First Quarter 2024 State Policy Trends: An Evolving Focus of Attacks on Abortion, Youth Access, IVF and More

This legislative session has coincided with state court decisions that have had a major impact on abortion access in key states, most notably in Florida and Arizona. Since the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision in June 2022, Florida has become a key access point in the region for abortion care. Guttmacher’s Monthly Abortion Provision Study data demonstrated a major increase in out-of-state patients receiving care in Florida: 3,700 more patients from other states obtained an abortion in Florida in the first half of 2023 than in a similar period in 2020. However, on April 1, 2024, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the state’s ban on abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy, which ushered in the ability to enforce a six-week ban passed by the state legislature that had been on hold while litigation continued. The six-week ban went into effect on May 1. Additionally, the state supreme court approved a ballot initiative for the November election that would establish state constitutional protection of abortion up to fetal viability or to protect the patient’s health. Although the ballot initiative opens the door for a potential change in abortion access if it passes, the reality is that many individuals in Florida, and throughout the region, will be denied abortion care for at least several months.

By Barbra
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