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Abortion Laws by State: Where Has Abortion Been Banned?
On Election Day, voters in Kentucky and Montana rejected efforts to further restrict abortion access.
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On Election Day, abortion was on the ballot in five states: California, Michigan and Vermont all passed referendums enshrining reproductive rights in their state constitutions, while efforts to restrict abortion access in Montana and Kentucky failed to resonate with voters.
Montana's Legislative Referendum 131 -- which was defeated 52.6% to 47.4%, according to the Associated Press -- would have required doctors to perform lifesaving medical care for infants who were "born alive" at any stage of development. And while abortion still remains illegal in Kentucky, voters rejected changing the state constitution to say it did not include a right to terminate a pregnancy.
Read on to learn about current abortion laws in all 50 states, plus ongoing court cases and other challenges. For more on reproductive rights, visit the US Department of Health and Human Services website and your state health department site.
What are the abortion laws in your state?
With the Supreme Court's ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade, abortion laws now vary greatly from state to state. Since June, nearly a third of American women have lost access to abortion, The Washington Post reported. Below are the latest regulations in all 50 states; as well as Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. New legislation and legal challenges are expected, so check with your state health department for the most current information.
Passed in 2019, Alabama's HB 314 bans 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.
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 says an 1864 law predating 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 remove the injunction on the 158-year-old territorial law, 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, HB 318, 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 Legislature passed a law that 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.
California's Proposition 1, a voter referendum passed on Election Day 2022, enshrines the right to abortion and access to contraception in the state constitution.
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 HB 22-1279, 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-nation reproductive rights legislation making Connecticut an abortion sanctuary state. Starting July 1, medical providers are shielded from laws 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 House Bill 455, 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 banning abortion after 15 weeks, set to take effect July 1, with exceptions to prevent serious harm or death of the patient but not in cases of incest, rape or human trafficking.
Among the groups challenging the law is Congregation L'Dor Va-Dor, which argues that the ban violates Jewish teachings on reproductive rights.
On June 30, Judge John Cooper temporarily blocked enforcement of 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, The Guardian reported.
With Roe now overturned, a 2019 Georgia law goes into effect banning most abortions after about six weeks, before many people know they're pregnant. 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 faces a legal challenge from the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Coalition but has been allowed to take effect while the case works its way through the courts.
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 state amended its law to 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.
On Aug. 5 the Indiana Legislature passed S.B. 1, a near-total abortion ban that would make providing an abortion a felony in almost all cases. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law just moments later, the first abortion law passed after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
It was set to go into effect on Sept. 15, but has been put on hold pending legal challenges from Planned Parenthood and other healthcare organizations.
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 reported.
A 2019 law banning dilation and evacuation abortions had been previously blocked by a court ruling, but a court decision on July 8 overturned the injunction, allowing the ban to take effect immediately. On Oct. 12, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld a lower court's injunction preventing enforcement of S.B. 1, which only allowed abortions in cases of rape or incest, a fatal fetal anomaly or to prevent death or "serious health risk."
Iowa allows abortions up to 20 weeks after fertilization and requires an ultrasound and parental notification for minors.
On Aug. 2, Kansans overwhelmingly rejected a constitutional amendment that 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 struck down Roe v. Wade in June.
In 2019, Kentucky became one of the first states to pass an abortion trigger law, 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, an appeals court reinstated the 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.
On Election Day 2022, Kentucky voters rejected a referendum that would have altered the state constitution to say it did not include a right to abortion or government funding for abortion. Abortion in Kentucky still remains illegal from the point of fertilization with only limited exceptions.
After Roe was struck down, the law was temporarily blocked pending a lawsuit by the Center for Reproductive Rights. On July 8, a Louisiana court lifted the stay on the near-total ban, but it was reinstated four days later with a hearing set for July 18.
In late 2020, the state also passed legislation called the Roe Act, 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 a 1931 law making 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, a court of appeals ruled that 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. Michigan's Proposal 3, approved 55.5% to 44.5% on Election Day 2022, adds language in the state constitution affirming an individual's right to make decisions "about all matters relating to pregnancy," including contraception, fertility, abortion and childbirth.
In July, a Minnesota district court ruled 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's Gestational Age Act of 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.
Following the Supreme Court ruling, Missouri invoked a trigger law banning all abortions in the state, with an exception if the life of the mother 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.
A 1999 Montana law permits abortion until the point of viability, defined as "the ability of a fetus to live outside the mother's womb," or at about 24 weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions are allowed to save the life or health of the mother.
Abortion restrictions passed in 2021 -- including banning the procedure after 20 weeks, eliminating telehealth services for medication abortions and mandating providers offer patients the opportunity to view an ultrasound or hear a fetal heartbeat -- are currently being enjoined while they face a legal challenge from Planned Parenthood.
A 2022 voter referendum would have extended legal personhood to infants "born alive" at any stage of development. Legislative Referendum 131, which failed to pass, would have required doctors to provide life-sustaining treatment to an infant "at any stage of development, who, after expulsion or extraction, breathes, has a beating heart or has definite movement of voluntary muscles."
Abortions in Nebraska are legal until 22 weeks of pregnancy. 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 a trigger law that 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, state law revisions protecting abortion 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 Sununu signed a law allowing abortions after 24 weeks in the case of fatal fetal anomalies.
Abortion remains legal in New Jersey. Assembly Bill 6260, 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 the state legislature repealed it in 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, a few 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, Section 2599-BB, 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.
On Aug. 17, 2022, a US district court judge lifted an injunction against a law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The hold had been in place since 2019 but was lifted now that Roe has been overturned.
State regulations also mandate parental consent for minors, ultrasound, mandatory state-directed counseling and a 72-hour waiting period before terminating a pregnancy.
Passed in 2013, 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, has 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. The temporary injunction was continued with another ruling on Aug. 25.
On June 24, a federal judge lifted an injunction against an Ohio law that bans abortion after 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.
Health care 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 told USA Today.
Previously, abortions were legal in Ohio up to 20 weeks after fertilization, though they required mandatory counseling, a 24-hour waiting period and ultrasound.
Post-Roe, anyone who performs an abortion at any point after fertilization could be subject to up to two to five years in prison unless the life of the mother is at risk. (A trigger law went into effect on Aug. 26 that increases the penalties to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $100,000.)
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.
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 a law that 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 legislature added requirements including 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.
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 lawmakers repealed a 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.
Under Roe, abortion was strictly limited, with mandatory counseling, a 24-hour waiting period and a ban on abortions after 20 weeks.
Under Roe, South Dakota banned abortions after 22 weeks and required counseling and a 72-hour waiting period. But a 2005 trigger law now in effect bans abortions except in the case of life-threatening pregnancies.
A separate law passed in March 2022 further restricted access to abortion medications.
A 2019 trigger law effectively bans abortion unless it can be proven in court that the mother's life is at stake went into effect on Aug. 25.
Voters amended the Tennessee state constitution in 2014 to remove abortion protections granted by a state Supreme Court ruling in 2000.
A 2021 trigger law that is now in effect criminalizes abortion from the moment of fertilization unless there is a life-threatening medical emergency or a risk of "substantial impairment of major bodily function." The law, which has no provisions for rape or incest, makes providing an abortion punishable by up to life in prison and fines of up to $100,000, according to The Texas Tribune. On July 1, the state Supreme Court ruled Texas could also enforce a 1925 abortion ban that allows for civil charges to be filed against someone assisting in the termination of a pregnancy.
With Roe v. Wade overturned, a trigger law passed in 2020 makes 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 in June.
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 law has been stayed while 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 Act 47, a sweeping reproductive rights law that established the right to abortion without government interference.
A reproductive rights referendum, Proposal 5, passed on Election Day 2022 with support from more than 77% of voters. It adds language prohibiting government infringement on the right to personal reproductive autonomy to the state constitution, "unless justified by a compelling state interest."
Abortion is generally legal in Virginia up until 25 weeks of gestation. A 2020 law 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 was written into a state law that also requires insurers that provide maternity care to cover abortions.
The right to an abortion was codified into law in 2020 with the passage of DC Law 23-90, which also prohibits employment discrimination against health care professionals who perform or are willing to perform abortions.
On Sept. 16, Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed a near-total abortion ban passed by the Legislature earlier in the month. It prohibits the termination of a pregnancy except in the case of a medical emergency. Survivors of rape or incest have to report the assault within 48 hours and present a copy of a police report or notarized letter to a physician before an abortion could be performed.
Prior to Roe v. Wade being overturned, West Virginia banned abortions after 22 weeks, except in cases where the life of the mother was endangered. In 2018, voters agreed to amend the state constitution to specifically declare that it doesn't include any right to abortion.
A law from 1849 technically makes performing an abortion a felony punishable by three to 10 years in prison. On July 18, Kanawha Circuit Judge Tera Salango stayed the enforcement of that statute 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.
A law dating to 1849 makes 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.
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 House Bill 92, 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 judge temporarily blocked enforcement of 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.