394. The bill mandates certain safety protocols remain in place regardless if federal protocols are repealed. The bill moves to the full House for consideration.

 

April 15, 2021 – The Texas House Public Health Committee passed HB 2337. The bill mandates certain safety protocols remain in place regardless if federal protocols are repealed. The bill moves to the full House for consideration.

 

Eugenic Abortion Ban:

April 15, 2021 – The Texas House Public Health Committee passed SB 1173. The bill prohibits the intentional abortion on those unborn children that may have a genetic abnormality. The bill now proceeds to the full House for consideration.

 

April 15, 2021 – The Texas House Public Health Committee passed HB 3218. The bill prohibits the intentional abortion on those unborn children that may have a genetic abnormality. The bill now proceeds to the full House for consideration.

 

Fetal Heartbeat Bill:

April 15, 2021 – The Texas House Public Health Committee passed SB 8. The bill would prohibit the abortion of an unborn child when a fetal heartbeat is detectable, around the sixth week of gestation. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

April 15, 2021 – The Texas House Public Health Committee passed HB 1515. The bill would prohibit the abortion of an unborn child when a fetal heartbeat is detectable, around the sixth week of gestation. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

 

May 5, 2021 – The House passed SB 8. The bill now proceeds back to the Senate for a concurrence vote to agree with the changes made in the House.

 

May 13, 2021 – The Texas Senate concurred with the House. SB 8 now proceeds to Governor Rick Perry for either his signature or veto.

 

May 19, 2021 – Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 8 into law.

 

 

Vermont:

Constitutional Amendment (Right to Abortion):

April 9, 2021 – The Vermont Senate passed Proposal 5, 26-4. The proposal would enshrine the legal ability to obtain an abortion without limitation. The proposal did pass in the previous legislative session in both chambers. In order for the proposal to become an amendment it must pass both legislative chambers in two consecutive sessions. It must pass the House prior to the House adjourning for this session. If it does it will be placed on the November 2022 ballot.

 

Washington:

Abortion Insurance Coverage (Universities/Colleges):

April 27, 2021 – Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed HB 1009 into law. The new law requires all state universities and colleges to cover elective abortions.

 

West Virginia:

Abortion Pill Reversal Information Act:

April 1, 2021 – The West Virginia Senate Health Committee passed HB 2982. If enacted, the law would provide information to the mother that would let her know that the process of the chemical abortion can be stopped, if done by a certain time, thereby saving the life of her unborn child. The bill now proceeds to the full Senate for consideration.

 

April 10, 2021 – The West Virginia Senate passed HB 2982. The bill now proceeds to Governor Jim Justice for either his signature or veto.

 

April 29, 2021 – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed HB 2982 into law.

 

Wyoming:

Abortion Funding/Coverage (Universities):

April 14, 2021 – Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has signed HB 253 into law. The new law mandates that the University of Wyoming and the seven community colleges in the state may not pay for abortions nor pay for them through insurance coverage.

 

Born Alive Infant Protection Act:

April 2, 2021 – The Wyoming House passed SF 34, 48-11. The bill requires that a child born due to an abortion or abortion attempt be given the same standard of medical care that is appropriate for a child of that gestational age. The bill now proceeds to Governor Mark Gordon’s desk for either his signature or veto.

 

April 7, 2021 – Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed SF 34 into law.

 

Unborn Victims of Violence Act:

April 6, 2021 – Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed SF 96 into law. The law now recognizes that an unborn child can be a victim of a crime apart from the mother. As is typical of these laws, this law exempts abortion; it only charges crimes against those criminals who commit a criminal act against the mother or baby as enumerated under current state law.