Roe v Wade: Which US states are banning abortion?
Protesters gather inside the South Carolina House as members debate a new near-total ban on abortion with no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest at the state legislature in Columbia, South Carolina, U.S. August 30, 2022. REUTERS/Sam Wolfe
What’s the context?
More than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court scrapped Roe v. Wade, here's which states have now banned or restricted abortion
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About half of U.S. states have banned abortion or taken steps to sharply limit access since a shock Supreme Court ruling last year upended reproductive rights in the country.
The top court handed states a free rein to make their own laws after overturning a 1973 ruling known as Roe v. Wade that had legalized abortion nationwide.
Abortion will be a hot issue in next year's presidential election. Bans appeal to the Republican party's Christian evangelical base but are unpopular with the general public.
States imposing total abortion bans include Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.
Reproductive rights in liberal states could also be under threat with anti-abortion activists seeking to block nationwide access to the drug mifepristone, which is used to end pregnancies in the first 10 weeks.
Here is a list of states introducing bans and curbs. An asterisk shows the 13 states that had passed so-called trigger bans prior to the ruling which were designed to take effect automatically if Roe v. Wade fell.
ALABAMA - Banned. The Human Life Protection Act - which compares abortion to historical genocides - was passed in 2019, but only came into force after the Supreme Court ruling. Anyone convicted of performing an abortion faces up to life in prison. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
ARIZONA - Abortion is banned beyond 15 weeks. The Arizona Court of Appeals has said a 19th century law banning all abortion will not be repealed but doctors cannot be prosecuted under it.
ARKANSAS* - Banned. Anyone who performs an abortion faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000, or both. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
FLORIDA - Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban in April, with exceptions for rape and incest.
But the law cannot take effect until Florida's Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the current 15-week ban.
A ban on terminations after six weeks - before many women know they are pregnant - would impact women in more restrictive states across the Southeast who often travel long distances to Florida to access abortions.
GEORGIA - A 2019 law banning abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually at around six weeks, took effect last year. There are exceptions for rape or incest if a police report has been filed.
A judge declared the law unconstitutional in November, but it remains in place while the state challenges the ruling.
IDAHO* - Banned. Lawbreakers face up to five years in prison. People who would have been relatives of an aborted fetus can also sue those who carried out the termination.
A separate ban on what the state calls "abortion trafficking" makes it illegal to help a minor get an abortion in another state, or access abortion pills, without parental consent - the first law of its kind in the country.
INDIANA - Banned. Indiana was the first state to pass a new law banning abortion following the Supreme Court ruling. However the ban, passed in August 2022, only went into effect in August 2023 because of a legal challenge by abortion providers. There are exceptions for rape, incest, fatal fetal anomalies and to prevent serious risk to the mother's health.
IOWA: A "fetal heartbeat" ban was signed into law in July, but has been temporarily blocked pending a legal challenge, meaning abortion remains permitted up to 22 weeks.
KENTUCKY* - Banned. Anyone performing an abortion risks up to five years in prison. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
Voters in Kentucky, however, rejected a proposal to amend the state's constitution to say that residents do not have a right to abortion.
LOUISIANA* - Banned. Anyone providing an abortion could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of between $10,000 and $100,000. There are no exceptions for rape and incest.
The new law made headlines worldwide after a woman who was pregnant with a baby with no skull said doctors refused her an abortion. Louisiana senator Katrina Jackson has since stated that the law provides exceptions for such cases.
MISSISSIPPI* – Banned. Anyone who performs an abortion risks up to 10 years in prison. There are exceptions in cases of rape reported to police.
MISSOURI* - Banned. Anyone performing an abortion could face up to 15 years in prison. Medical professionals could also lose their licenses. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
NEBRASKA - The state banned abortion after 12 weeks in May. There are exceptions for rape and incest.
NORTH CAROLINA - A law banning abortion after 12 weeks took effect in July.
NORTH DAKOTA* - Banned. There are exceptions in cases of rape and incest, but only for the first six weeks of pregnancy.
OHIO - A "fetal heartbeat" ban went into force after the Supreme Court ruling, but is now on hold pending a lawsuit, meaning abortion remains legal up until 22 weeks.
The ban made headlines last year when a 10-year-old rape victim was forced to travel to Indiana to get an abortion.
OKLAHOMA* – Banned. In May 2022, Oklahoma became the first state to ban abortion from the moment of fertilization. The law, passed in defiance of Roe v. Wade, also allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman terminate a pregnancy.
A separate trigger ban that came into force in August 2022 carries penalties of up to 10 years in jail and a $100,000 fine.
There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
SOUTH CAROLINA - A hotly contested "fetal heartbeat" ban passed in May. The Supreme Court upheld the ban in August, rejecting a legal challenge by abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
SOUTH DAKOTA* - Banned. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
TENNESSEE* - Banned. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
TEXAS* – Banned. Anyone providing an abortion can face up to life in prison. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
Texas made headlines in 2021 when it passed a "fetal heartbeat" ban in defiance of Roe v. Wade. A full ban came into force in 2022.
Citizens can also sue doctors who perform abortions, potentially collecting $10,000.
Republican state representatives are now seeking to force internet providers to block websites that provide abortion pills or information on how to obtain an abortion.
UTAH* - A Utah judge has blocked a trigger ban pending a legal challenge by Planned Parenthood. In May, he also temporarily blocked a law that would prohibit the licensing of abortion clinics.
WEST VIRGINIA - Banned. There are exceptions for rape and incest.
WISCONSIN - Clinics stopped providing abortions for more than a year following the Supreme Court ruling due to uncertainty over whether the state could enforce an 1849 law which was interpreted as banning abortion. The dispute continues, but Planned Parenthood resumed offering abortions in September after a judge ruled the law did not apply to most terminations.
WYOMING* - A judge has temporarily blocked a near-total ban following a legal challenge, meaning abortion is still permitted. In June, the same judge temporarily blocked another law banning the use of abortion pills which was due to take effect in July and would have been the first such ban in the country.
This article was updated on September 26, 2023 at 15:15 GMT to include the latest developments.
SOURCES: Reuters, Guttmacher Institute, ACLU, U.S. state documents
(Reporting by Emma Batha; Editing by Katy Migiro and Sonia Elks)
Part of:Abortion restrictions around the world
Updated: March 17, 2023
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