What abortion access looks like in every state after the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v Wade

·17 min read

The US Supreme Court has overturned key rulings enshrining abortion rights across the country, leaving states to determine whether to ban the procedure and force women to carry pregnancies to term.

Without protections under the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v Wade, roughly half of US states will move to immediately or quickly outlaw abortion, including 13 states with so-called “trigger” bans in place – laws designed to take effect without Roe.

In the hours after the Supreme Court’s decision on 24 June, state officials across the US declared their anti-abortion laws were in effect. Others are expected to take effect within 30 days of the decision. Most do not include exceptions for rape and incest.

As of 19 July, temporary restraining orders have blocked such laws in Kentucky, Louisiana and Utah as their legal challenges play out in court.

At least eight states – Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin – have outlawed abortion entirely in nearly all instances, and more legal challenges are expected as more laws take effect. As many as 26 states could outlaw abortion without Roe, with states legislatures poised to draft more-restrictive laws unbridled from constitutional obligations to protect access to care.

Democratic governors in several states – including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – have sought to combat anti-abortion legislation passed by their Republican-led legislatures.

Midterm elections also could be a deciding factor for abortion rights in some states. In August, Kansas voters will determine whether to support a constititional amendment that will strip abortion protections, and the next governor of Pennsylvania will either push severe anti-abortion legislation or protect it.

In Virginia, Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin told state legislators to send him a bill that outlaws abortion at 15 weeks, while Massachusetts’s GOP Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order to to protect reproductive health care providers who serve patients traveling from out of state.

Meanwhile, more than a dozen states and Washington DC have laws that protect abortion rights, including explicit protections in state constitutions or laws allowing for abortion up to a certain point in pregnancy or throughout a pregnancy.

A coalition of Democratic governors on the West Coast pledged to “fight like hell” to protect abortion access.

Those immense disparities in abortion access – and whether Americans will be prosecuted for seeking abortions or protected with resources from the state – has effectively balkanized the US, now a patchwork of reproductive health rights and restrictions.

Alabama

The state has a pre-Roe ban on abortions that has not been repealed. In 2018, voters also approved an amendment to the state’s constitution to assert that abortion rights are not protected in the state.

In 2019, Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill into law banning nearly all abortions, which was blocked by a federal judge. Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the injunction was lifted and the law was allowed to go in effect. A judge said that the basis for the injunction “no longer exists” following the Dobbs ruling. There are no exceptions for rape and incest.

Alaska

The right to abortion is protected at all stages of pregnancy, with a 1997 state Supreme Court ruling determining that the state’s constitution protects the right to an abortion. The state’s anti-abortion governor, however, has called for a “robust discussion on the future of abortion access” after Roe is overturned.

Arizona

A pre-Roe ban blocked by the courts outlaws abortions except in cases where the procedure could save the patient’s life. Governor Doug Ducey also has signed a law banning abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy, effective in September.

Arkansas

A trigger law in Arkansas prohits abortions in nearly all cases execpt in the event of a life-threatening medical emergency. The state also passed a near-total ban on abortions in 2021 and has a pro-Roe ban that is still on the books. Providers could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted.

California

State legislators have approved a measure that will allow voters to determine whether to amend the state’s constitution to include fundamental protections for abortion care. “We know we can’t trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution,” governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement earlier this year.

The governor has also signed legislation that bans insurance providers from requiring cost-sharing payments such as deductibles, coinsurance or copayments for abortion care in an effort to make access more affordable.

Colorado

Governor Jared Polis signed legislation this year that guarantees the right to “have an abortion and to make decisions about how to exercise that right”. It also states that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights” under state law.

Connecticut

The state protects the right to an abortion up until viability, after which abortion care is allowed only to protect the life or health of the patient.

Governor Ned Lamont also signed legislation that shields medical providers who perform abortions and out-of-state patients who travel to the state to receive the procedure from lawsuits in states that have criminalised care.

Delaware

The state protects the right to an abortion up until viability, after which abortion care is allowed only to protect the life or health of the patient.

Florida

The state’s law that outlaws abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy remains in effect following an appeal from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody to challenge a state judge ruling that temporarily blocked the law.

On 30 June, Second Judicial Circuit Court Judge John Cooper said he would freeze the 2022 law that was set to take effect on 1 July.

The ban outlaws abortion in all instances except to protect the life of the patient, prevent serious injury or if the foetus has a fatal abnormality.

Georgia

On 20 July, a federal appearls court upheld a 2019 law outlawing abortions at six weeks of pregnancy, before many people know they are pregnant. Previous law protected abortion care up to 20 weeks.

Hawaii

The state protects the right to an abortion up until viability, and state law prohibits the government from denying or interfering with a person’s “right to choose or obtain an abortion of a nonviable fetus” that would protect the life or health of the patient.

Idaho

Abortion care providers could face up to five years in prison under Idaho’s trigger ban, which is designed to go into effect 30 days after Roe is overturned. The law makes exceptions if the procedure is to prevent the death of the patient or in the case of rape or incest.

The state was also the first to approve an abortion ban mirroring the Texas law, though the state’s Supreme Court temporarily blocked the law following a legal challenge from Planned Parenthood. Both Idaho’s governor and the state’s attorney general have suggested that the ban is unconstitutional though it remains in effect.

Illinois

In 2019, the state recognised the “fundamental right to make autonomous decisions about one’s own reproductive health,” including to continue a “pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion.”

The law repeals the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and its Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act. It also establishes “that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law of this State”.

Following the leaked draft opinion of the Dobbs case, Democratic governor JB Pritzker said at a news conference that the state will remain “a beacon of hope in an increasingly dark world”.

“Because we will fight like hell, not just for the women of Illinois, but for every person in our state and every person across the nation who believes not in limiting civil rights and human rights, but in expanding them,” he said.

Indiana

The right to an abortion is not protected but generally legal within 20 weeks of pregnancy.

After the Supreme Court’s decision, the state’s Republican Governor Eric Holcomb said “we have an opportunity to make progress in protecting the sanctity of life, and that’s exactly what we will do.” Republican state legislators have also asked him to convene a special legislative session to pass anti-abortion legislation.

Iowa

Abortion is legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. The state’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds said in a statement following the Supreme Court’s ruling that the deciusion marks one of the court’s “greatest moments.”

“But the fight for life is not over,” she said. “As governor, I won’t rest until every unborn Iowan is protected and respected.”

In June, the state’s Supreme Court reversed an earlier court ruling that determined that the state’s constitution protected the right to an abortion.

Kansas

Abortion is legal up to 22 weeks of pregnancy. In 2019, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution includes the right to an abortion, but on 2 August, voters will determine whether to preserve that right. Republican state legislators also are likely to seek restrictions on abortion care.

Kentucky

On 30 June, a state court judge blocked a pair of anti-abortion laws following a lawsuit that argues that the state violates the rights to privacy, bodily autonomy and self-determination that are outlined in the state constitution. On 22 July, a judge extended a temporary order blocking enforcement of the law.

A 2019 trigger law outlaws nearly all abortions and makes provider care a felony offense. Abortions are outlawed in nearly all cases except to save the life of the patient or to prevent the permanent injury of a life-sustaining organ.

Louisiana

The state’s trigger law bans providers from performing an abortion or providing abortion medication in all cases, provided that the physician makes “reasonable medical efforts” to save the life of the patient and the foetus.

In 2022, Louisiana’s Democratic anti-abortion governor also signed a bill that effectively outlaws all abortions beyond the moment of “fertilization and implantation.” It makes no exception for rape or incest.

On 27 June, a New Orleans judge issued a temporary restraining order that blocks the state from enforcing its abortion ban. The order was dissolved on 8 July under a procedural matter as a legal challenge to freeze the law moves from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. On 12 July, a judge in Baton Rouge temporarily blocked the law, once again. On 21 July, the judge granted a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the law while the case is argued.

Maine

The state protects the right to an abortion up until viability, after which abortion care is allowed only to protect the life or health of the patient.

Maryland

The state protects the right to an abortion up until viability, after which abortion care is allowed only to protect the life or health of the patient, or if the foetus is “affected by genetic defect or serious deformity or abnormality”.

A bill effective on 1 July also requires most health insurance providers to cover abortion care.

Massachusetts

The state protects the right to an abortion up until 24 weeks of pregnancy. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order to to protect reproductive health care providers who serve patients traveling from out of state.

Michigan

The state maintains a pre-Roe abortion ban, but a judge has ruled that the state cannot enforce the law while a lawsuit challenging the law makes its way through state courts. Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer also has signed an executive order directing state agencies to find ways to bolster reproductive healthcare.

Minnesota

The right to an abortion up to viability is protected under the state constitution following a decision in a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court case.

On 11 July, a judge struck down a series of measures – like mandatory 24-hour waiting periods, two-parent notification and hospital requirements for doctors to administer abortions – as unconstitutional.

Mississippi

State law bans nearly all abortions except in cases of rape or when the procedure could save life of the patient. On 5 July, a state court denied a request to block the state’s 2007 “trigger” law from taking effect.

The law has forced the closure of the state’s remaining abortion clinic, which was at the centre of the Supreme Court case to determine whether to overturn Roe. That case involved another state law banning abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Missouri

A 2019 state law makes abortion care a felony except in cases of medical emergencies.

Montana

The right to an abortion is protected under the state constitution following a decision in a Montana Supreme Court case in 1999. State legislators passed a number of anti-abortion measures in 2021.

Nebraska

The right to an abortion is protected up to 20 to 22 weeks though state legislators have approved a number of restrictive laws.

Nevada

The state protects the right to an abortion up until 24 weeks of pregnancy, after which abortion care is allowed only to protect the life or health of the patient.

New Hampshire

The state outlaws abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy. There are no state laws guaranteeing the right to an abortion, making it the only state in New England without such a provision.

New Jersey

The right to abortion is protected at all stages of pregnancy. In 2022, the state enacted protections recognising abortion as a fundamental right, affirmed by the state’s constitution and the state’s highest court as the “fundamental right of a woman to control her body and destiny”.

New Mexico

The right to an abortion is neither protected nor outlawed.

A pre-Roe abortion law banned abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or if it was necessary to save the life of the patient. That law remained on the books despite the Roe ruling that made it unconstitutional. It was finally repealed in 2021.

New York

In 2019, the state passed comprehensive abortion protections and removed abortion from the state’s criminal code. The state protects the right to an abortion up until 24 weeks of pregnancy, after which abortion care is allowed only to protect the life or health of the patient or if the foetus is no longer viable.

A legislative package in 2022 includes legal protections for abortion providers and out-of-state patients seeking an abortion in New York, which would block state courts from pursuing cases related to anti-abortion laws in other states.

The measures also protect abortion providers from arrest, extradition and legal action in other states by prohibiting state and local courts and law enforcement from cooperating with anti-abortion cases in those states. Another law allows people to sue for unlawful interference with their right to abortion care if they face civil or criminal charges for seeking or providing abortions.

The state also will prevent health insurance providers from taking action against New York-based providers who provide reproductive health services that are illegal in other states.

North Carolina

The right to an abortion is neither protected nor outlawed.

North Dakota

A 2007 state law makes abortion care a felony except in cases where the procedure could save the mother’s life.

Ohio

A federal judge blocked a measure banning abortions at roughly six weeks from going into effect, but the state’s attorney general filed a motion to lift the stay following the Roe decision. A federal judge dissolved the injunction hours after the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Anti-abortion state legislators are also likely to pursue other restrictions.

Oklahoma

Governor Kevin Stitt signed several anti-abortion measures into law in 2022, including a ban on nearly all abortions from the moment of fertilisation.

Another law makes abortion care a felony punishable up to 10 years in prison with a fine of up to $100,000. It does not make exceptions for abortions from rape or incest but only to protect the life of the patient. He also approved another measure banning abortion at six weeks of pregnancy.

Oregon

Legislators passed a bill in 2017 that prohibits government bodies from interfering in patients’ right to an abortion.

Pennsylvania

The right to an abortion is not protected but legal up to 24 weeks.

Rhode Island

The state protects the right to an abortion up until viability, after which abortion care is allowed only to protect the life or health of the patient.

South Carolina

Abortion is outlawed after six weeks of pregnancy. Anti-abortion state legislators are likely to pursue restrictions and other bills to outlaw abortion care.

South Dakota

The state’s 2005 trigger law makes it illegal for providers to perform an abortion except in life-threatening medical emergencies. The measures immediately goes into effect “on the date states are recognized by the United States Supreme Court to have the authority to prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy.”

Tennessee

The state law making abortion care a felony for abortions in nearly all cases takes affect within 30 days after Roe is overturned. Another measure outlawing abortions at six weeks of pregnancy also went into effect on 28 June.

Texas

On 1 July, the state’s Supreme Court allowed a nearly 100-year-old law banning abortion to take effect after a lower-court ruling temporarily blocked it.

Days earlier, a state judge issued a temporary restraining order to block the law. A hearing date in the case is set for 12 July.

The state’s 2021 trigger ban for abortions in nearly all cases was also set to go in effect 30 days after Roe is overturned. The state also has a law in place that outlaws abortions up to six weeks of pregnancy, which is superseded by the state’s near-total ban on abortion.

Utah

Abortion is legal up to 18 weeks of pregnancy, after a judge granted a request on 11 July to block the state’s “trigger” law while a legal challenge plays out in court. A judge had previously halted the trigger law under a 14-day restraining order.

The state’s 2020 trigger ban makes abortion care a second-degree felony and outlaws all abortions except in cases of rape or incest, detection of severe birth defects, or to prevent the mother’s death or serious injury.

Vermont

State law passed in 2019 recognises “the fundamental right of every individual who becomes pregnant” to seek an abortion and bars government bodies from interfering with that right.

Virginia

The right to an abortion is not protected but legal up until the patient’s third trimester. Following the Roe ruling, Governor Glenn Youngkin called on state legislators to approve a measure banning abortion at 15 weeks.

Washington

In June, state legislators strengthened abortion protections by guaranteeing the right to access to reproductive health measures regardless of gender identity.

Washington DC

The right to abortion is protected at all stages of pregnancy.

West Virginia

A state constitutional amendment specifically denies protections for the right to an abortion, though abortion is legal in the state.

A pre-Roe ban on abortion that remains on the book makes abortion care a felony punishable up to 10 years in prison. On 19 July, a circuit court judge issued a preliminary unjunction against the 150-year-old law, freezing its enforcement as a legal challenge plays out.

Wisconsin

A pre-Roe law from 1849 that outlaws abortion is in effect. Abortion care is now a felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Wyoming

A law passed in 2022 passed makes nearly all abortions illegal. There are exceptions for rape, incest and to prevent a patient’s death or “substantial and irreversible physical impairments”.

The state’s trigger law will go into effect within 30 days of the Supreme Court ruling, pending the advisement of the state’s attorney general.

This was originally published on 24 June and has been updated