Adoptions With Love Blog

A Guide to Abortion Laws by State

Access to safe and legal abortion is changing. Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, many states have updated their abortion laws.

Patients, medical professionals, lawyers, and state leaders have been working to understand the shifts in policy. Expectant mothers have been left wondering what their options are and where they can turn to for support.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may have many questions regarding the changes to the abortion laws in your state. You may be confused about your rights as an expectant mother. You may be unsure where to go for help.

You are in the right place.

In this guide, we will provide you with current information regarding abortion laws – and unplanned pregnancy options – throughout the United States. We will break down which states have banned abortion, which states have set restrictions to abortion, and show you where you can turn to for help. You are not alone.

No matter how far along in your pregnancy, and even if you have given birth, know that you still have options. You still have a choice.

Table of Contents

State-Specific Abortion Laws (A to Z)

Glossary of Terms

The Overturning of Roe v. Wade

States with Abortion Bans

States with Abortion Laws in Question

States with Access to Abortion

Other Options to Obtain an Abortion

Alternative Options to Abortion

Frequently Asked Questions

State Abortion Laws: A-Z

The following is a brief outline of the abortion laws in every state across the U.S.

  • Alabama.

Banned with the exception of life endangerment and medical emergencies.

  • Alaska.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • Arizona.

Banned.

  • Arkansas.

Banned with exception for life endangerment.

  • California.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • Colorado.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • Connecticut.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • Delaware.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • D.C.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • Florida.

15-week ban in effect. Exceptions include life endangerment, medical emergencies, and fetal anomaly.

  • Georgia.

Banned after the 6-week gestation mark. Exceptions include life endangerment, medical emergencies, lethal fetal anomaly, rape, incest.

  • Hawaii.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • Idaho.

Ban in place starting August 2022. Exceptions include rape, incest, and medically-necessary abortions to protect the life of the pregnant person.

  • Illinois.

Legal for now, with a 22-week ban in effect.

  • Iowa.

Legal for now, with a 22-week ban in effect. However, a 6-week ban is in review.

  • Kansas.

Legal for now, with a 22-week ban in effect.

  • Kentucky.

Banned, with exception for life endangerment and medical emergencies.

  • Louisiana.

Banned, with exception for life endangerment, medical emergencies, and lethal fetal anomaly.

  • Maine.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • Maryland.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • Massachusetts.

Legal, with protections in place. Prohibited after 24-week mark with exception for life endangerment, medical emergencies, and lethal fetal anomaly.

  • Michigan.

Legal for now.

  • Minnesota.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • Mississippi.

Banned with exception of life endangerment and rape.

  • Missouri.

Banned with exception of life endangerment and medical emergencies.

  • Montana.

Legal.

  • Nebraska.

Legal until 22-week mark with exception of life endangerment and medical emergencies.

  • Nevada.

Legal, with protections in place. Prohibited after 24 weeks with exception of life endangerment and medical emergencies.

  • New Hampshire.

Legal, with protections in place. Prohibited after 24 weeks with exception of life endangerment and medical emergencies.

  • New Jersey.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • New Mexico.

Legal and likely to be protected.

  • New York.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • North Carolina.

Legal for now. Legislation may change this law.

  • North Dakota.

Legal for now, with 20-week gestation mark. However, a trigger ban is expected to ban abortions after 6 weeks gestation.

  • Ohio.

Banned after the 6-week gestation mark with exception of life endangerment and medical emergencies.

  • Oklahoma.

Banned, with the exception of life endangerment.

  • Oregon.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • Pennsylvania.

Legal for now until the 24-week mark. Legislation may soon change this law.

  • Rhode Island.

Legal, with protections in place.

  • South Carolina.

Banned after the 6-week mark with exception of life endangerment, medical emergencies, lethal fetal anomaly, rape and incest.

  • South Dakota.

Banned, except for life endangerment.

  • Tennessee.

Banned after the 6-week mark with exception of life endangerment and medical emergencies.

  • Texas.

Banned, with the exception of life endangerment and medical emergencies. Learn more.

  • Utah.

Banned after the 18-week mark with exception of life endangerment, medical emergencies, lethal fetal anomaly, rape and incest.

  • Vermont.

Legal.

  • Virginia.

Legal for now until the third trimester, with exceptions of life endangerment and medical emergencies.

  • Washington.

Legal and likely to be protected.

  • West Virginia.

Banned after the 22-week mark with exception of life endangerment and medical emergencies.

  • Wisconsin.

Banned.

  • Wyoming.

Expected to be banned imminently, with laws in review.

Please note that laws are constantly changing and new restrictions are emerging. While we aim to provide the most up-to-date abortion law news, please do not hesitate to reach out for further information. You may always call Adoptions With Love at any time for information and guidance. For the most updated information regarding abortion laws in your state, you may also contact your state governor’s office.

abortion law map

 

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Glossary of Terms

In reading through the information of each state’s abortion laws, you may come across a lot of terms that you have never heard before. The following terms have been used a lot in the news recently:

Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade is a famous legal case that, in 1973, set a precedent for abortion rights in the United States. The Roe v. Wade decision protected a woman’s constitutional right to privacy and abortion, until it was overturned in 2022.

Trigger ban. Some states had laws set in place that would automatically ban abortions if and when the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. If a state has a “trigger ban,” it means that abortion is now illegal in that state since the fall of Roe v. Wade.

Pre-Roe bans. Many states and territories repealed abortions back in 1973 once Roe was passed, but it was never forceable. Since the Supreme Court has overturned Roe, these states may revive these bans.

Pre-viability gestational bans. This refers to laws that restrict abortion before viability. These laws were deemed unconstitutional under Roe. Gestational age is counted in weeks either from the pregnant person’s last menstrual cycle or from the point of fertilization.

Viability. The point at which a fetus can survive outside the uterus. This generally happens between weeks 24 and 28 of gestation.

Method bans. There are different types of abortions. Some states have laws that prohibit specific forms of abortion care. Dilation and extraction (D&X) procedures and dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures are the most common to be prohibited.

Reason bans. As the name would suggest, this term refers to laws that prohibit abortion for those sought out for a particular reason. Reason bans typically state that sex, race, and genetic anomaly are prohibited reasons.

The Overturning of Roe v. Wade and AWL’s Perspective

The controversial decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was made by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022 – sparking rallies and protests on either side of the issue. The constitutional right to an abortion was upheld for nearly half a century, and the reversal caused a reaction by millions around the world.

At Adoptions With Love, we always advocate for your choices. The choice should always be the pregnant person’s, and they should be able to make that choice without being forced into giving birth. We also want you to know that adoptive families do not wish to be seen as beneficiaries of this change. They, too, want women to have a choice and to feel informed about all of their options.

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Which States Have Abortion Bans in 2022?

Throughout much of the U.S., trigger bans and pre-Roe bans are becoming law. Some of these states swiftly put abortion bans into place, some are continuing to debate proposed legislation to ban abortion, while others are upholding the right – and protecting the right – to abortion. This has caused much confusion for expectant mothers across the country.

Here is a simplified list of the states wherein abortion is currently banned entirely or after six weeks:

  • Arkansas
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Most of these states have made abortion illegal, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Some of these states do have exceptions, particularly when it comes to life endangerment and medical emergencies.

The following states ban abortions after 6-weeks of pregnancy. Most women do not know they are pregnant at this stage of gestation.

  • Georgia
  • Ohio
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee

States with Abortion Laws in Question

More than half of the states within the country now have conflicting or pending laws regarding abortion rights. While some legislators debate the validity of pre-Roe bans, others are pushing for tighter restrictions or outright bans now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned.

The following is a breakdown of the states that are currently in a state of flux as of this writing:

  • Arizona.

Arizona is one of the states with a pre-Roe ban that may be enforced. The state also had a 15-week ban that was passed earlier this year. For now, clinics have stopped most abortion procedures until there is clarify in the law.

  • Florida.

The State of Florida currently has a 15-week ban in effect, meaning abortions are prohibited after the 15-week gestation mark. This ban was temporarily blocked by a state court but was reinstated in July after an appeal from the state attorney general. The state’s governor and legislature could also seek further restrictions in a special session.

  • Idaho.

The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit that challenges Idaho’s trigger ban, arguing that it conflicts with a federal law requiring doctors to provide pregnant women medically necessary treatment that could include abortion.

  • Indiana.

The governor of Indiana has called a special session of the state legislature to pass new, anti-abortion laws “in short order.”

  • Iowa.

As of this writing, abortions are legal in Iowa until the 22-week gestation mark. The state had a 6-week ban in 2018 that was ruled unconstitutional under Roe, but it is expected to be brought back and is currently in review.

  • Michigan.

The Great Lake State has a pre-Roe abortion ban that has been temporarily blocked by the state courts. The state’s governor and attorney general – who have said they would not enforce the ban – are both up for reelection this year.

  • North Dakota.

Although North Dakota has a trigger law banning nearly all abortions that was set to go into law after Roe was overturned, a state judge temporarily blocked it in July.

  • South Carolina.

While a 6-week ban on abortion remains in effect, the state courts are currently contesting abortion laws in the state.

  • Utah.

While the state of Utah currently has an 18-week abortion ban, a trigger law has been expected to go into effect as a result of Roe v. Wade being overturned. It is being challenged in court.

  • Virginia.

While abortion is legal in the State of Virginia for now, its governor has been calling for a 15-week ban since the fall of Roe.

  • West Virginia.

State lawmakers have been debating whether to enforce its pre-Roe law, banning all abortions except to save the life of the pregnant person.

  • Wyoming.

Wyoming has a trigger law expected to go into effect, but it has been temporarily blocked by a state judge. The battle is expected to go to the Wyoming Supreme Court.

Which States Allow Access to Abortion?

There are many states that still offer safe and legal abortion procedures to patients. Some of these states have passed laws to protect the right to abortion since the fall of Roe v. Wade.

The following states and territories not only continue to offer abortions to patients, but have – or will soon have – protections of these laws in place:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • D.C.
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Other Options for Obtaining Abortion

Although abortion rights are in question across the United States, it is important to note that abortion is still possible for many.

The Supreme Court’s ruling specifically targeted in-clinic abortion procedures. In many states, it is still possible (and legal) to obtain what is commonly referred to as “the abortion pill.” There are two medications that are prescribed in this scenario: Mifepristone and Misoprostol. They are taken one after the other and can be used at home.

According to attorney General Merrick Garland, states cannot ban these medications. President Joe Biden has also said that his administration will protect access to FDA-approved oral abortifacient medications. However, despite these claims, many states have banned or placed strict restrictions on the abortion pill method. There are also anti-abortion groups that are targeting the abortion pill as the next step toward ending abortion rights in the U.S. If you have questions regarding the abortion pill access in your state, you may contact us for details.

For those who live in states where abortion is banned, there is another way to get an abortion: crossing state lines. Here in the U.S., there is no law that bans anyone from traveling to a different state for a medical procedure. In fact, some states have protection laws in place to protect women who travel to receive an abortion, as well as providers who perform the procedure, from any legal interference.

The challenge for many, however, comes when someone cannot afford to make the trip. Travel can be expensive and scary. There are, however, many groups, clinics, and organizations that have started offering to pay for the journey. For example, the National Network of Abortion Funds connects pregnant people with organizations that can support the financial costs and logistical challenges of traveling for an abortion.

Alternative Options to Abortion: Adoption

For those who do not wish or feel ready to parent a baby, you still have options. Abortion is not always accessible or an option for those seeking alternatives to parenting. However, adoption is still an option for you. Adoption is available at any stage of pregnancy and after giving birth.

Adoption allows expectant/birth mothers to choose a family to raise their baby. It provides the child with a life full of opportunity, stability, and safety. Adoption is legal everywhere in the United States, and is a very safe when working with a reputable licensed adoption agency.

Adoption, of course, is not right for everyone, as it involves carrying a baby to term and giving birth. For those who continue with their pregnancy but are not yet ready to parent, adoption can be a very positive choice.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy are considering adoption, there are resources wherein to turn for support. A private adoption agency, such as Adoptions With Love, can help you make an adoption plan, choose a family for your baby, and even offer you financial, legal, and emotional support throughout the adoption journey.

Some of the free services offered at Adoptions With Love include:

  • Custom-designed adoption plan. Whether you would like an open, semi-open, or closed adoption, you can get help creating a plan that best meets your needs.
  • Financial assistance with utilities, phone, maternity clothing and other necessities, as needed.
  • Housing assistance. We can pay a deposit and several months of rent.
  • Counseling services before and after the adoption.
  • Medical care. We can help you find a doctor or midwife with whom you feel comfortable. All medical costs related to the pregnancy and birth are covered, as well.
  • Legal assistance provided by experienced lawyers who specialize in adoption.
  • Ongoing contact through pictures and letters from the adoptive family of your child over the years.

Whether you are ready to explore the option of adoption or you would like to discuss this possibility, we can offer support and guidance. We can discuss your options over the phone or meet with you in person, with no pressure, judgment, or bias. We consider the mental and physical well-being of expectant mothers a top priority and we want all expectant/birth mothers to know all of their options.

You have a choice. You are in charge of this pregnancy and only you can make the decisions that you know are best for yourself and for your baby. Working with an adoption agency does not mean you need to choose adoption, either. We are here to offer the respect and compassionate care you deserve during this difficult time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is abortion allowed in the United States?

There are many states where abortions are available to women in the U.S. While there are some states that have recently banned the medical procedures and medications, there are others where women can turn to for safe medical care.

Abortion is illegal in my state – can I travel for an abortion?

Once abortion was banned in many states after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, many people began to question their option for traveling for medical care. In July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to protect the right to travel across state lines in order to get an abortion. While this may be an option for some, it is not a possibility for others, as the cost of travel can be out of reach. Since the fall of Roe, many private companies and organizations have stepped forward, offering to cover the travel expenses for those seeking an abortion.

What are my other options/alternatives to abortion?

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and you decide that abortion is not a path you can or would like to pursue, you have two other choices: parenthood or adoption. Parenting a child is a life changing experience that can bring many challenges and joys, but if you are not yet ready to parent, you may wish to pursue adoption. Making an adoption plan is a brave, selfless, and loving choice that offers many benefits for birth parents. It is one that can offer plenty of reward and a lifetime of love and opportunity if it feels right for you. Making an adoption plan for your child is also a life-changing event.

What is Roe v. Wade and why was it overturned?

Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court back in 1973, after a pregnant woman – known as Jane Roe – brought a lawsuit forward in Texas that abortion restrictions were unconstitutional. From this point on, the term “Roe v. Wade” refers to the right to a legal abortion.

Since it became law in the ‘70s, abortion has continued to be a hot-button topic in this country, with many lawmakers and citizens debating on either side of the issue.

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to reverse the ruling, after Justice Samuel Alito claimed that the 1973 court case had lead to an abuse of judicial authority.

At Adoptions With Love, we believe in the power to choose. We support all mothers and trust them to make the decisions regarding their pregnancies that are best for them.

Contact Adoptions With Love for Support

If you would like to learn more about adoption, reach out to Adoptions With Love today. We can help support you throughout the adoption journey, if you choose to pursue it. Call us any time of day, any day of the week at 800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or contact us online.

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