NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

State Legislatures Debate Abortion Laws

July 6, 1999

Lawmakers at the state level spent a good deal of time this year considering abortion-related issues, according to a report from the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League.

  • More than 400 measures that would limit abortion or concerned reproductive issues were introduced in 45 states.
  • Several states -- including Florida, Texas and New Jersey -- enacted major restrictions for the first time.
  • Nearly nine in every 10 bills opposed by abortion-rights groups this year failed.
  • Forty-five measures were approved in 20 states.

Twenty-eight measures backed by abortion-rights groups became law this year -- up from 22 last year.

Congress entered the debate again last week. The House voted to impose criminal penalties on adults who help minors cross state lines to have an abortion, in order to circumvent parental notification laws. But political observers predict President Clinton will veto the bill if it wins Senate approval.

Source: Richard Wolf, "Many State Legislatures Tried to Restrict Abortion," USA Today, July 6, 1999.


Browse more articles on Government Issues