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2024 Legislative Sessions Primer: Reproductive Freedoms Preview  

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Across the country, abortion rights are under attack, and state legislatures are the last line of defense to protect reproductive freedom. As we head into the 2024 legislative sessions, reproductive freedom is one of the most important issues any legislator will take on.

When it comes to the Democratic versus Republican agenda, the contrast couldn’t be clearer. In states like Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia, solid plans to uphold abortion rights are in place, while Republican-led legislatures such as New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and North Carolina are rolling back reproductive freedom.

Here are important things to note as the 2024 legislative sessions begin:

DEMOCRATS’ AGENDA:

Codify Reproductive Rights Into State Law and Constitutions

In New Hampshire, House Democrats have pre-filed legislation to codify reproductive rights into the New Hampshire Constitution.

In Virginia, Democrats announced a plan for a proposed constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights in 2024.

Recap: In Michigan, the Democratic legislature just passed the Reproductive Health Act, repealing a law that required separate health insurance coverage for abortion care and codified the state’s constitutional right to abortion into state law while providing the ability to sue if that right is infringed upon. 

Protect Patients Traveling For Abortion Care

In Pennsylvania, House Democrats have filed a package of bills to ensure that Pennsylvania is not complicit in other states’ efforts to criminalize reproductive health care. The House already passed the first bill in the series, a “shield law,” which would prohibit cooperation in other states’ civil and criminal cases involving reproductive health care.

Recap: In Minnesota, the Democratic legislature passed a shield law to protect against legal action from other states over reproductive care and codified the right to abortion.

Safeguard Contraceptive Access

In Arizona, Democrats promised to introduce legislation to create a right to access contraceptives.  

REPUBLICANS’ AGENDA: 

Ban Abortion And Obstruct Reproductive Freedom

In New Hampshire, Republicans pre-filed legislation to ban abortion after just 15 days, making the proposal one of the most extreme potential abortion bans in the country.

In Wisconsinthe Republican legislature is advancing a trio of abortion bills that would update the state’s 1849 abortion ban and provide $1 million to crisis pregnancy centers (anti-choice facilities) per year. 

Recap: In North Carolina, Republican legislators overrode the Democratic governor’s veto of a 12-week abortion ban while falsely claiming its mainstream appeal. It’s no surprise Republicans are now signaling they won’t allow a referendum on abortion rights on the ballot. 

Prosecuting Women For Abortion

Recap: Early last session, Georgia GOP lawmakers introduced legislation to classify abortion as a homicide.  

With legislative sessions starting back up next year, it’s important to remember that legislatures under Democratic control are expanding and codifying reproductive freedoms, while legislatures under Republican control are doing everything they can to take our rights away.

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