An Overview of Abortion Laws, Bans, and Restrictions, State by State

·13 min read
An Overview of Abortion Laws, Bans, and Restrictions, State by State

As it stands, the future of abortion rights in the United States hangs in the balance. On May 2, a leaked draft majority opinion from the Supreme Court, published by Politico, detailed Justice Samuel Alito’s frightening call to overturn Roe v. Wade, a move that would completely challenge abortion laws.

Abortion rights supporters nearly immediately gathered outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. in response, and by Tuesday evening, thousands across the country mobilized to fight for continued safe and legal access to abortion care. Protests carried on through the weekend, and on May 14, the Women’s March organization will organize in D.C. and in cities and towns nationwide.

The Supreme Court’s conservative justices are willing to turn back the clock on reproductive rights by almost 50 years, an alarming decision that will impact millions of women. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 58 percent of women of reproductive age live in states that are “hostile” to abortion rights. Another statistic from the sexual and reproductive rights advocacy organization reports that 26 states are expected to ban or restrict abortion. Some of these states have pre-Roe bans or “trigger laws” that would immediately go into effect if Roe falls.

But what exactly does that mean for where you live? Here, with information and data from the Guttmacher Institute, we break down where each state stands with abortion rights and what’s likely to happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Alabama

Currently, abortion may be performed in Alabama up to 20 weeks postfertilization. But if Roe falls, the state would have a near-total ban on abortion, due to a pre-Roe law that was never removed and an amendment in the state’s constitution that prohibits abortion rights protection.

Alaska

There are no gestational age restrictions for abortion in Alaska, but must be performed by a licensed physician. If Roe is overturned, abortion will most likely remain legal in the state, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. A 1997 amendment in the state’s constitution protects the right to choose.

Arizona

Abortion is currently legal in Arizona but there are a number of restrictions — including state-mandated counseling, a 24-hour waiting period, and insurance restrictions — and a pre-Roe ban that was never removed, per the Guttmacher Institute. If Roe is overturned, abortion access will likely be banned entirely.

Arkansas

In Arkansas, there is currently a 20-week abortion ban, insurance restrictions, parental consent requirement for minors, and a 72-hour waiting period between counseling and procedure. If Roe is overturned, a pre-Roe ban and a trigger ban would prohibit abortion in the state.

California

Abortion is legal at or after viability in California if the patient is endangered. The procedure will most likely remain legal and accessible in the state if Roe is overturned.

Colorado

Abortion is accessible in Colorado, but there are a few restrictions. Per the Guttmacher Institute, there are insurance restrictions, public funding is only available for cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest, and parents must be notified for minors. If Roe falls, abortion will most likely remain legal in Colorado.

Connecticut

Abortion is legal at or after viability in Connecticut if the patient is endangered, and it will most likely remain legal and accessible if Roe is overturned.

Delaware

Abortion is legal in Delaware if the patient is endangered, but public funding is only available in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. There is also a parental notification requirement for minors. It will most likely remain legal if Roe is overturned.

Florida

Abortion is legal up to 24 weeks in Florida, but per The Miami Herald, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill in April that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and would take effect on July 1. There are also insurance restrictions, state-mandated counseling, parental notification and consent requirements for minors, and a 24-hour waiting period. If Roe falls, Florida is likely to ban abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Georgia

There is a 20-week abortion ban, insurance restrictions, a parental notification requirement, counseling requirement, and 24-hour waiting period, among other restrictions in Georgia. If Roe is overturned, the state will likely try to enact a 6-week ban, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Hawaii

Abortion is legal at or after viability in Hawaii if the patient is endangered, and will most likely remain legal and accessible if Roe falls.

Idaho

Currently, abortion may be performed after viability only if the patient’s life is endangered, but in March 2022, the state enacted a 6-week abortion ban. Per CBS News, the statute has been temporarily blocked by Idaho Supreme Court, but a trigger law would ban abortion if Roe is overturned.

Illinois

Abortion may be performed at or after viability in Illinois if the patient’s life is endangered, but there is a parental notification requirement for minors. If Roe is overturned, it will most likely remain safe and accessible.

Indiana

There is a 20-week abortion ban in Indiana and according to the Guttmacher Institute, the state has enacted 55 bans and restrictions in the past 10 years. So if Roe is overturned, it’s likely that Indiana will entirely ban abortion.

Iowa

Iowa has a 20-week abortion ban, parental notification requirement for minors, limited public funding, and an ultrasound requirement. The state tried to pass a 6-week ban in 2018, but it was struck down as unconstitutional the following year, per the ACLU. Unless the state’s constitution is amended, it's likely it will remain legal if Roe is overturned.

Kansas

Kansas has a 20-week abortion ban, insurance restrictions, parental consent requirement, 24-hour waiting period, and little public funding, among many other limitations. But per NPR, the Kansas Supreme Court voted to protect abortion access in 2019, so unless its constitution is amended, abortion will likely remain legal if Roe is reversed.

Kentucky

Kentucky has a 20-week abortion ban, 24-hour waiting period between counseling and procedure, insurance restrictions, parental consent requirement for minors, limited public funding, and an ultrasound requirement. The state has a trigger ban in place, so according to CNN, if Roe is overturned, abortion will be banned and made a felony offense.

Louisiana

Louisiana currently has a 20-week ban, a 24-hour waiting period, insurance restrictions, parental consent requirement for minors, limited public funding, and an ultrasound requirement. If Roe falls, the state would have a ban on abortion, due to a pre-Roe law that was never removed and an amendment in the state’s constitution that prohibits abortion rights protection.

Maine

Abortion is legal at or after viability in Maine if the patient’s life is endangered, and will most likely remain protected if Roe is struck down.

Maryland

Abortion is legal at or after viability in Maryland if the patient’s life or health is endangered, but there is a parental notification requirement. It will likely remain protected if Roe falls.

Massachusetts

Abortion may be performed up to 24 weeks after the last menstrual period in Massachusetts, and parents must consent for a minor under 16 years old. If Roe is overturned, abortion will most likely remain legal in the state.

Michigan

Abortion may be performed at or after viability if the patient’s life is endangered, but there is a state-mandated counseling requirement, 24-hour waiting period, insurance requirement, parental consent requirement, and limited public funding. Due to a pre-Roe ban, it’s likely that state lawmakers will try to restrict or prohibit abortion if Roe is overturned.

Minnesota

Abortion is legal at or after viability in Minnesota if the patient’s life is endangered, but there is a state-mandated counseling requirement, 24-hour waiting period, and parental notification requirement for minors. It’s likely that abortion will remain legal in the state if Roe falls.

Mississippi

Right now, abortion is legal up to 20 weeks after the last menstrual period in Mississippi. But the leaked draft majority opinion was written as an “Opinion of the Court” for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case directly challenges Roe and will rule on Mississippi’s 2018 “Gestational Age Act,” a statute that aims to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

A pre-Roe ban and trigger ban will completely restrict abortions in Mississippi if Roe is reversed.

Missouri

Abortion may be performed at or after viability in Missouri if the patient’s life is endangered or severely compromised, and there is a state-mandated counseling requirement, 72-hour waiting period, and insurance restrictions among many others. If Roe is struck down, abortions will be banned in the state and made a felony to provide due to a trigger ban, per CNN.

Montana

Abortion may be performed at or after viability in Montana if the patient’s life is endangered or compromised, and will most likely remain protected if Roe falls.

Nebraska

In Nevada, there is a 20-week abortion ban, state-directed counseling, 24-hour waiting period, insurance restrictions, parental consent requirement, and public funding is only provided in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. If Roe is reversed, the state will likely ban abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Nevada

An abortion may be performed in Nevada up to 26 weeks after the last menstrual period, but public funding is limited only to cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. If Roe falls, abortion will most likely remain legal in the state.

New Hampshire

Abortion may be performed in New Hampshire up to 24 weeks after the last menstrual period, but public funding is limited to only cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest, there is an ultrasound requirement, and a parental notification requirement for minors. If Roe is reversed, abortion will most likely remain legal in the state.

New Jersey

There are no restrictions or bans on abortions in New Jersey, and they will most likely remain legal and accessible if Roe falls.

New Mexico

There are no restrictions or bans on abortions in New Mexico, and they will most likely remain legal and accessible if Roe is reversed.

New York

Abortion is legal at or after viability in New York if the patient is endangered, and it will most likely remain legal and accessible if Roe is overturned.

North Carolina

Abortions may be performed at or after viability in cases of life endangerment or compromised health in North Carolina. There are insurance restrictions, state-mandated counseling, a 72-hour waiting period, an ultrasound requirement, and a parental consent requirement for minors. If Roe is reversed, abortion rights would likely be severely restricted.

North Dakota

There is a 20-week ban on abortions in North Dakota and a number of restrictions, including state-mandated counseling, a 24-hour waiting period, a parental consent requirement, and limited public funding. A trigger law will ban abortions in North Dakota if Roe falls.

Ohio

Ohio has a 20-week abortion ban, a state-directed counseling requirement, a 24-hour waiting period, parental consent requirement, a fetal heartbeat test, and public funding is only available in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. If Roe is overturned, the state will most likely enforce a 6-week ban on abortions.

Oklahoma

Right now, Oklahoma has a 20-week ban on abortions and enforces a multitude of restrictions. On Tuesday, May 3, Governor Kevin Stitt signed a law that would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, per CNN. A pre-Roe restriction and trigger law would ban abortion in the state if Roe is reversed.

Oregon

There are no restrictions or bans on abortions in Oregon, and they will most likely remain legal and accessible if Roe is reversed.

Pennsylvania

Abortions may be performed up to 24 weeks after the last menstrual period in Pennsylvania. Patients must undergo counseling, a 24-hour waiting period, and minors must have parental consent. Public funding is limited to life endangerment, rape, or incest cases. If Roe is struck down, abortion care will likely remain accessible in the state.

Rhode Island

Abortion is legal at or after viability in Rhode Island if the patient is endangered, but parental consent is required for minors. It will most likely remain legal if Roe is overturned.

South Carolina

Currently, South Carolina has a 20-week ban on abortions. There are insurance restrictions, state-directed counseling, a 24-hour waiting period, and a parental consent requirement. In 2021, the state enjoined a 6-week abortion ban, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. If Roe is overturned, this law and further restrictions might be enacted.

South Dakota

South Dakota bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, mandates counseling, has a 72-hour waiting period, and only provides public funding for cases of life endangerment — not for cases of rape or incest. Parental consent for minors is required. Due to a trigger ban, abortion will be prohibited in the state if Roe falls.

Tennessee

Abortion may be performed at or after viability in Tennessee if the patient’s life is endangered or severely compromised. Patients must undergo counseling and an ultrasound, and wait for 48 hours before the procedure. There are insurance restrictions and parental consent is required for minors. If Roe is struck down, a trigger ban and amendment in the state’s constitution barring protection will eliminate abortion rights.

Texas

Texas bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and, among many other restrictions, financially awards private individuals who might successfully sue someone who “aids and abets” someone seeking an abortion. If Roe is reversed, a pre-Roe ban and trigger ban would prohibit abortion.

Utah

Abortions in Utah may be performed at or after viability in cases of life endangerment, compromised patient or fetal health, rape, or incest. There are insurance restrictions, a parental consent requirement, and patients must undergo counseling and a 72-hour waiting period before the procedure. But a trigger law would implement a near-total ban on abortions if Roe is reversed.

Vermont

There are no restrictions or bans on abortions in Vermont, and they will most likely remain legal and accessible if Roe is reversed.

Virginia

Abortions may be performed in Virginia up until the patient’s third trimester if their health is at risk. Parental consent is required for minors and public funding is limited. If Roe is overruled, abortion care will likely remain accessible in the state.

Washington

Abortion is legal at or after viability in Washington State if the patient is endangered, and it will most likely remain legal and accessible if Roe is overturned.

West Virginia

There is currently a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks in West Virginia, and patients must receive counseling and wait 24 hours before the procedure. Parental notification is required for minors. Because of a pre-Roe ban and an amendment to the state’s constitution that does not protect abortion rights, an overturn of Roe will likely ban abortions in the state.

Wisconsin

There is a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks in Wisconsin. Counseling, a 24-hour waiting period, and parental notification for minors is required. A pre-Roe law would ban abortions in the event Roe is struck down.

Wyoming

Abortions in Wyoming may be performed at or after viability in cases of life endangerment and compromised patient health. Public funding is limited and parental consent is required for minors. If Roe is overturned, a trigger ban will likely severely restrict or eliminate abortion access in the state.

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