On June 24, the US Supreme Court, ending a half-century precedent that secured the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy. Without federal protections, the legality of abortion is now left to individual states.
After the decision in, “trigger laws” banning nearly all abortions started taking effect in 13 states, while another 13 began enforcing restrictive abortion laws from the pre-Roe era.
Reproductive rights activists have filed lawsuits to block abortion bans, with varying success. On July 22, a Kentucky judge extended an injunction temporarily blocking that state’s near-total prohibition. Two days earlier, a federal appeals court overturned a lower court and allowed Georgia’s abortion ban to take effect.
A new AP-NORC poll from July 21 shows that 53% of Americans disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe. Sixty percent say Congress should pass a law enshrining abortion rights on the federal level
Read on to learn how the Supreme Court’s decision impacts abortion in each state. For more information, visit the US Department of Health and Human Services’ reproductive rights website.
Understanding abortion terminology
To fully comprehend the status of abortion in each state, it helps to understand.
Fetal viability is the ability of a fetus to survive outside of the uterus. The Supreme Court and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology consider a fetus to be viable starting at between , though there’s no hard line. A fetus that can’t live independently at any stage is considered “non-viable.”
Even under Roe, most states restricted abortion after fetal viability with some exceptions for “fatal fetal anomalies.”
Almost all state laws banning abortion make exceptions for life-threatening pregnancies or medical emergencies, although several require that two physicians diagnose the pregnancy as life-threatening. A limited number of abortion bans make exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
Weeks of pregnancy and gestational age are both generally defined as the time since the first day of the last menstrual period before pregnancy. Some states ban abortions after a certain number of weeks post-fertilization, meaning the period after a sperm has fertilized an ovum and created a zygote.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines the start of pregnancy as when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus, which occurs about a week after fertilization. It’s very difficult to determine the exact time of conception or fertilization, which is why most medical providers use the last menstrual period to determine gestational age.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 79% of abortions in the US in 2019 occurred before nine weeks and 93% before 13 weeks. Some state laws outlaw abortion at six to seven weeks — before many women are aware they’re pregnant.
In addition, while the abortion debate is often framed as involving a woman’s right to choose, and many abortion laws refer specifically to “the life of the mother” being at risk, access to abortion nonbinary and gender-expansive individuals.: It impacts anyone whose body is capable of getting pregnant, which includes trans men, intersex people and
What are trigger laws and which states have them?
The 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade established a constitutional right to an abortion during the first trimester, or first three months of pregnancy. It also determined abortions could be regulated — but not banned — before fetal viability.
Since then, state legislatures have passed many laws restricting abortion access, some of which have been struck down by the courts.
Abortion-related trigger laws delayed their effective dates until after a Supreme Court ruling returned jurisdiction over abortion to the states. With the court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization doing just that, these laws will now go into effect, though many already face legal challenges.
Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming all have trigger laws that ban abortion even in the first trimester.
Abortion laws by state
With Dobbs overturning Roe v. Wade, access to abortion now varies greatly from state to state. Below are the regulations in all 50 states, as well as Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. New laws and legal challenges are expected, so check with your state health department for the most up-to-date 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.
Alaskans will decide in a November 2022 referendum whether to hold a constitutional convention as a path toward banning abortion in the state.
A law signed by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey in March bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy except if necessary to save the mother’s life. Physicians performing abortions face felony charges and loss of their professional licenses.
The statute is slated to take effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns its 2021-2022 session.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says an 1864 law predating Arizona statehood and mandating prison time for abortion providers is in effect now and supersedes the newer statute. Gov. 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.
He’s also proposed amending the state constitution to further protect abortion access.
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 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 bans most abortions once cardiac activity has been detected in an embryo, generally at about six or seven weeks. There are exceptions for cases of rape or incest when a police report has been filed, and when a pregnancy has been deemed “medically futile” by a physician.
The 2019 ban was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court in 2020, but that court injunction was overturned on July 20 by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, allowing the six-week abortion ban to take effect immediately.
Previously, abortion was legal in Georgia up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy.
In 1970, Hawaii became the first state to fully legalize abortion up to the point of fetal viability.
In 2006, the 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.
In March 2022, Idaho lawmakers passed a bill modeled on a Texas law banning all abortions after six weeks. The state Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction, but with Roe v. Wade overturned, it goes into effect immediately.
Previously, Idaho allowed abortions up to 22 weeks, with exceptions for life-threatening situations.
Abortion is legal in Illinois up until the point of fetal viability, and that isn’t expected to change.
In 2019, the state removed regulations for abortion providers with a law declaring a “fundamental right” to abortion.
Indiana technically allows abortions up to 22 weeks of pregnancy, but lawmakers have added 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.
The regulations ensure that most abortions happen 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 on July 8 of this year, a new court decision overturned the injunction. The ban will take effect immediately.
The Indiana legislature is expecting to further restrict abortion, during a special legislative session starting July 25. On Wednesday, July 20, Indiana Republicans announced new legislation that would ban abortion, with limited exceptions.
Iowa allows abortions up to 20 weeks after fertilization and requires an ultrasound and parental notification for minors.
In 2019, the state passed a law banning all abortions after six weeks, but it was struck down by the Iowa Supreme Court. The status of that law won’t change even though Roe v. Wade is no longer the law of the land.
Kansas bans abortions after 22 weeks and requires patients to undergo ultrasounds and state-directed counseling.
Republican lawmakers banned dilation and evacuation abortions in 2019, but the law was struck down by the state Supreme Court.
In August 2022, Kansans are slated to vote on an amendment denying state constitutional protections and government funds for abortion.
In 2019, Kentucky became one of the first states to pass an abortion trigger law, which went into effect immediately 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.
On June 30, after Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state’s two abortion clinics, a federal judge extended a stay on Kentucky’s trigger law. On July 22, Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry extended the stay.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican who is running for governor, opposes the injunction and has made numerous requests to reinstate the ban, the Hill reported.
Before Dobbs, Kentucky allowed abortions up to 22 weeks, requiring parental consent for minors, ultrasound, state-directed counseling and a 24-hour waiting period.
In November 2022, voters will decide on a referendum affirming that nothing in the Kentucky state constitution suggests a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion.
In 2006, Louisiana passed a trigger law that bans all abortions except to prevent “substantial risk of death or permanent impairment under certain circumstances.”
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.
Louisiana amended its state constitution in 2020 to remove any language that might imply the right to an abortion.
Maine allows abortions up to fetal viability, and beyond that in cases of life endangerment.
In 2019, Maine codified legal abortion into law and passed legislation allowing people other than doctors to perform the procedure. In April, the state passed a law designed to prevent the harassment of patients at abortion clinics.
Abortion is legal in Maryland up until the point of fetal viability, though in the case of a minor, parents must be notified.
In 1992, Maryland voters passed a referendum affirming access to abortion, intended to protect abortion in Maryland in case the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Massachusetts allows abortion until fetal viability. In 2018 the state passed a law removing outdated restrictions on abortion.
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, a Michigan law from 1931 could take effect, 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.
Minnesotans’ right to abortion is protected by a 1995 ruling by the state’s Supreme Court, and Gov. Tim Walz has declared that “no abortion ban will ever become law” during his term.
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.
A Mississippi trigger law passed in 2007 outlaws all abortions except in cases of rape or to save the life of the patient. The law went into effect on July 7, 2022. On July 20, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in the state and the subject of the historic Supreme Court ruling, dropped its plans to challenge the state’s abortion law.
Following the Supreme Court ruling, Missouri invoked a trigger law banning all abortions in the state, with an exception if the life of the woman is at stake but not in cases of rape or incest.
The law makes inducing an abortion a class B felony, with a possible prison sentence of five to 15 years. Abortion providers can also have their medical licenses suspended or revoked.
Previously, abortions were banned after 20 weeks’ gestational age and required state-directed counseling, ultrasound and a 72-hour waiting period.
Abortion in Montana is protected by a 1999 state Supreme Court decision that isn’t affected by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. However, state Attorney General Austin Knudsen has asked the Montana Supreme Court to overturn the 1999 decision.
Several state abortion restrictions that were passed in 2021 are being challenged in court by Planned Parenthood. Pending legislation would ban abortions after 20 weeks’ gestational age and block providing abortion medication through the mail.
Abortions in Nebraska are legal up to 22 weeks. The state requires mandated counseling and a 24-hour waiting period, as well as parental consent for minors and a ban on telemedicine for abortion medication.
In February, the state failed to pass 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, three years before the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, and a 2019 law lifted several restrictions, including a requirement that only physicians could provide abortions.
A 2019 law, 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. But a law banning abortions after 20 weeks is now in effect. The state also mandates several restrictions, including parental consent for minors, ultrasound, mandatory state-directed counseling and a 72-hour waiting period.
The North Carolina General Assembly has passed several other restrictions, but they’ve all been vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
North Dakota’s trigger law, passed in 2013, goes into effect 30 days after the Attorney General certifies the Supreme Court has restored to the states the authority to prohibit abortion. It 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.
On June 24, a federal judge lifted an injunction against Ohio’s so-called “fetal heartbeat” law, which bans abortion after the detection of fetal cardiac activity — about six weeks into a pregnancy — with an exception if the life of the patient is at stake but not in cases of rape or incest.
Healthcare providers found guilty of performing an abortion could face felony charges and up to a year in prison.
Senate President Matt Huffman, a Republican from Lima, said residents who seek abortions in other states would not be prosecuted. “If someone is going to go to New York to have an abortion, we’re not going to know that and we’re not going to be able to prevent that,” Huffman told USA Today.
Previously, abortions were legal in Ohio up to 20 weeks after fertilization, though they require mandatory counseling, a 24-hour waiting period and ultrasound.
Post-Roe, anyone who performs an abortion at any point 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 goes 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 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.
Proposed in April 2022 and now under debate, Senate Project 693 would restrict abortions to 22 weeks after fertilization.
Abortions are legal and minimally restricted in Rhode Island. Parental consent is required for minors and only physicians are allowed to perform the procedure.
In 2019, state 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.
South Carolina outlaws abortions after six weeks, with exceptions for rape or incest.
Under Roe, abortion was strictly limited, with mandatory state-based counseling, a 24-hour waiting period and a ban on abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization.
A trigger law passed in 2005 bans abortions except in the case of life-threatening pregnancies.
Under Roe, South Dakota banned abortions after 22 weeks, requiring counseling and mandating a 72-hour waiting period. A law signed in March 2022 further restricted abortion medication.
A trigger law passed in 2019 effectively bans all abortions in Tennessee, except in the case of life-threatening pregnancies. It’s set to go into effect 30 days after the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Previously, Tennessee mandated counseling, a 48-hour waiting period and parental consent for minors. Voters amended the state constitution in 2014 to remove abortion protections granted by a state Supreme Court ruling in 2000.
In 2021, Texas passed a trigger law that criminalizes almost all abortions after six weeks except to save the life of the pregnant patient or if they risk “substantial impairment of major bodily function.”
The law, which makes providing an abortion punishable by up to life in prison and fines of up to $100,000, is set to take effect no sooner than 30 days after Roe v. Wade is overturned. But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said a 1925 law that banned almost all abortions was never repealed and is still in effect — therefore providers could be charged immediately.
That law made performing an abortion punishable by up to 10 years in prison. On June 28, a Houston judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the 97-year-old law after the ACLU filed suit. A hearing was set for July 12.
On July 1, the state Supreme Court ruled Texas could indeed enforce the 1925 abortion ban, overruling the Houston court’s decision. The decision doesn’t allow criminal charges to be filed against someone assisting in the procurement of an abortion, but they can face civil penalties.
With Roe v. Wade overturned, 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 on June 24, 2022.
There are exceptions in the case of rape, incest or a life-threatening pregnancy. Abortion is also permissible in the case of a fatal defect or “severe brain abnormality” in the fetus. This exception does not include Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or other conditions that don’t result in a vegetative state.
Enforcement of the 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.
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.
West Virginia bans abortions after 22 weeks except in cases of life endangerment or severe health risk. It also requires a 24-hour waiting period, counseling and parental notification for minors. In 2018, West Virginia voters agreed to amend the state constitution to specifically declare that it doesn’t include any right to abortion.
A law signed by Republican Gov. Jim Justice in March 2021 prevents a woman from getting an abortion because she believes her child will be born with a disability.
A law from 1849 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.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has called on the Republican-led legislature to repeal that law, but it isn’t expected to do so.
Until now abortion in Wisconsin has been legal up to the 22nd week, though state regulations require counseling, parental consent for minors, a 24-hour waiting period and mandatory ultrasound. They also prohibit telemedicine for abortion medication.
In March, Wyoming passed House Bill 92, a trigger law that outlaws all abortions except in the case of life-threatening pregnancies.
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.