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Visualizing Health Policy: Intersection of State Abortion Policy and Clinical Practice

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic examines state policies related to abortion and their intersection with clinical practice. Nine of 10 reported abortions in the United States are in the first trimester. Between 2003 and 2012, the abortion rate decreased 18% among women aged 15 to 44 years. Twenty-five states have laws that restrict insurance coverage of abortion in private plans. Twenty-seven states require women seeking abortion to wait 18 hours or more before obtaining an abortion, and several require women to be counseled on topics unsupported by medical consensus or evidence, such as abortion raising the risk of breast cancer. Many states have specific requirements for clinics and physicians who provide medication abortions, with 37 mandating that only a licensed physician dispense the abortion pill. Twenty-three states have laws that impose a jail sentence on physicians if they perform abortions past certain state-established gestational limits.

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Visualizing Health Policy is a monthly infographic series produced in partnership with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The full-size infographic is freely available on JAMA’s website and is published in the print edition of the journal.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.