Bad Medicine: How a Political Agenda Is Undermining Abortion Care and Access

March 2018
Reproductive Rights


Across the country, politicians are enacting anti-abortion laws that ignore evidence and science and mandate how health care providers must practice medicine, regardless of the provider’s professional judgment, ethical obligations or the needs of his or her patients. As this report explains, these laws undermine the high-quality, patient-centered care that health care providers and advocates strive to achieve. These laws are political interference with the provision of health care — they are bad medicine.

Download the full report »

Mapping Bad Medicine Laws

In the map below, you will see that 44 states have passed restrictions that fit into at least one of the five categories discussed in the report. Nineteen states have all five types. (Some of these restrictions have been enjoined by the courts; see the full report for details.)

Hover over each state to see the types of restrictions passed.

Bad Medicine Laws Include:

  • Biased Counseling Laws: These requirements dictate the information that a health care provider must give to a patient, including requirements to provide biased or medically inaccurate information.
  • Ultrasound Requirements: These restrictions require a health care provider to give — and a patient to receive — diagnostic tests that are not supported by evidence, the provider’s medical judgment or the patient’s wishes.
  • Mandatory Delays: These requirements force a health care provider to delay time-sensitive care regardless of the provider’s medical judgment or the patient’s needs.
  • Medication Abortion Restrictions: These restrictions prohibit a health care provider from prescribing medication using the best and most current evidence, medical protocols and methods.
  • Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP Laws): These restrictions force a health care provider and/or medical facility to conform to burdensome requirements that are not based on scientific evidence, do not further patients’ health or interests and are not required of other health care providers.

The third edition of Bad Medicine documents how, over time, disregard for science and evidence, coupled with hostility toward women’s dignity and self-determination, has translated into anti-abortion state laws across the country, and the very real harm these laws cause to women.

Download the full report for more details »