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               Legislative Sessions at a Glance 

Twenty four states have finished their regular legislative sessions, and nearly half of states have already passed their crossover date (the date by which regular legislation must move from its chamber of origin to the other chamber). If you need a calendar that compiles session dates across states, see those prepared by National Conference of State Legislatures or Multistate

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Trending in the States

At the end of March, Virginia became the latest state to enact legislation requiring insurance plans to cover an extended supply of prescription contraceptives at one time. Virginia joins six other states (California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Vermont) and Washington, D.C. that have enacted such legislation. Virginia’s bill, the first enacted in a southern state, enjoyed strong bi-partisan support.  

At least 13 other states have introduced similar legislation during the current session, including Colorado and Washington, where the legislation is awaiting final approval by each state’s governor. Given the potential for this kind of policy to reduce unplanned pregnancy and abortion by reducing gaps in contraceptive use, it’s no surprise that the idea is gaining momentum in the states.

In the coming weeks, we’ll release a brief that provides more detail on these state laws. 

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State Spotlight

Hawaii

Hawaii is the second state this session (along with Maryland) to pass legislation allowing pharmacists to prescribe and dispense hormonal contraceptives. This bill, which would require pharmacists to be reimbursed for these services, is currently awaiting the governor’s approval.

Louisiana

In Louisiana, a bill has been introduced that would require public postsecondary institutions to create and implement an action plan to address unplanned pregnancies at their institutions. This legislation is similar to that enacted by Mississippi in 2014 and Arkansas in 2015, and to bills introduced in Tennessee and Texas this session. While the bills in Tennessee and Texas didn't pass; it was the first attempt to pass such legislation in either state. The Tennessee bill passed the Senate, and the Texas bill made some headway in the House. For more background on the laws in Mississippi and Arkansas, please see our State Policy Brief. 

Texas

In an effort to address the high rate of subsequent teen births in Texas, legislators introduced a bi-partisan bill to allow unmarried teen mothers in Texas to consent to birth control. Currently, Texas is one of only two states (the other is Utah) that require teens, even if they are already a parent, to obtain parental consent before they can get birth control. Unfortunately, the bill died in the House this session because it did not receive a vote before the legislative deadline.

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Resources 

  • Medicaid Family Planning Programs: Case Studies of Six States After ACA Implementation—In light of  coverage trends and other ACA-related changes, this paper from the Kaiser Family Foundation describes the impact on women and their partners, as well as family planning providers, of the shifting landscape for family planning. It is based largely on interviews with state officials, providers and consumer advocates in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri and Virginia, and is supplemented by interviews with national experts, policymakers, and family planning provider organizations.
  • Contraceptive Deserts—Nearly 20 million American women eligible for publicly funded contraception live in contraceptive deserts. See how your state measures up with The National Campaign's birth control access maps.  
  • Trends in Repeat Births and Use of Postpartum Contraception Among Teens—In this report, the CDC finds that from 2004 to 2015, the number and percentage of teen births that were repeat births decreased 53.8% and 16.9%,respectively; in 2015, the percentage of teen births that were repeat births varied by state from 10.6% to 21.4%. Among teens with a recent live birth, use of the most effective contraceptive methods postpartum increased substantially, from 5.3% in 2004 to 25.3% in 2013; however, in 2013, approximately one in three teens with a recent live birth reported using a least effective contraceptive method or no method postpartum.
  • Please consider having your organization sign onto this letter from nearly 200 national, state, and local organizations asking Congress to support maintaining investments in the Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program and the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP). Click here to sign on to the letter, and feel free to share with partner organizations.
Know others who would like to sign up for this newsletter? They can subscribe at this link by checking the state policy checkbox.

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©2017, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
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ph: (202) 478-8500. fax: (202) 478-8588. CFC #10496
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