Abortion in the United States is legal, subject to balancing tests tying state regulation of abortion to the three trimesters of pregnancy, via the landmark 1973 case of Roe v. Wade, the first abortion case to be taken to the Supreme Court. Every state has at least one abortion clinic.[1][2] However, individual states can regulate and limit the use of abortion or create "trigger laws", which would make abortion illegal within the first and second trimesters if Roe were overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States.[3][4][5] Eight states—Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wisconsin—still have unenforced pre-Roe abortion bans in their laws, which could be enforced if Roe were overturned.[4] In accordance with the US Supreme Court case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), states cannot place legal restrictions posing an undue burden for "the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus."[6]

Current legal status nationwide

Abortion availability in the US by fetal gestational age .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  (~6 weeks)   15 weeks   20 weeks   22 weeks   24 weeks   25 weeks   Viability   No restrictions
Abortion availability in the US by fetal gestational age
  (~6 weeks)
  15 weeks
  20 weeks
  22 weeks
  24 weeks
  25 weeks
  Viability
  No restrictions
Abortion laws in the US prior to Roe.  Illegal   Legal in case of rape   Legal in case of danger to woman’s health   Legal in case of danger to woman's health, rape or incest, or likely damaged fetus   Legal on request
Abortion laws in the US prior to Roe.
  Illegal
  Legal in case of rape
  Legal in case of danger to woman’s health
  Legal in case of danger to woman's health, rape or incest, or likely damaged fetus
  Legal on request
Parental notification and consent laws in the US   Parental notification or consent not required   One parent must be informed beforehand1   Both parents must be informed beforehand   One parent must consent beforehand2   Both parents must consent beforehand   One parent must consent and be informed beforehand   Parental notification law currently enjoined   Parental consent law currently enjoined 1  Delaware's parental notification law only applies to minors under the age of 16. 2  Illinois's parental notification law will be repealed June 1, 2022. 3  Massachusetts' parental consent law only applies to minors under the age of 16. South Carolina's law only apples to minors under 17.
Parental notification and consent laws in the US
  Parental notification or consent not required
  One parent must be informed beforehand1
  Both parents must be informed beforehand
  One parent must consent beforehand2
  Both parents must consent beforehand
  One parent must consent and be informed beforehand
  Parental notification law currently enjoined
  Parental consent law currently enjoined
1 Delaware's parental notification law only applies to minors under the age of 16.
2 Illinois's parental notification law will be repealed June 1, 2022.
3 Massachusetts' parental consent law only applies to minors under the age of 16. South Carolina's law only apples to minors under 17.
Mandatory waiting period laws in the US   No mandatory waiting period   Waiting period of less than 24 hours   Waiting period of 24 hours or more   Waiting period law currently enjoined
Mandatory waiting period laws in the US
  No mandatory waiting period
  Waiting period of less than 24 hours
  Waiting period of 24 hours or more
  Waiting period law currently enjoined
Abortion counseling laws in the US   No mandatory counseling   Counseling in person, by phone, mail, and/or other   Counseling in person only   Counseling law enjoined
Abortion counseling laws in the US
  No mandatory counseling
  Counseling in person, by phone, mail, and/or other
  Counseling in person only
  Counseling law enjoined
Mandatory ultrasound laws in the US   Mandatory. Must display image.   Mandatory. Must offer to display image.   Mandatory. Law unenforceable.   Not mandatory. If ultrasound is performed, must offer to display image.   Not mandatory. Must offer ultrasound.   Not mandatory.
Mandatory ultrasound laws in the US
  Mandatory. Must display image.
  Mandatory. Must offer to display image.
  Mandatory. Law unenforceable.
  Not mandatory. If ultrasound is performed, must offer to display image.
  Not mandatory. Must offer ultrasound.
  Not mandatory.
Fetal homicide laws in the fifty states. Also applies to certain offenses which the United States government has jurisdiction.   Homicide or murder.   Other crime against fetus.   Depends on age of fetus.   Assaulting mother.   No law on feticide.
Fetal homicide laws in the fifty states. Also applies to certain offenses which the United States government has jurisdiction.
  Homicide or murder.
  Other crime against fetus.
  Depends on age of fetus.
  Assaulting mother.
  No law on feticide.

The current judicial interpretation of the US Constitution regarding abortion in the United States, following the Supreme Court of the United States 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, and subsequent companion decisions is that abortion is legal but may be restricted by the states to varying degrees. States have passed laws to restrict late-term abortions, require parental notification for minors, and mandate the disclosure of abortion risk information to patients prior to the procedure. As of December 2020, Roe v. Wade has been brought back into question in the supreme court. Currently, legislatures in 22 states state they would move to ban or further restrict abortion laws throughout the U.S.

The key deliberated article of the US Constitution is the Fourteenth Amendment, which states that:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.[7]

The official report of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, issued in 1983 after extensive hearings on the Human Life Amendment (proposed by Senators Orrin Hatch and Thomas Eagleton), stated:

Thus, the [Judiciary] Committee observes that no significant legal barriers of any kind whatsoever exist today in the United States for a woman to obtain an abortion for any reason during any stage of her pregnancy.[8]

One aspect of the legal abortion regime now in place has been determining when the fetus is "viable" outside the womb as a measure of when the "life" of the fetus is its own (and therefore subject to being protected by the state). In the majority opinion delivered by the court in Roe v. Wade, viability was defined as "potentially able to live outside the woman's womb, albeit with artificial aid. Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks, approx. 196 days) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks." When the court ruled in 1973, the then-current medical technology suggested that viability could occur as early as 24 weeks. Advances over the past three decades have allowed fetuses that are a few weeks less than 24 weeks old to survive outside the womb. These scientific achievements, while life-saving for premature babies, have made the determination of what is "viable" somewhat more complicated. The youngest child thought to have survived a premature birth in the United States was Amillia Taylor (born on October 24, 2006, in Miami, Florida, at 21 weeks and 6 days gestational age, approx. 153 days vs. possibly expected gestational period of 40 weeks, approx. 280 days).[9]

Compared to other developed countries, the procedure is more available in the United States in terms of how late the abortion can legally be performed. However, in terms of other aspects such as government funding, privacy for non-adults, or geographical access, some US states are far more restrictive. In most European countries abortion-on-demand is allowed only during the first trimester, with abortions during later stages of pregnancy allowed only for specific reasons (e.g. physical or mental health reasons, risk of birth defects, if the woman was raped etc.). The reasons that can be invoked by a woman seeking an abortion after the first trimester vary by country, for instance, some countries, such as Denmark, provide a wide range of reasons, including social and economic ones.[10]

There are no laws or restrictions regulating abortion in Canada, while the law on abortion in Australia varies by state/territory. In many countries, abortion has been legalized by respective parliaments, while in the US abortion has been deemed a constitutional right by the Supreme Court.

Because of the split between federal and state law, legal access to abortion continues to vary somewhat by state. Geographic availability, however, varies dramatically, with 87 percent of US counties having no abortion provider.[11] Moreover, due to the Hyde Amendment, many state health programs which poor women rely on for their health care do not cover abortions; currently only 17 states (including California, Illinois and New York) offer or require such coverage.[12]

The 1992 case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey overturned Roe's strict trimester formula, but reemphasized the right to abortion as grounded in the general sense of liberty and privacy protected under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution: "If the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child." Advancements in medical technology meant that a fetus might be considered viable, and thus have some basis of a right to life, at 22 or 23 weeks rather than at the 28 that was more common at the time Roe was decided. For this reason, the old trimester formula was ruled obsolete, with a new focus on viability of the fetus.

Since 1995, led by Congressional Republicans, the US House of Representatives and US Senate have moved several times to pass measures banning the procedure of intact dilation and extraction, also commonly known as partial birth abortion. After several long and emotional debates on the issue, such measures passed twice by wide margins, but President Bill Clinton vetoed those bills in April 1996 and October 1997 respectively, on the grounds that they did not include health exceptions. Congressional supporters of the bill argued that a health exception would render the bill unenforceable, since the Doe v. Bolton decision defined "health" in vague terms, justifying any motive for obtaining an abortion. Subsequent Congressional attempts at overriding the veto were unsuccessful.

On October 2, 2003, with a vote of 281–142, the House again approved a measure banning the procedure, called the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Through this legislation, a doctor could face up to two years in prison and face civil lawsuits for performing such an abortion. A woman who undergoes the procedure cannot be prosecuted under the measure. The measure contains an exemption to allow the procedure if the woman's life is threatened.

On October 21, 2003, the United States Senate passed the same bill by a vote of 64–34, with a number of Democrats joining in support. The bill was signed by President George W. Bush on November 5, 2003, but a federal judge blocked its enforcement in several states just a few hours after it became public law. The Supreme Court upheld the nationwide ban on the procedure in the case Gonzales v. Carhart on April 18, 2007. The 5–4 ruling said the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act does not conflict with previous Court decisions regarding abortion.

The decision marked the first time the court allowed a ban on any type of abortion since 1973. The swing vote, which came from moderate justice Anthony Kennedy, was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and the two recent appointees, Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.

State regulatory initiatives regarding abortion

States with trigger laws or pre-Roe bans on abortion that would make abortion illegal in the state if Roe v. Wade were overturned[citation needed]
States with trigger laws or pre-Roe bans on abortion that would make abortion illegal in the state if Roe v. Wade were overturned[citation needed]

The following states have or had initiatives regarding abortion. The fetal heartbeat bill legislative approach has picked up momentum in 2018 and 2019.

Alabama

Main article: Abortion in Alabama

Abortion in Alabama is legal up to the 22nd week of pregnancy. Abortion is a divisive issue in the state, with 37% of adults believing it should be legal in all or most cases and 58% believing it should be illegal in all or most cases. Alabama's political and overarching religious beliefs has presented Alabama residents with limited access to abortion services. As of 2021, only three clinics remain in Alabama, all of which are located in metropolitan areas of the state.

Alaska

Main article: Abortion in Alaska

As long as a licensed physician performs the procedure, abortion is legal in Alaska. People under the age of 17 must have parental consent.[13]

In 2019, House Bill 178 was proposed, which would have banned abortion with no exceptions.[13] The Bill was withdrawn.[14]

Arizona

Main article: Abortion in Arizona

Abortion is legal up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Patients must meet with a physician at least 24 hours before the procedure, and a licensed physician must perform the procedure. Minors must receive parental consent.[13]

Arkansas

Main article: Abortion in Arkansas

Abortion is legal up to 20 weeks, with exceptions made for rape, incest, and medical emergencies. Minors must have parental permission.[13] Arkansas is one of five states, including Texas, to pass higher numbers of restrictive and anti-abortion provisional laws in 2021.[15]

California

Main article: Abortion in California

Abortion is legal in California. Nurse-midwives and other non-physician medical personnel with proper training may perform the procedure. Public universities are required by law to provide Mifepristone at no cost to students.[13]

Colorado

Main articles: Colorado Amendment 48 (2008) and Abortion in Colorado

Abortion is legal in Colorado. Minors' parents or legal guardians must receive notice before the procedure.[13]

In 2008, Kristine and Michael Burton of Colorado for Equal Rights proposed Colorado Amendment 48, an initiative to amend the definition of a person to "any human being from the moment of fertilization."[16][17] On November 4, 2008, the initiative was turned down by 73.2 percent of the voters.[18]

The state passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act into law in April 2022, which protects abortion rights and assures "every individual has a fundamental right to make decisions about the individual's reproductive health care, including the fundamental right to use or refuse contraception; a pregnant individual has a fundamental right to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion and to make decisions about how to exercise that right; and a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state."[19]

Connecticut

Main article: Abortion in Connecticut

The 1821 abortion law of Connecticut is the first known law passed in America to restrict abortion.

Although this law did not completely outlaw abortions, it placed heavier restrictions as it prevented women from attempting or receiving abortions, which was generally through the consumption of poison, during the first four months of a woman's pregnancy.

Delaware

Main article: Abortion in Delaware

Abortion in Delaware is legal. 55% of adults said in a poll by the Pew Research Center that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. There was a therapeutic exceptions in the state's legislative ban on abortions by 1900. Informed consent laws were on the books by 2007. As of May 14, 2019, the state prohibited abortions after the fetus was viable, generally some point between week 24 and 28. This period uses a standard defined by the US Supreme Court in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade ruling.

District of Columbia

Main article: Abortion in the District of Columbia

The District of Columbia has no law with respect to abortion. The previous statute making abortion a criminal offense was repealed in 2004. The consequence of this repeal is that abortion is completely unregulated in the District throughout the period of pregnancy.

Florida

Main article: Abortion in Florida

Abortion in Florida is legal up to the 24th week of pregnancy. 56% of adults said in a poll by the Pew Research Center that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. An abortion ban with therapeutic exception was in place by 1900. Such laws were in place after the American Medical Association sought to criminalize abortion in 1857. By 2007, the state had a customary informed consent provision for abortions. By 2013, state Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law applied to medication induced abortions. Attempts to ban abortion took place in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Two fetal heartbeat bills were filed in the Florida Legislature in 2019.

Georgia

Main article: Abortion in Georgia (U.S. state)

Georgia passed an abortion law on May 7, 2019, which prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected; usually when a woman is six weeks pregnant. The law makes no exception for cases of rape or incest.[20] The constitutionality of the law was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights. In October 2019, the federal judge overseeing the case blocked enforcement of the ban, which was to take effect in January 2020, stating that the plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of winning the case.[21]

Hawaii

Main article: Abortion in Hawaii

As of 2017, there are 28 clinics in Hawaii that will perform abortions. As of January 2021, an abortion can be performed after viability if the patients life or overall health is in danger.[22]

Idaho

Main article: Abortion in Idaho

Abortion is legal. In April 2021, Idaho put the "heartbeat bill" into place. This restricts abortions after a heart beat can be detected. Other consent laws are also in place throughout the State.[23] Some of the restrictions include patient counseling before the procedure and parental consent for minors, as well as insurance coverage in the case of endangerment or rape. In 2017, there were 5 clinics in Idaho that perform abortions.[24]

Illinois

Main article: Abortion in Illinois

Abortion is legal in Illinois up to 24 weeks. Parental consent is not required for minors, however a guardian over the age of 21 must be notified unless over turned by a judge in special cases.[25] Illinois has 40 facilities that can perform abortions as of 2017.[26]

Indiana

Main article: Abortion in Indiana

Abortion is legal up to 22 weeks in Indiana. New 2021 laws put in place in the state require an ultrasound be done and shown to the patient 18 plus hours before the procedure as well as state mandated counseling for the patient. If the patient seeking an abortion is a minor, they must receive parental consent before moving forward.[27]

Iowa

Main article: Abortion in Iowa

As of April 2020, abortion was legal in Iowa. On March 26, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds expanded upon previous COVID-19 disaster proclamations to halt elective and non-essential surgeries.[28] The following day her office asserted: "[The] Proclamation suspends all nonessential or elective surgeries and procedures until April 16th, that includes surgical abortion procedures".[29]

Kansas

Main article: Abortion in Kansas

Kansas lawmakers approved sweeping anti-abortion legislation (HB 2253) on April 6, 2013, that says life begins at fertilization, forbids abortion based on gender and bans Planned Parenthood from providing sex education in schools.[30]

In 2015 Kansas became the first state to ban the dilation and evacuation procedure, a common second-trimester abortion procedure.[31] But the new law was later struck down by the Kansas Court of Appeals in January 2016 without ever having gone into effect.[32] In April 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the lower court's decision, and ruled that the right to abortion is inherent within the state's constitution and bill of rights, such that even if Roe v. Wade is overturned and the federal protection of abortion rights is withdrawn, the right would still be allowed within Kansas, barring a change in the state constitution.[33] After both Houses of the Kansas State Legislature passed a constitutional amendment to overturn the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling, Kansas voters will decide whether the Kansas Constitution’s right to an abortion shall be overturned on August 2, 2022.[34]

Kentucky

Main article: Abortion in Kentucky

As of April 2022, Kentucky law states that abortion is legal up to 15 weeks following the passage of a new bill, the second-strictest limit of any state, and abortion is de facto illegal due to regulations for abortion providers that can't be complied with for the time being.[35] The opinions of abortion in the state are rather divided however with 57% of residents saying that abortion should be illegal for all circumstances, Minors seeking an abortion must have written consent within 24 hours of the procedure. Governor Matt Bevin signed two bills in 2019, HB5 and SB9. SB9 was a heartbeat bill that restricts abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. HB 5 restricts abortions based on the race, gender or disability of the fetus.[36] As of 2017, there are 3 facilities in Kentucky that provide abortions.[37]

Louisiana

Main article: Abortion in Louisiana

On June 19, 2006, Governor Kathleen Blanco signed into law a trigger ban on most forms of abortion (unless the life of the mother was in danger or her health would be permanently damaged) once it passed the state legislature. Although she felt exclusions for rape or incest would have "been reasonable," she felt she should not veto based on those reasons. The trigger law would only go into effect if the United States Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade. Louisiana's measure would allow the prosecution of any person who performed or aided in an abortion. The penalties include up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000.[38]

A second law, Act 620, passed in 2014, modeled after one passed earlier in Texas, required that any doctor performing abortions also have admittance privileges at an authorized hospital within a 30-mile radius of the abortion clinic, among other new requirements. At the time the law was passed, only one doctor had this privileges, effectively leaving only one legal abortion clinic in the state.[39] Ultimately, the model Texas law was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, as the additional admitting privileges required by Texas law interfered with a woman's right to an abortion per Roe v. Wade.[40] While the Texas law was being challenged, the Louisiana law was challenged by abortion clinics and doctors in the state in June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee; while the District Court ordered an injunction on the law, the Fifth Circuit Appeals Court reversed this decision, allowing the law to come in effect later in 2014. The plaintiffs petitioned the Supreme Court, who granted an emergency stay of the Fifth Circuit's order, pending the result of the pending Texas litigation in Whole Woman's Health. June Medical Services was remanded back to District Court, which found the law unconstitutional under Whole Woman's Health. The Fifth Circuit reversed the District's finding and prepared to allow the law to come back into effect by February 4, 2019, differentiating the case from the Texas one as they found the physician had not taken any steps to try to qualify for this allowance. The plaintiffs again petitioned the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of the Fifth Circuit's decision.[41] Justice Samuel Alito granted the stay of the law until February 7, 2019, stating that the Court needed more time to evaluate the request and had made no merits on the ruling of the case.[42] Subsequently, on February 7, 2019, the Supreme Court ruled 5–4, with Justice John Roberts joining the liberal Justices, in reversing the Firth Circuit's order, effectively preventing the law from going into effect.[43] In the 2020 election, Louisiana passed Amendment 1, which adds a sentence to the Louisiana Declaration of Human Rights that states "To protect human life, nothing in its constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion." This proposition allows the Louisiana state government to ban abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.[44]

Maine

Main article: Abortion in Maine

Maryland

Main article: Abortion in Maryland

Massachusetts

Main article: Abortion in Massachusetts

Michigan

Main article: Abortion in Michigan

Minnesota

Main article: Abortion in Minnesota

Mississippi

Main article: Abortion in Mississippi

On February 27, 2006, Mississippi's House Public Health Committee voted to approve a ban on abortion, but that bill died after the House and Senate failed to agree on compromise legislation.[45]

On November 8, 2011, the Personhood amendment, to define personhood as beginning "at the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof," was rejected by 55 percent of voters.[46]

On March 20, 2018, a federal district court in Mississippi enacted a temporary, 10-day ban of the enforcement of a new state law that prohibits the performance of an abortion once the gestational age of the fetus is greater than 15 weeks.[47][48][20]

Missouri

Main article: Abortion in Missouri

Montana

Main article: Abortion in Montana

Nebraska

Main article: Abortion in Nebraska

Nevada

Main article: Abortion in Nevada

New Hampshire

Main article: Abortion in New Hampshire

New Jersey

Main article: Abortion in New Jersey

New Mexico

Main article: Abortion in New Mexico

New York

Main article: Abortion in New York

New York is known in the U.S. as a reproductive sanctuary state. This means that abortion is legal and seen as health care provided by the state. There are approximately 252 facilities in New York that perform abortions.[49] In 2019 New York codified abortions laws and protection in state law. New York state Senator Alessandra Biaggi has proposed a bill that allows the option for taxpayers in New York to contribute to the abortion access fund on their tax forms. This essentially helps create more access to reproductive health care in the state.[50]

North Carolina

Main article: Abortion in North Carolina

North Dakota

Main article: Abortion in North Dakota

Ohio

Main article: Abortion in Ohio

Ohio has multiple layers of law which makes abortion illegal, resulted from multiple passed laws over the decades. The list below ranges from most strict to least.

An Ohio state law went into effect July 2019 which makes abortion illegal after the so-called "fetal heartbeat" (which is a very misleading term, as there is no fetus at that point in pregnancy, only an embryo, and there is no heart, either)[51] can be detected, which is usually between five or six weeks after the first day of the woman's last normal menstrual period. No exceptions are made for "hard cases" such as rape, incest, or a fetus determined to may have down syndrome. The only "hard case" exception, according to ORC 2919.193(B)[52], are in cases in which there is a medical emergency, defined in 2919.16(F) & (K): "serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman."[53] This does not include potential bodily damage that stems from the woman's mental health.

Included in this law, ORC 2919.198, is a section called "Immunity of pregnant woman." This section overrides penalties for pregnant women who undertake an abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected.[54] This release of penalties does not extend to physicians or doctors who administers the abortion past a detectable heartbeat.

Despite the above laws being the most restrictive, further penalties can be imposed if an abortion is undertaken even later into the pregnancy.

According to ORC 2919.17, Abortion may not be performed after viability.[55] ORC 2919.16 defines "Viable means the stage of development of a human fetus at which in the determination of a physician, based on the particular facts of a woman's pregnancy that are known to the physician and in light of medical technology and information reasonably available to the physician, there is a realistic possibility of the maintaining and nourishing of a life outside of the womb with or without temporary artificial life-sustaining support."[56] ORC 2919.17(E) extends: "there is a rebuttable presumption that an unborn child of at least twenty-four weeks gestational age is viable."

According to ORC 2919.201, Abortion after gestational age of 20 weeks, abortion may not be performed if "the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child is twenty weeks or greater".[57] Immunity is not provided in a separate section similar to ORC 2919.198.

Oklahoma

Main article: Abortion in Oklahoma

In 2016, Oklahoma state legislators passed a bill to criminalize abortion for providers, potentially charging them with up to three years in prison.[58] On May 20, 2016, Governor Mary Fallin vetoed the bill before it could become law, citing its wording as too vague to withstand a legal challenge.[59]

Governor Kevin Stitt signed three bills in 2021 that introduced new restrictions on abortion. One bill would revoke a medical license for people who perform abortions, another would ban abortions if a heartbeat is detected, and the third would require board-certified OB-GYN doctors be the only ones who can perform abortions.[60]

As of 2022, abortion is currently illegal in most cases in Oklahoma. On April 12, 2022, Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law a bill that banned abortion indefinitely, unless the life of the mother was at stake, with no exceptions to rape and incest. [61]

Oregon

Main article: Abortion in Oregon

Abortion is fully legal in Oregon. In 2017 there were 20 facilities providing abortions in Oregon. As of January 2021, they do not have any major restriction on abortion including waiting period or parental consent.[62]

Pennsylvania

Main article: Abortion in Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

Main article: Abortion in Rhode Island

Abortion is legal in Rhode Island. 71% of residents reported support of passing laws to protect safe abortion in 2018. There are restrictions in Rhode Island such as perental consent and clinic regulations in order to perform the precedure.[63]

South Carolina

Main article: Abortion in South Carolina

South Dakota

Main article: Abortion in South Dakota

Main article: Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act

In 2004, a bill outlawing abortion passed both houses of the legislature, but was vetoed by the Governor due to a technicality. The state's legislature subsequently passed five laws curtailing the legality of abortion in 2005.[64] The majority of a legislative "task force"[65] then issued a report recommending that the Legislature illegalize all abortions, which would lead to a challenge of the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade in the United States Supreme Court. A separate minority report criticizing the process and reaching different conclusions was also released.[66]

In February 2006, the Legislature passed the Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act, which was signed into law by Governor Mike Rounds on March 6, 2006. This law would have forbidden abortion under virtually every circumstance, including in cases of rape and incest. The law allowed "a medical procedure designed or intended to prevent the death of a pregnant mother." Physicians performing such procedures would have been required to "...make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child."

The act had specifically defined pregnancy as beginning at the point of conception rather than at implantation into the uterine wall (see beginning of pregnancy controversy), which might have meant that WHHLPA applied to emergency contraception and possibly all forms of hormonal contraception.

A referendum to repeal the Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act was placed on ballot for the November 2006 statewide election due to a successful petition drive by the organization South Dakota Healthy Families. On May 30, over 38,000 petition signatures were filed, more than twice the 17,000 required to place a measure on the ballot. On November 7, WHHLPA was repealed by the South Dakota electorate; the vote was 56%-44% favoring repeal.[67]

Tennessee

Main article: Abortion in Tennessee

Abortion is legal until the fetus is viable, around the 25 week mark. There are about 12 clinics that offer abortions in the state. Parental consent is required for minors in Tennessee. As of right now, if Roe V. Wade is overturned in congress, abortions will become illegal. One restriction required in this state is an ultrasound before the procedure. The ultrasound must be shown and described to the patient. Abortions' are banned in cases for race, sex selection, or other genetic anomalies.[68]

Texas

Main article: Abortion in Texas

Abortion access in Texas.
Abortion access in Texas.

The Roe v. Wade case, tried in Texas, stands at the center of years of national debate about the issue of abortion.[69] Henry Wade was serving as District Attorney of Dallas County at the time.

On August 29, 2014, US District Judge Lee Yeakel struck down as unconstitutional two provisions of Texas' omnibus anti-abortion bill, House Bill 2 that was to come into effect on September 1. The regulation would have closed about a dozen abortion clinics, leaving only eight places in Texas to get a legal abortion, all located in major cities. Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the state's regulation was unconstitutional and would have placed an undue burden on women, particularly on poor and rural women living in west Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.[70] The legal challenge to the law eventually reached the Supreme Court in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt (2016) which ruled that the law was unconstitutional, its burden of requiring abortion doctors to have admission privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of the center to interfere with a woman's right to an abortion from Roe v. Wade.

In May 2021, Texas lawmakers passed the Texas Heartbeat Act, banning abortions as soon cardiac activity can be detected, typically as early as six weeks into pregnancy and often before women know they are pregnant. In order to avoid traditional constitutional challenges based on Roe v. Wade, the law provides that any non-government employee or official, excepting sexual perpetrators who conceived the fetus, may sue anyone that performs or induces an abortion in violation of the statute, as well as anyone who "aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise." The lawsuit may be filed by people either with or without any vested interest. The law contains an exception for abortions performed to save the mother's life.[71] The law was challenged in courts, though had yet to have a full formal hearing as its September 1, 2021, enactment date came due. Plaintiffs sought an order from the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the law from coming into effect, but the Court issued a denial of the order late on September 1, 2021, allowing the law to remain in effect. While unsigned, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Stephen Breyer wrote dissenting opinions joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor that they would have granted an injunction on the law until a proper judicial review.[72][73]

On September 9, 2021, Attorney General Merrick Garland, the United States Department of Justice sued the State of Texas over the Texas Act on the basis that "the law is invalid under the Supremacy Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment, is preempted by federal law, and violates the doctrine of intergovernmental immunity".[74] Garland further noted that the United States government has “an obligation to ensure that no state can deprive individuals of their constitutional rights.”[75] The Complaint avers that Texas enacted the law "in open defiance of the Constitution".[76] The relief requested from the U.S. District Court in Austin, Texas includes a declaration that the Texas Act is unconstitutional, and an injunction against state actors as well as any and all private individuals who may bring a SB 8 action.[76][75] The suit was met with controversy, with critics citing concerns over the suit's politicized nature and the possible infringements on civilian rights.[77][78]

Utah

Main article: Abortion in Utah

Vermont

Main article: Abortion in Vermont

Virginia

Main article: Abortion in Virginia

Abortion is legal up to 25 weeks. Some limitations include insurance coverage depending in cases of sexual assault or serious health conditions. Parental consent is also required for minors in Virginia. In 2020, Virginia governor, Ralph Northam signed laws that removed many of the restrictions on abortion that had been in place for decades. Virginia became the first state to codify new protections for abortion in 2020.[79]

Washington

Main article: Abortion in Washington

West Virginia

Main article: Abortion in West Virginia

Wisconsin

Main article: Abortion in Wisconsin

In 2013, Act 37 was passed into law, necessitating admitting privileges for all abortion providers within the state. Admitting privileges allow physicians the right to directly admit a patient to a nearby hospital. The state maintained this was necessary for women's health and safety, however, public health officials and the medical community - including the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, Wisconsin Medical Society, and American Public Health Association - oppose these requirements as unnecessary and are not grounded in evidence-based practice.[80] Not only are these privileges difficult for abortion physicians to obtain given the controversial nature of abortion, the Wisconsin law required admitting privileges to be obtained within one day of the law's passage. After Governor Walker signed the bill into law, a federal district court judge in the Western District of Wisconsin immediately granted a preliminary injunction, preventing its implementation. A trial was held, and the court imposed a permanent injunction against the law, with the Judge noting that clinic closure was clearly the purpose of the law as there was only one day granted for physicians to obtain compliance. Further, the ruling found that abortion complications "are rare and are rarely dangerous", thus it seems to undermine the argument that this law is needed for women's health and safety.[81]

The case was appealed by the state's attorney, yet the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the earlier ruling, and the permanent injunction. The appeals court declared, as did the trial court judge, that the state had failed to demonstrate any obvious need for this legislation.[82] The state further appealed to the Supreme Court, however, this appeal was rejected, maintaining the permanent injunction of the law. The rejection by the Supreme Court to hear the case came rather quickly after the ruling in the state of Texas' case also involving admitting privileges. The Supreme Court's ruling in Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt found that the admitting privileges requirement created an undue burden for women, and thus interfered with the rights established in Roe v. Wade.

Wyoming

Main article: Abortion in Wyoming

State table

Bans of abortion

State Current legality Status before "Roe" Current status
Legal status in 2020 Completely illegal Illegal with limits Trigger law on any abortion Trigger law on late term abortion
 Alabama legal Yes Yes* Yes Yes
 Alaska legal No No Yes Yes
 Arizona legal Banned (as SB1457) Yes* Yes Yes
 Arkansas legal Yes Banned (as SB6)* No No
 California legal No Yes* No No
 Colorado legal No Yes* Yes No
 Connecticut legal No No No No
 Delaware legal No Yes No No
 Florida legal No Yes* No Yes
 Georgia legal No Yes* No No
 Hawaii legal No No No No
 Idaho legal Yes No No Yes
 Illinois legal Yes No No[83] No[83]
 Indiana legal Yes No No Yes
 Iowa legal Yes No No Yes
 Kansas legal Yes No No Yes
 Kentucky legal Yes No No Yes
 Louisiana legal Yes No Yes Yes
 Maine legal No No No No
 Maryland legal No Yes* No No
 Massachusetts legal No Yes* No No
 Michigan legal Yes No No Yes
 Minnesota legal Yes No No No
 Mississippi legal No Yes* No Yes
 Missouri legal Yes No Yes Yes
 Montana legal Yes No No No
 Nebraska legal Yes No No Yes
 Nevada legal Yes No No No
 New Hampshire legal Yes No No No
 New Jersey legal Yes No No Yes
 New Mexico legal No Yes* No No
 New York legal No No No No
 North Carolina legal No Yes* No No
 North Dakota legal Yes No No Yes
 Ohio legal Yes No Yes Yes
 Oklahoma legal Yes No Yes Yes
 Oregon legal No Yes* No No
 Pennsylvania legal Yes No No No
 Rhode Island legal Yes No No Yes
 South Carolina legal No Yes* No Yes
 South Dakota legal Yes No No Yes
 Tennessee legal Yes No Yes Yes
 Texas legal Yes No No No
 Utah legal Yes No Yes Yes
 Vermont legal Yes No No No
 Virginia legal No Yes* No No
 Washington legal No No No No
 West Virginia legal Yes No No Yes
 Wisconsin legal Yes No No Yes
 Wyoming legal Yes No No No

Limits on abortion

State Time limit without exceptions[84] Waiting period Mandatory ultrasound[85] Counseling % of counties without provider[86] Parental notification for minors Parental consent for minors[87]
 Alabama^ Yes Yes Yes 59% No One
 Alaska None None No Yes 37% No No
 Arizona^ Viability Yes 24 hours Yes 19% No One
 Arkansas^ 20 weeks Yes No Yes 77% No One
 California^ Viability None No None 5% No No
 Colorado^ None None No None 27% Yes[88] No
 Connecticut Viability None No None 5% No No
 Delaware Viability None No Yes 33% Yes No
 Florida^ 24 weeks None Yes None 20% Yes No
 Georgia^ Yes No Yes 58% Yes No
 Hawaii Viability None No None 5% No No
 Idaho Viability Yes No Yes 68% No One [89]
 Illinois Viability None No None 40% Yes; ends June 2022[90] No
 Indiana 20 weeks Yes No Yes 66% No One
 Iowa 20 weeks None No None 42% Yes No
 Kansas 20 weeks Yes Yes Yes 56% No One
 Kentucky 15 weeks[91] Yes Yes Yes 74% No One
 Louisiana 20 weeks Yes 24 hours[92] Yes 63% No One
 Maine Viability None No None 55% No No
 Maryland^ Viability None No None 24% Yes No
 Massachusetts^ 24 weeks None No Yes 14% No One
 Michigan Viability Yes No Yes 40% No One
 Minnesota Viability Yes No Yes 59% Yes No
 Mississippi^ 20 weeks Yes Yes Yes 91% No Both
 Missouri Viability Yes No Yes 94% No Both
 Montana Viability None No None 55% No No
 Nebraska 20 weeks Yes No Yes 41% No One
 Nevada 24 weeks None No None 9% No No
 New Hampshire None None No None 30% Yes No
 New Jersey None None No None 23% No No
 New Mexico^ None None No None 48% No No
 New York Viability or 24 weeks[93] None No None 10% No No
 North Carolina^ 20 weeks None No None 53% No One
 North Dakota 20 weeks Yes No Yes 73% Yes Both
 Ohio Viability Yes No Yes 56% No One
 Oklahoma 20 weeks Yes No Yes 54% Yes One
 Oregon^ None None No None 30% No No
 Pennsylvania 24 weeks Yes No Yes 48% No One
 Rhode Island 24 weeks None No Yes 36% No One
 South Carolina^ 20 weeks Yes No Yes 71% No One
 South Dakota 20 weeks None No None 77% Yes No
 Tennessee Viability None No None 63% No One
 Texas Visible heartbeat[94] Yes 24 hours Yes 43% Yes One
 Utah Viability Yes No Yes 62% Yes One
 Vermont None None No None 38% No No
 Virginia^ 25 weeks Yes 24 hours Yes 78% Yes One
 Washington Viability None No None 15% No No
 West Virginia 20 weeks Yes No Yes 90% Yes No
 Wisconsin 20 weeks Yes 24 hours[95] Yes 67% No One
 Wyoming Viability None No None 96% Yes One

Protections of abortion

State Freedom Act[96] State constitutional protection[97]
 Alabama No No
 Alaska No Yes
 Arizona No Yes
 Arkansas No No
 California Yes Yes
 Colorado No No
 Connecticut Yes Yes
 Delaware Yes No
 Florida No Yes
 Georgia No No
 Hawaii Yes No
 Idaho No No
 Illinois Yes Yes
 Indiana No Yes
 Iowa No No
 Kansas No Yes
 Kentucky No No
 Louisiana No No
 Maine Yes No
 Maryland Yes No
 Massachusetts No Yes
 Michigan No No
 Minnesota No Yes
 Mississippi No No
 Missouri No No
 Montana No Yes
 Nebraska No No
 Nevada Yes No
 New Hampshire No No
 New Jersey No Yes
 New Mexico No No
 New York Yes[98][99] No
 North Carolina No No
 North Dakota No No
 Ohio No No
 Oklahoma No No
 Oregon No Yes
 Pennsylvania No No
 Rhode Island Yes No
 South Carolina No No
 South Dakota No No
 Tennessee No No[100]
 Texas No No
 Utah No No
 Vermont Yes Yes
 Virginia No No
 Washington Yes No
 West Virginia No No
 Wisconsin No No
 Wyoming No No

See also

References

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