Against a national backdrop of policymaking that often appears to willfully ignore clear and compelling data, it is important to note that 17 states have laws on abortion that match at least five of 10 major categories of restrictions that conflict with scientific evidence. Kansas, South Dakota and Texas top the list with restrictions in eight of these categories; Louisiana and Oklahoma each have seven.
An additional 12 states have 2–4 of these types of restrictions, and so are considered in moderate conflict with the science (see Flouting the Facts: State Abortion Restrictions Flying in the Face of Science).
In addition, Tennessee enacted a law that bans abortion after viability except when the woman’s life is endangered or if there is “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.” Arkansas and Texas banned the use of dilation and evacuation (D&E), a common and medically proven method of abortion used after 12 weeks of pregnancy; neither law is in effect because of pending litigation.
Out of the eight laws that have been enacted seeking to ban D&E abortions, only those in Mississippi and West Virginia are in effect (see Bans on Specific Abortion Methods Used After the First Trimester).
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration issued the following on September 28, 2012: Guidance Statement: Specialty Plans Pursuant to section 409.966 (3)(b), F.In 2017, four states found ways to limit certain family planning providers’ eligibility for reimbursement under Medicaid, the federal-state program that contributes 75% of all public funds spent on family planning services nationwide (see Public Funding for Family Planning and Abortion Services, FY 1980–2015).Including these states, nine states have taken steps to exclude abortion providers from either their full-benefit Medicaid programs or Medicaid family planning expansions since 2011.Only 21 states have laws that pose no or limited conflicts with scientific evidence.Moves to ban some or all abortions garnered significant legislative attention in 2017.