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Andi Friedman, Senior Policy Advisor, Reproductive Health Programs

From the desk of ... Andrea Friedman, Repro Health Watch

New Resource: Repro Health Watch Highlights War on Women's Health in the States

May 21, 2012 | Reproductive Health

Facts matter. When the facts about women's health are a central part of the discussion about access to reproductive health care, the conversation changes - and now more than ever, we need that change.

In the past year, women's health has faced attack after attack - and not just from Congress. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 135 new provisions restricting reproductive health and rights, 92 of which restricted access to abortion care, were instituted across 36 states in 2011. And already this year, state legislators have introduced 944 provisions related to reproductive health and rights, half of which would restrict abortion. It's becoming increasingly clear that the "war on women" is nowhere near over.

With that in mind, the National Partnership for Women & Families is pleased to announce a new feature of our respected Women's Health Policy Report - Repro Health Watch. This new resource will highlight media coverage of attacks on women's reproductive health care in each state, identify policy trends happening across state lines, and offer additional resources, including updates on litigation challenging restrictive new anti-choice and anti-birth control laws.

The website, www.ReproHealthWatch.org, features media coverage of developments in reproductive health policy in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, organized by state and by issue. In addition, readers may subscribe to email updates that link to articles, blogs and video coverage about these restrictions.

Repro Health Watch covers key issue areas such as:

Abortion: abortion bans; restrictions on insurance coverage for abortion services; TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers); and laws that directly interfere with the relationship between women and their doctors by interfering with a woman's medical care through waiting periods, mandatory counseling, parental involvement laws or unnecessary medical procedures, such as mandatory ultrasounds.

Personhood initiatives: legislative and ballot attempts to redefine life that would criminalize not just abortion but also some forms of contraception and reproductive technologies.

Refusal provisions: laws that allow health providers to refuse to provide certain medical services, such as abortion and contraception, based on their moral or religious beliefs.

Family planning: access to contraception; attacks on Planned Parenthood; attacks on funding for family planning services; and restrictions that bar family planning funds from going to clinics that are affiliated with clinics that offer abortion services.

Comprehensive sex education: developments on state budgets and legislation that determines whether teens have access to comprehensive sex education, as opposed to abstinence only education.

The courts have been a critical safeguard against some encroachments on women's rights and health. Thus, Repro Health Watch also includes "In the Courts," a section where readers can find basic information on how anti-choice laws are being challenged in the courts and links to more information.

We want to hear from you! Repro Health Watch is meant to be a resource for you, so take a look - and if you have any thoughts or comments, please contact us at reprohealthwatch@nationalpartnership.org.


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