Report on Status of Reproductive Rights in the United States

By Christine Cupaiuolo — January 17, 2008

Less than a week before the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, NARAL Pro-Choice America has released its 17th annual “Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States,” which tracks legislation and court decisions and summarizes related state laws.

It’s a very handy resource, and this year’s edition introduces key political and policy-related findings that should be of interest going into the elections. Some highlights:

  • In 2007, 28 states enacted a total of 80 pro-choice measures, a 43-percent increase from 2006. States enacted 17 Prevention First measures in 2007, an 89-percent increase from 2006.
  • Minnesota and Oregon, two states where pro-choice forces made gains in the 2006 elections, enacted three Prevention First measures each, the most of any state.
  • In New Hampshire, a new pro-choice legislative majority repealed, on a bipartisan basis, a parental-notification law that had been at issue in a U.S. Supreme Court case. The lawmakers’ repeal made the issue moot, and the case was therefore dismissed.
  • In 2007, 19 states enacted a total of 43 anti-choice measures, a four-percent decrease from 2006. This figure from 2007 means states have enacted 557 anti-choice measures since 1995.
  • Missouri and Oklahoma enacted the most anti-choice legislation in 2007, with six measures each.
  • Mississippi and North Dakota enacted near-total bans on abortion that will take effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Now, four states have enacted such bans in just the last two years. Louisiana and South Dakota enacted similar bans in 2006 and 2005, respectively.

Plus: “As a wounded Roe v. Wade approaches its 35th anniversary on Jan. 22, our popular narrative urgently begs for a full-scale, ground-up offensive to enshrine reproductive rights as human rights and create a more durable approach than the right to privacy — however valuable — has ever given women,” writes Gloria Feldt in a commentary on Roe’s anniversary published today at Women’s eNews.

Comments are closed.