In the latest US state abortion law developments, theon Friday, Aug. 12, that two of the state’s abortion bans can be enforced while lawsuits against them continue to proceed through the courts. A six-week ban that allows civil lawsuits against abortion providers will take effect immediately, and a total abortion ban will be enforced starting Aug. 25.
across the country have multiplied since the on June 24, ending the constitutional right to an abortion that had been established in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Other states are bringing the debate directly to voters. On Aug. 2,that would’ve removed state protections for abortion. This fall, ballot initiatives in Kentucky and Montana could further restrict access to abortion, while in Vermont and California, voters will decide whether to codify abortion protections in their state constitutions.
According to an, 53% of Americans disagree with the court’s decision to overturn Roe and 60% said Congress should pass a law enshrining abortion rights on the federal level.
Read on to learn about abortion access in each state, as well as the terminology frequently used in the debate on reproductive rights. For more information, visit the US Department of Health and Human Services’.
Understanding abortion terminology
To fully comprehend the status of abortion in each state, it helps to understand.
Fetal viability is the ability of a fetus to survive outside of the uterus. The Supreme Court and theconsider a fetus to be viable starting at between , though there’s no hard line. A fetus that can’t live independently at any stage is considered “non-viable.”
Even under Roe, most states restricted abortion after fetal viability with some exceptions for “fatal fetal anomalies.”
An ectopic pregnancy is a rare but serious situation in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus and cannot survive.
Almost all state laws banning abortion make exceptions for life-threatening pregnancies or medical emergencies, although several require that two physicians diagnose the pregnancy as life-threatening. A limited number of abortion bans make exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
Weeks of pregnancy and gestational age are both generally defined as the time since the. Some states ban abortions after a certain number of weeks , meaning the period after a and created a zygote.
Thedefines the start of pregnancy as when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus, which occurs about a . It’s to determine the exact time of conception or fertilization, which is why most medical providers use the last menstrual period to determine gestational age.
According to, 79% of abortions in the US in 2019 occurred before nine weeks and 93% before 13 weeks. Some state laws outlaw abortion at six to seven weeks — before many women are aware they’re pregnant.
In addition, while the abortion debate is often framed as involving a woman’s right to choose, and many abortion laws refer specifically to “the life of the mother” being at risk, access to abortion: It impacts anyone whose body is capable of getting pregnant, which includes trans men, intersex people and .
Abortion laws by state
With the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, access to abortion now varies greatly from state to state. Below are the regulations in all 50 states, as well as in Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. New laws and legal challenges are expected, so check withfor the most up-to-date information.
Passed in 2019, Alabama’sbans almost all abortions, except in cases of life-threatening pregnancies. The law had been put on hold due to legal challenges but will likely go into effect with Roe v. Wade being overturned.
Until the law’s current injunction is overruled, abortions are prohibited after 22 weeks of gestation. The state also requires counseling, ultrasound, a 48-hour waiting period and parental consent for minors.
Abortions are fully legal in Alaska, though state-directed counseling is required, as is parental consent for minors. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that abortion is protected by the state constitution.
Alaskans willwhether to hold a constitutional convention as a path toward banning abortion in the state.
A law signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey in March bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy except if necessary to save the mother’s life. Physicians performing abortions face felony charges and loss of their professional licenses.
The statute is slated to take effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns its 2021-2022 session.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich sayspredating Arizona statehood and mandating prison time for abortion providers is in effect now and supersedes the newer statute. Ducey has said the newer statute takes precedence. On July 13, Brnovich filed a lawsuit with the Pima County Superior Court, asking to , which bans all abortions.
Previously, Arizona allowed abortions until fetal viability, approximately 24 to 28 weeks. Arizona requires state-directed counseling, ultrasound, a 24-hour waiting period and parental consent for minors.
A 2019 law,, makes providing an abortion a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $100,000. There are exceptions in cases of life-threatening pregnancies.
Abortion in California is legal until the point of fetal viability.
In 2002, the California Legislaturethat prevents the state from denying or interfering with a woman’s right to obtain an abortion up to that point, or when an abortion “is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.”
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has pledged to make California an abortion sanctuary state, establishing it as a haven for people who need access to abortion, whether they live in California or not.
A referendum on the November ballot would enshrine the right to abortion and access to contraception in the.
Colorado allows abortion until fetal viability, though parents of minors must be notified.
In 2020, voters rejected a ban on abortions after 22 weeks. In April 2022, Colorado lawmakers passed, codifying protections for reproductive care, including abortion, and ensuring that fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses don’t have the rights of personhood under Colorado law.
Connecticut allows abortions only up to the point of fetal viability unless necessary to preserve the woman’s life or health. Patients under 16 can obtain an abortion after receiving counseling from a nurse or clinician.
In May 2022, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont signed first-in-the-nationmaking Connecticut an abortion sanctuary state. Starting July 1, medical providers in other states that have outlawed abortion, as are patients who travel to the state for abortion services and anyone who helps them.
Delaware law allows abortions until the point of fetal viability.
In June 2022, lawmakers introduced,, which would protect Delawareans who obtain, provide or assist others with getting legal abortions from facing civil suits in other states. It would also allow physician assistants and certified nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives to perform abortions.
In April 2022, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law, set to take effect July 1, with exceptions to prevent serious harm or death of the patient but not cases of incest, rape or human trafficking.
Among the groups challenging the law iswhich argues that the ban violates Jewish teachings on reproductive rights.
On June 30, Judge John Cooperof the 15-week ban, calling it unconstitutional because it violates the privacy provision of the Florida constitution. The state has appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, which automatically ensures a stay on Cooper’s injunction while the various legal challenges play out, .
With Roe now overturned, abans most abortions once cardiac activity has been detected in an embryo, generally at about six or seven weeks. There are exceptions for cases of rape or incest when a police report has been filed, and when a pregnancy has been deemed “medically futile” by a physician.
The 2019 ban was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court in 2020, but thaton July 20 by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, allowing the six-week abortion ban to take effect immediately.
Previously, abortion was legal in Georgia up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy.
In 1970, Hawaii became the first state to fully legalize abortion up to the point of fetal viability.
In 2006, the stateto ensure full access to abortion services no matter what happened on the federal level. It also removed a requirement that individuals seeking an abortion be a resident for at least 90 days and allowed the procedure to be performed outside of hospitals in clinics and doctors’ offices.
In March 2022, Idaho lawmakersthat allows potential relatives of an embryo or fetus to sue medical providers for abortions performed after six weeks. In April, the state Supreme Court SB 1309, but , allowing the law to take effect immediately.
A separatebanning all abortions was also blocked in April, but the court decision means that it will take effect starting Aug. 25. The US Department of Justice has , claiming that the lack of an exception for medical emergencies in the state’s trigger ban is unconstitutional.
The Idaho Supreme Court didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the state’s abortion laws. Its Aug. 12 decision allows the laws to be enforced while theto them continue through the courts.
Abortion is legal in Illinois up until the point of fetal viability, and that isn’t expected to change.
In 2019, the state removed regulations for abortion providers with.
On Aug. 5 the Indiana Legislature passedthat would make providing an abortion a felony in almost all cases. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law just moments later.
Set to go into effect on Sept. 15, it’s the first state ban passed since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.
Previously, Indiana technically allowed abortions up to 22 weeks of pregnancy, but strict limitations — including bans on abortion medication after 10 weeks and requirements for state-directed counseling and ultrasound at least 18 hours before an abortion — meant most abortions happened in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, NPR.
A 2019 law banninghad been previously blocked by a court ruling, but a court decision on July 8 overturned the injunction, allowing the ban to take effect immediately.
Iowa allows abortions up to 20 weeks after fertilization and requires an ultrasound and parental notification for minors.
In 2019, the state passed, but it was struck down by the Iowa Supreme Court. The status of that law won’t change even though Roe v. Wade is no longer the law of the land.
Kansas bans abortions after 22 weeks and requires patients to undergo ultrasounds and state-directed counseling.
Republican lawmakers bannedin 2019, but the law was struck down by the state Supreme Court.
On Aug. 2, Kansans overwhelminglythat would have removed state protections for abortion, which is allowed there until 22 weeks of pregnancy.
The ballot measure, which was voted down by nearly 59%, marks the first time voters in the US have weighed in on reproductive rights since the Supreme Court.
In 2019, Kentucky became one of the first states to pass an, which went into effect after Roe v. Wade was struck down. The law states that providing surgical or medical abortion is a Class D felony, except if necessary to save the life of the patient or to prevent permanent impairment of a life-sustaining organ.
The new law was temporarily blocked by court rulings in June and July, but on Aug. 1, anthe state’s near-total ban, making all abortions in the state immediately illegal.
Before Dobbs, Kentucky allowed abortions up to 22 weeks, requiring parental consent for minors, ultrasound, state-directed counseling and a 24-hour waiting period.
In November 2022, Kentucky voters willwhether the Kentucky state constitution suggests a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion.
In 2006, Louisiana passedexcept to prevent “substantial risk of death or permanent impairment under certain circumstances.”
After Roe was struck down, the law waspending a lawsuit by the Center for Reproductive Rights. On July 8, a Louisiana court on the near-total ban, but it was reinstated four days later with a hearing set for July 18.
Louisianain 2020 to remove any language that might imply the right to an abortion.
Maine allows abortions up to fetal viability, and beyond that in cases of life endangerment.
In 2019, Maineand passed legislation allowing people other than doctors to perform the procedure. In April, the state passed a law at abortion clinics.
Abortion is legal in Maryland up until the point of fetal viability, though in the case of a minor, parents must be notified.
In 1992, Maryland voters passed, intended to protect abortion in Maryland in case the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Massachusetts allows abortion until fetal viability. In 2018 the state passed.
In late 2020, the state also passed legislation called the, which expanded access to abortion and made it explicitly legal in the case of Roe v. Wade being overturned.
Abortions in Michigan are legal until fetal viability, though state-directed counseling and a 24-hour waiting period are required.
With Roe v. Wade overturned, opponents of abortion are looking to enforce amaking all abortions illegal. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has sued to block the law, saying that the due process and equal protection clauses of the state constitution make it invalid.
On Aug. 1, athat the injunction against the 1931 law does not apply to county prosecutors, but an Oakland County judge issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting its enforcement.
The Michigan Bureau of Elections is in the process of validatingto put a referendum on the ballot in November that would amend the state constitution to affirm “that all Michiganders have the right to safe and respectful care during birthing, everyone has the right to use temporary or permanent birth control, everyone has the right to continue or end a pregnancy pre-viability, and no one can be punished for having a miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion.”
Minnesotans’ right to abortion is protected by, and Gov. Tim Walz has declared that “no abortion ban will ever become law” during his term.
In July,that some restrictions — including a 24-hour waiting period, two-parent notification requirement for minors and a ban on nurse practitioners and midwives performing abortions — went against the state constitution. The decision may be appealed, but reproductive rights activists say it bolsters Minnesota’s status as an abortion access “island” in the Midwest, where many states have enacted total or near-total bans.
Mississippi’sof 2018, which limited abortions to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, was the subject of the Supreme Court case that led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
A Mississippiexcept in cases of rape or to save the life of the patient. The law went into effect on July 7, 2022. On July 20, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in the state and the subject of the historic Supreme Court ruling, .
Following the Supreme Court ruling, Missouri invoked a trigger law banning all abortions in the state, with an exception if the life of the woman is at stake but not in cases of rape or incest.
The law makes inducing an abortion a class B felony, with a possible prison sentence of five to 15 years. Abortion providers can also have their medical licenses suspended or revoked.
Previously, abortions were banned after 20 weeks’ gestational age and required state-directed counseling, ultrasound and a 72-hour waiting period.
Abortion in Montana is protected by a 1999 state Supreme Court decision that isn’t affected by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. However, state Attorney General Austin Knudsen has asked the Montana Supreme Court to overturn the 1999 decision.
Several state abortion restrictions that were passed in 2021 are being challenged in court by Planned Parenthood. Pending legislation would ban abortions after 20 weeks gestational age and block providing abortion medication through the mail.
A referendum before voters in November,, would extend legal personhood to infants “born alive” at any stage of development, and require infants born from induced labor, cesarean section or failed abortion to receive medical care.
Failure to provide treatment could come with punishments of up to $50,000 and 20 years in prison.
Abortions in Nebraska are legal up to 22 weeks. The state requires mandated counseling and a 24-hour waiting period, as well as parental consent for minors and a ban on telemedicine for abortion medication.
In February, the state failed to pass athat would’ve banned all abortions when Roe v. Wade was overturned. Nebraska legislators have indicated they may call a special session to try again to pass the bill.
Nevada allows legal abortions up until 24 weeks. In 1990,were passed by referendum and can’t be changed by the legislature without a repeal from state voters. Only physicians can perform abortions, and parental consent is required for minors.
New Hampshire has no specific laws protecting abortion. A 2022 state law made abortions after 24 weeks illegal and added several requirements, like ultrasound and parental consent for minors.
In May 2022, Gov. Chris Sununuallowing abortions after 24 weeks in the case of fatal fetal anomalies.
Abortion remains legal in New Jersey., passed in January 2022, protects the right to abortion and removed several restrictions from the law, including the requirement that only physicians provide abortions.
In 2000, the state Supreme Court struck down a law requiring parental consent for minors.
In 1969, New Mexico passed a law criminalizing abortion, but thein February 2021. The repeal also removed requirements for parental consent for minors.
There’s no law protecting abortion in New Mexico, but the overturning of Roe v. Wade doesn’t immediately impact abortion access in the state.
New York state legalized abortion in 1970, three years before the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, and a 2019 law lifted several restrictions, including a requirement that only physicians could provide abortions.
A 2019 law,, removed abortion from the New York state criminal code and allowed abortion after 24 weeks in the case of a life-threatening pregnancy or a nonviable fetus.
Before Dobbs, abortion was legal in North Carolina until fetal viability, considered approximately 22 weeks. But a law banning abortions after 20 weeks is now in effect. The state also mandates several restrictions, including parental consent for minors, ultrasound, mandatory state-directed counseling and a 72-hour waiting period.
The North Carolina General Assembly has passed several other restrictions, but they’ve all been vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
, North Dakota’s trigger law makes terminating a pregnancy a Class C felony punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, except to save the life of the mother or in the case of rape or incest.
The state’s only abortion clinic, Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, filed suit, alleging that North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley prematurely certified the Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe v. Wade.
On July 27, 2022, one day before the law was to take effect, a judge issued a temporary injunction pausing enforcement of the abortion ban.
On June 24, a federal judge lifted an injunction, which bans abortion after the detection of fetal cardiac activity — about six weeks into a pregnancy — with an exception if the life of the patient is at stake but not in cases of rape or incest.
Healthcare providers found guilty of performing an abortion could face felony charges and up to a year in prison.
Senate President Matt Huffman, a Republican from Lima, said residents who seek abortions in other states would not be prosecuted. “If someone is going to go to New York to have an abortion, we’re not going to know that and we’re not going to be able to prevent that,” Huffman.
Previously, abortions were legal in Ohio up to 20 weeks after fertilization, though they require mandatory counseling, a 24-hour waiting period and ultrasound.
Post-Roe, anyone who performs an abortion at any point
The statute makes exceptions for miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, to save the life of the patient and if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest that has been reported to law enforcement. It is also aimed at medical professionals — a woman having an abortion would not be charged.
Like the Texas ban, Oklahoma’s law allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion for at least $10,000 in damages.
Anti-abortion advocates are gathering signatures to get a measure on the ballot in November, stating that nothing in the constitution secures or protects the right to an abortion, which it calls “a unique and destructive act that terminates the life of an unborn human being.”
Oregon has enacted several laws to expand access to reproductive care: In 1983, abortion became a right under the state Constitution. In 2017, the state began allowing nonphysician health professionals to provide abortion care and passed athat requires private insurers to cover the costs of abortion.
In 2018, voters rejected a ballot measure to restrict use of state funds for abortion.
Pennsylvania allows abortions up to 24 weeks after the last menstrual period. In 1982, the state legislatureincluding state-directed counseling, ultrasound, a 24-hour waiting period and parental consent for minors.
Abortion has been legal in Puerto Rico since 1937. Before Roe v. Wade, some Americans living in states where they couldn’t legally get an abortion would travel to the US territory to obtain one.
In 2019, Puerto Rico passed some of its first restrictions, including the requirement of parental consent for minors.
Proposed in April 2022 and now under debate,would restrict abortions to 22 weeks after fertilization.
Abortions are legal and minimally restricted in Rhode Island. Parental consent is required for minors and only physicians are allowed to perform the procedure.
In 2019, state lawmakersa law criminalizing abortions after 12 weeks and replaced it with a measure that added statutory protections but didn’t guarantee the right to abortion in the state constitution.
South Carolina, with exceptions for rape or incest.
Under Roe, abortion was strictly limited, with mandatory state-based counseling, a 24-hour waiting period and a ban on abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization.
Abans abortions except in the case of life-threatening pregnancies.
Under Roe, South Dakota banned abortions after 22 weeks, requiring counseling and mandating a 72-hour waiting period. A law signed in March 2022 further restricted abortion medication.
Aeffectively bans all abortions in Tennessee, except in the case of life-threatening pregnancies. It’s set to go into effect 30 days after the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Previously, Tennessee mandated counseling, a 48-hour waiting period and parental consent for minors. Voters amended the state constitution in 2014 to remove abortion protections granted by a state Supreme Court ruling in 2000.
In 2021, Texas passedafter six weeks except to save the life of the pregnant patient or if they risk “substantial impairment of major bodily function.”
The law, which makes providing an abortion punishable by up to life in prison and fines of up to $100,000, is set to take effect no sooner than 30 days after Roe v. Wade is overturned. But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said a 1925 law that banned almost all abortions was never repealed and is still in effect — therefore providers could be charged immediately.
That law made performing an abortion punishable by up to 10 years in prison. On June 28, a Houston judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the 97-year-old law after the ACLU filed suit. A hearing was set for July 12.
On July 1, theTexas could indeed enforce the 1925 abortion ban, overruling the Houston court’s decision. The decision doesn’t allow criminal charges to be filed against someone assisting in the procurement of an abortion, but they can face civil penalties.
With Roe v. Wade overturned, amakes performing an abortion a second-degree felony in Utah, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. It took effect immediately after the Supreme Court announced its ruling on June 24, 2022.
There are exceptions in the case of rape, incest or a life-threatening pregnancy. Abortion is also permissible in the case of a fatal defect or “severe brain abnormality” in the fetus. This exception does not include Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or other conditions that don’t result in a vegetative state.
Enforcement of the lawwhile a Planned Parenthood lawsuit works its way through the courts.
Before the June 2022 Supreme Court ruling, women seeking abortions had to agree to state-based counseling, a 72-hour waiting period and parental consent for minors.
Vermont has no major restrictions on abortion. An abortion ban was ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court in 1972 and repealed by the legislature in 2014.
In 2019, Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed, a sweeping reproductive rights law that established the right to abortion without government interference.
Vermont Proposal 5, the Right to Personal Reproductive Autonomy Amendment, is on the ballot in November and would add language prohibiting government infringement on the right to personal reproductive autonomy “unless justified by a compelling state interest.”
Abortion is generally legal in Virginia up until 25 weeks of gestation.repealed several restrictions, including a 24-hour waiting period and a requirement that only physicians provide abortions.
In 2021, the state removed a prohibition on state exchange insurance covering abortion.
In 1971, Washington state repealed criminal penalties for terminating a pregnancy, and abortions are legal up to the point of fetal viability, somewhere between 23 and 24 weeks.
In 2018, the right to abortion wasthat also requires insurers that provide maternity care to cover abortions.
In March 2022, the statethat shields both patients and providers from out-of-state prosecution, in response to laws in Texas and elsewhere .
The right to an abortion was codified into law in 2020 with the passage of, which also prohibits employment discrimination against health care professionals who perform or are willing to perform abortions.
Currently, West Virginia bans abortions after 22 weeks except in cases of. It also requires a 24-hour waiting period, counseling and parental notification for minors. In 2018, West Virginia voters agreed to amend the state constitution to specifically declare that it doesn’t include any right to abortion.
A law signed by Republican Gov. Jim Justice in March 2021 prevents a woman from getting an abortion because she believes.
Amakes performing an abortion a felony punishable by three to 10 years in prison. On July 18, Kanawha Circuit Judge Tera Salango because it predates West Virginia statehood and hasn’t been enforced in a half-century.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is appealing Salango’s ruling.
On July 27, 2022, the West Virginia House passed a bill that would ban abortions at any stage of pregnancy with exceptions for a nonmedically viable fetus, ectopic pregnancy or medical emergency but not in cases of rape or incest. If passed, an abortion provider could be subject to felony charges and face between three to 10 years imprisonment.
The measure now goes to the state Senate for consideration.
A lawmakes abortion a felony, but it’s not clear if the 173-year-old ban will now go into effect as State Attorney General Josh Kaul has said he wouldn’t enforce the “draconian” law.
Democratic Gov. Tony Eversto repeal that law, but it isn’t expected to do so.
Until now abortion in Wisconsin has been legal up to the 22nd week, though state regulations require counseling, parental consent for minors, a 24-hour waiting period and mandatory ultrasound. They also prohibit telemedicine for abortion medication.
In March, Wyoming passed, a trigger law that outlaws all abortions except in the case of life-threatening pregnancies.
On July 27, the day HB 92 was set to take effect, a judgeof the law, siding with a women’s health clinic that argued it violates an amendment to the Wyoming constitution saying competent adults have the right to make their own health care decisions. Their lawsuit also claims the ban will harm the women by prohibiting potentially life-saving treatment.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.