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Where every state stands on abortion in wake of Roe being overturned

People celebrate outside the Supreme Court, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Washington. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases. (G3 Box News Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Jacquelyn Martin/G3 Box News

Where every state stands on abortion in wake of Roe being overturned

Ryan King

June 24, 09:30 PM June 24, 08:46 PM

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The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade paves the way for at least half of the 50 states in the country to ramp up restrictions or outright ban abortion. Thirteen have trigger laws for after the final ruling was made.

Meanwhile, leaders in others states, those mainly led by Democrats, have pledged to become sanctuaries.

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Here are the highlights of where all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C., stand right now on abortion:

Alabama

In 2019, Alabama passed the Human Life Protection Act, which categorizes the unborn as “persons” and makes it a felony for doctors to perform most abortions, except in instances of a “health risk” to the mother. The measure was blocked by a federal court for defying the precedents first established in Roe.

Alaska

Although Republicans maintain complete political control in the Last Frontier, it is unclear if they will be successful in dramatically scaling up restrictions on abortion in the state. Prior to Roe, Alaska was one of a handful of states that made abortion legal.

Arizona

In March 2022, the state approved a law banning abortion after 15 weeks of gestation in most instances and declaring that physicians who violate the law could be subject to felony charges and a suspension of their license. Exceptions would be permitted to “save the life or to preserve the physical health of the mother.” In addition, Arizona has restrictions on abortion that predate Roe, including a 1901 law that mandates jail time for providers of the procedure, Arizona Central reported. Those restrictions had been voided due to precedents first established in Roe.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich said the new 15-week ban would go into effect in about 90 days following the Supreme Court ruling. He didn’t explicitly say whether the pre-Roe ban was now in effect.

Arkansas

In July 2021, the Natural State passed the Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, except “to save the life of the mother,” but a judge shut it down. Abortion is now illegal in the state. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge certified the trigger abortion law after delivering an emotional press conference.

California

When the Supreme Court’s draft opinion leaked, California lawmakers began pushing for an amendment in the state’s Constitution enshrining a woman’s right to an abortion in the Golden State. With a solid blue legislature, the state is poised to preserve abortion access.

Colorado

In April 2022, the Centennial State enacted the Reproductive Health Equity Act, guaranteeing women the right to an abortion within the state and barring public entities from infringing upon that right.

Connecticut

Connecticut aims to be a safe haven for abortion access. Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill in May 2022 preventing state and local entities from cooperating with investigations from other states on Connecticut abortion providers.

Delaware

Democrats who control the legislature and governor’s mansion have moved to expand access to abortions. In April, for example, lawmakers passed a bill allowing physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to prescribe abortion pills; the legislation was signed by the governor in May.

In 2017, the Diamond State codified a woman’s right to an abortion into law.

District of Columbia

Democrats hold power in the City Council and mayor’s office and have vowed to keep abortion legal in the nation’s capital. The city has some of the least restrictive abortion laws in the country, according to NBC. However, some politicians, such as Eleanor Holmes Norton, who is a nonvoting delegate for the district in Congress, have voiced concerns that the federal government could try to coerce the city into cracking down on the procedure in the future due to its oversight of D.C.’s laws.

Florida

In April, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a 15-week abortion ban that is set to go into effect in July. Exceptions include cases of a threat to the life of the mother and to stave off irreversible bodily impairment.

Georgia

In 2019, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a heartbeat bill that restricts abortion in the state after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks of gestation. Exceptions include a threat to the life of the mother, the threat of “irreversible physical impairment,” rape, and incest. A federal judge blocked the law from being enforced due to precedents first established in Roe.

Hawaii

Last year, Gov. David Ige signed a bill into law allowing advanced practice registered nurses to prescribe abortion pills to patients and perform aspiration abortions.

Idaho

In March 2022, the state became one of the first to mirror Texas in allowing private citizens to enforce a six-week ban on abortion via lawsuits. Idaho has a “trigger” ban in effect.

Illinois

In June 2019, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that declared abortion to be a “fundamental right” in Illinois.

Indiana

Republicans control the legislature and governor’s office in the Hoosier State, giving them the political power to expand abortion restrictions. In March 2022, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill making it a felony to “coerce” a woman into receiving an abortion. Republican lawmakers urged the state to step up restrictions on abortion in the event of Roe falling to the wayside.

Iowa

In 2018, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law barring most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, except in cases of medical emergencies, fetal abnormalities, rape, and incest. The bill was never enforced due to the precedents first established in Roe.

Kansas

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that women have a constitutional right to obtain an abortion in the state. Republican lawmakers sought to pass an amendment to the state Constitution to institute a reversal. Kansans are set to vote on Aug. 2 on an amendment declaring there is no right to abortion under the state Constitution.

Kentucky

In April 2022, the state legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of a 15-week ban on most abortions and abortion pills being shipped through the mail. Kentucky also has a “trigger” law in effect.

Louisiana

The Pelican State has a rare politician inside the governor’s mansion — an anti-abortion Democrat, Gov. John Bel Edwards. In 2019, Edwards signed a bill into effect banning the procedure in most instances after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Louisiana also had a “trigger” ban ready to go.

Maine

Abortion access is codified in Maine’s law. The state legislature and governor’s office are controlled by Democrats. In 2019, Maine became the second state to implement a law permitting nondoctors who are medical professionals to perform abortions.

Maryland

In April 2022, the legislature overrode Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto, enacting one of the most sweeping changes to abortion policy in the state in decades. Maryland also has abortion rights codified into law.

Massachusetts

The state is led by pro-abortion rights Republican Gov. Charlie Baker and has a Democratic-led state legislature. In 2020, the legislature overrode Baker’s veto of the ROE Act, making it easier for 16- and 17-year-olds to get an abortion without parental consent and allowing the procedure to be performed beyond 24 weeks of gestation in certain circumstances.

Michigan

The state still has a pre-Roe law from the 1930s making performing the procedure a felony in most cases that was rendered unenforceable by federal court precedents. In April 2022, the governor filed a lawsuit aimed at soliciting the state’s high court to nix the law, and a judge issued a preliminary injunction in May temporarily blocked enforcement of the law if the Supreme Court overturns the constitutional right to an abortion. In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she filed a motion urging the Michigan Supreme Court to take up her lawsuit to protect abortion in the state. “We MUST clarify whether this right is constitutionally protected under Michigan law,” she said.

Minnesota

The procedure will likely remain legal in the Gopher State in a post-Roe world due to the state Supreme Court’s decision in Doe v. Gomez, which determined the state Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion. Positioned between several states expected to restrict abortion, Minnesota could experience a 25% uptick in abortion procedures, according to Sarah Traxler, the chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood North Central States.

Mississippi

The Magnolia State enacted a heartbeat bill that has been blocked by courts and has a “trigger” ban in effect. In 2018, the state passed the Gestational Age Act, which restricts most abortions after 15 weeks of gestation — sooner than the viability standard set under the Roe and Casey v. Planned Parenthood precedents. The 2018 law was at the heart of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case that the court ruled on. Mississippi only has one abortion clinic, which will now close.

Missouri

Missouri has a “trigger” ban in effect, making it a felony to perform most abortions in the state now that Roe has fallen by the wayside. Exceptions are permitted for cases of a threat to the life of the mother or the danger of severe, irreversible bodily impairment.

Montana

The deep-red Treasure State is grappling with the state Supreme Court’s 1999 Armstrong v. State decision that determined the Montana Constitution guarantees a woman’s right to abortion in the state. Similar to Roe, Armstrong found that the “right of privacy applies to the right to make decisions,” according to Martha Stahl, president of Planned Parenthood of Montana. Republican Attorney General Austin Knudsen has sought to overturn the ruling. Montana is included on the Guttmacher Institute’s list of 26 states “certain or likely” to ban abortion in a post-Roe world.

Nebraska

Although Republicans have full political control over the state, the legislature failed to clear a trigger ban due to a filibuster. Still, the Cornhusker State is included on the Guttmacher Institute’s list of 26 states “certain or likely” to ban abortion in a post-Roe world.

Nevada

A woman’s right to an abortion was enshrined by a statute into state law during a referendum in the 1990s. The law mandates voters weigh in on any policy that would ban the procedure in the state. Democrats control the state legislature and governor’s office.

New Hampshire

The Granite State may go blue in presidential years, but Republicans enjoy political control of the state legislature and governor’s mansion. New Hampshire is the only New England state where a woman’s right to an abortion is not guaranteed, NBC Boston reported. However, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has described himself as being pro-abortion rights and vowed that under his leadership, the state will “remain a pro-choice state.” The Granite State is one of the least religious states in the country.

New Jersey

The Garden State is run by Democrats. In January 2022, Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill into effect codifying abortion rights into state law and has vowed to keep the procedure legal. New Jersey is one of the few states that permits a woman to get an abortion at any stage of pregnancy, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

New Mexico

Democrats control the governor’s office and state legislature in New Mexico, which, as of May 2022, has no major restrictions on the books such as mandated parental involvement or waiting times, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

New York

In 2019, before his political downfall, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act into law, codifying abortion rights in the Empire State. The law explicitly grants a right to an abortion when “the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.”

North Carolina

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed a slew of anti-abortion legislation. Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature. Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is vocally anti-abortion and may pursue the governor’s office in 2024.

North Dakota

Republicans have control of both chambers of the legislature as well as the governor’s office in the Roughrider State and have been keen on expanding anti-abortion legislation in the event of Roe being overturned. North Dakota has a “trigger” ban in effect.

Ohio

In 2019, Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill prohibiting most abortions after a heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks of gestation, except when there is a medical emergency to save the life of the woman. The courts have barred the law from going into effect, relying on federal judicial precedent.

Oklahoma

In May 2022, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill banning most abortions from the instant of conception with exceptions for saving the “life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency,” rape, sexual assault, or incest. Doctors who perform the procedure illegally could face felony charges. Another bill signed in April made illegally performing the procedure a felony punishable by up to 10 years behind bars and up to $100,000 in fines.

Oregon

In 2017, the state codified abortion protections with the Reproductive Health Equity Act of 2017. Democrats have control of the state legislature and governor’s office. Gov. Kate Brown pledged to preserve abortion rights in a post-Roe world. The state allows a woman to obtain an abortion at any stage of pregnancy, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Pennsylvania

Political power in the Keystone State is divided between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-led legislature. Additionally, the state’s Supreme Court has a majority of Democratic-appointed justices. State law permits abortion up to 24 weeks, with exceptions for later-term abortions to be performed for instances in which there is a threat to the health of the mother, Spotlight PA reported. Wolf has vowed to veto any anti-abortion legislation and keep the procedure legal in the state.

Rhode Island

In 2019, then-Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the Reproductive Privacy Act, codifying abortion rights into law. The measure prohibits the state from restricting “an individual person from preventing, commencing, continuing, or 10 terminating that individual’s pregnancy prior to fetal viability.”

South Carolina

In 2021, Republican Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill prohibiting most abortions from being performed after a fetal heartbeat is detected, with exceptions for medical emergencies, fetal anomalies, rape, and incest. The law has been blocked in the courts due to Roe.

South Dakota

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem took to Twitter in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to say, “We have prayed for this day, and now it’s here.” She said she and legislative leaders would announce plans for a special session in due course. South Dakota has a “trigger” ban in effect, which it passed in 2005.

Tennessee

In 2014, Tennesseans voted for an amendment to the state Constitution declaring that access to abortion was not a right within the Volunteer State. Tennessee has a “trigger” ban in effect that will restrict most abortions.

Texas

Texas sparked a movement among red states with its September 2021 ban on abortion after a heartbeat is detected, with the law putting the onus on citizens to enforce the measure. In 2022, the Supreme Court declined to intervene in a case challenging the provision, thus allowing it to remain in force. Texas also has a “trigger” ban in effect.

Utah

Republicans have a majority in both chambers of the state legislature and control the governor’s office. Utah will likely ramp up anti-abortion legislation. The Beehive State has a “trigger” ban in effect, passed in 2020, that went into effect on Friday. It prohibits all abortions except in rare circumstances involving incest or medical emergency.

Vermont

In 2019, Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed the Freedom of Choice Act into effect, codifying a woman’s right to abortion into state law. The Green Mountain State is mulling Proposition 5, which would cement abortion rights in the state Constitution.

Virginia

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin indicated he would move to ban abortions after 15 weeks in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling. That may be easier said than done. His predecessor, Ralph Northam, signed a law into effect in 2020 rolling back restrictions on abortion within state law, such as a requirement for abortion-seekers to receive an ultrasound a day before undergoing an abortion. Republicans control the governor’s office and state General Assembly, but Democrats still hold the state Senate, making increased abortion restrictions unlikely unless Republicans can wrest control of the upper chamber.

Washington

In March 2022, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill banning lawsuits against women seeking abortions. The Evergreen State codified abortion rights into state law in 1991 in a provision approved by voters.

West Virginia

The deep-red Mountain State already has a law on the books banning most abortions, except when done in good faith, with the intention of “saving the life of such woman or child.” Additionally, in 2018, voters in West Virginia approved an amendment to the state Constitution declaring that it is neutral on the issue of abortion, meaning that it neither guarantees nor jeopardizes a woman’s right to an abortion.

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Wisconsin

The Badger State has a law on the books from the pre-Roe era outlawing the procedure in most instances that had been voided by Roe but is poised to go back into effect. Those who violate the law could face up to a $10,000 fine and six years behind bars. Exceptions are allowed for cases in which the health of the mother is at risk, per Time.

Wyoming

In March 2022, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon signed a “trigger” ban into effect, joining at least 12 other states. The law makes abortion illegal under most circumstances once Roe is overturned.

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