In the wake of the Supreme Court officially overturning Roe v. Wade, states have been granted the authority to determine their own abortion legislation, leading to varying state-by-state abortion laws. In this guide, we will discuss the states where abortion is legal, as well as the ones with restrictions on abortion. Understanding these differences in state-by-state abortion laws is crucial for those seeking information or services related to reproductive rights.
In the 1973 precedent-setting decision Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledged a person’s constitutional right to abortion but maintained that states might prohibit the operation once the embryo attained viability — the moment at which a fetus is capable of sustaining life outside the womb — if their laws satisfied specific criteria. The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade by a 6–3 vote on June 24, 2022, paving the path for states to restrict abortion access or abolish it outright.
Despite the dismal prognosis for abortion rights across the nation, there are still locations where abortion is lawful and is expected to remain legal. As of January 2023, the Guttmacher Institute, which analyzes abortion rights, policy, and statistics in the United States, reports that 17 states and the District of Columbia safeguard abortion rights.
Learn which states offer the best abortion access and how the remaining states compare.
States With Legal Abortion
The following states have codified the unrestricted right to abortion throughout pregnancy:
- District of Columbia
- State of New Jersey
These states allow the right to an abortion prior to viability or to safeguard the pregnant woman’s life:
- Rhode Island
- New York
Abortion Legislation by State
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, this article examines the status of abortion rights in each state as of January 2023. Since that many of these rules are subject to rapid change, it is crucial to highlight that you should constantly check with your state for any revisions.
Since Roe v. Wade was repealed, Alabama has had one of the nation’s most stringent abortion laws. The only exemption to the state’s total ban on abortion is when it is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life. The state constitution prohibits access to abortion.
In addition, Gov. Kay Ivey signed HB237 in 2021, requiring providers to “preserve the life of a child who is born alive” after an abortion or attempted abortion and extending “the same rights, powers, and privileges” to “any other child born alive at any location in this state.”
Since 1967, abortion has remained legal at all stages of pregnancy in Alaska. Only physicians may perform abortions in the state, and Medicaid covers the procedure. In 2017 and again in 2019, politicians led by Republicans unsuccessfully attempted to outlaw abortion in Alaska.
The state of Arizona prohibits abortions after 15 weeks gestation. SB1457 was enacted by Governor Doug Ducey in 2021, prohibiting abortions sought exclusively due to genetic defects. The bill also prohibits the mailing of abortion-inducing drugs and restricts the funding of organizations that offer abortion treatment.
In addition, Medicaid does not cover abortions, parental consent is required for minors, and individuals must make two trips for abortion care: one for counseling and another at least 24 hours later for the procedure.
Up until Roe v. Wade was overturned, Arkansas allowed abortions up to 22 weeks gestation. With very few exceptions, abortion is currently prohibited for the course of the pregnancy as a result of the Roe v. Wade ruling. This ban was enacted due to a “trigger law,” which was unenforceable when Roe v. Wade was the law of the land. Now that it is no longer the case, these laws are “triggered” to take effect.
In 2021, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed Senate Bill 6, the Unborn Child Protection Act. This is the law that was activated to outlaw abortions in the state. Before Roe was overruled, the law was deemed unlawful by a federal judge and stopped.
Legality of abortion till fetal viability (24–26 weeks). Private health insurance policies in the state are mandated to cover abortion in addition to Medicaid. Voters in California voted for Proposition 1 in November 2022, which added abortion and contraceptive rights to the state constitution.
Colorado enacted House Bill 22-1279 in 2022, which codified a citizen’s right to an abortion throughout a pregnancy. Medicaid covers abortions in certain situations. In the state, minors must get parental approval for an abortion.
Up to fetal viability (24–26 weeks), abortion is legal, and Medicaid covers abortion care. Bill 5414 was passed into law in 2022, protecting Connecticut residents and organizations from being sued by other states for assisting a woman in obtaining an abortion. Bill 5414 permits certain individuals and organizations to file a counterclaim for damages.
Delaware allows abortions if the fetus is viable (24–26 weeks). Medicaid coverage is prohibited, and parental approval is required for minors. The state of Delaware provides legal protections for abortion care.
Bill 5 was signed into law by the governor of Florida in 2022. It prohibits abortions after 15 weeks and has no exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking. Individuals seeking an abortion must make two trips: the first for counseling and the second 24 hours later for the procedure. Minors require parental consent.
Georgia prohibits abortions after 6 weeks. In 2019, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp put into law a “heartbeat bill” prohibiting abortions after the detection of fetal cardiac activity as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. After Roe was overruled, the law went into effect despite being challenged. After counseling, individuals must wait 24 hours before obtaining an abortion. In addition, Medicaid does not cover abortions, and parental approval is required for minors.
In Hawaii, abortion is permitted until fetal viability (24–26 weeks). Gov. David Ige signed HB576 into law in 2021, allowing some nurses and qualified medical professionals to perform abortions. Medicaid pays for abortions.
As a result of Roe v. Wade’s overturns, a trigger ban has rendered abortion illegal in Idaho. Gov. Brad Little signed HB366 into law in 2021, mandating that physicians scan for fetal heart activity and prohibiting abortions if cardiac activity is detected unless a medical emergency exists. The highest court of Idaho will review the ban’s constitutionality. In addition, Medicaid does not cover abortions, and parental approval is required for minors.
Medicaid covers abortions in Illinois up until fetal viability (24–26 weeks), as permitted by state law. The Parental Notice of Abortion Act (PNA) was abolished and replaced by the Youth Health and Safety Act in 2022, which upholds the ability of adolescents to make decisions regarding their reproductive health without alerting an adult family member.
In 2023, abortion is allowed in Indiana for up to 22 weeks, but with severe limitations, such as obligatory state-directed counseling to discourage abortion, an 18-hour waiting period, and bans on insurance coverage except in cases of rape, incest, or life-threatening pregnancy complications. In addition, minors must have parental consent, and pregnant women must undergo an ultrasound.
Immediately after Roe v. Wade was reversed, the majority-Republican Indiana legislature established an abortion ban. The restriction only permits exceptions before 10 weeks in circumstances of rape or incest to safeguard the pregnant woman’s life and health or in cases of a fatal fetal anomaly. When the state Supreme Court reviews the validity of the law, the bill is on pause.
Current Iowa law allows abortions up to 22 weeks gestation, but the state is expected to seek more restrictions. In 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court declared that the state constitution protected the right to abortion. But, in 2022, the Court reversed its 2018 ruling and ruled that the state constitution does not guarantee the right to abortion.
Presently, there is a 24-hour waiting period for abortion care. In addition, Medicaid does not fund abortions, minors are required to gain parental approval, and individuals seeking an abortion are required to undergo counseling and an ultrasound.
In 2023, abortion is allowed for up to 22 weeks, but there are numerous limitations, such as a 24-hour waiting time and mandatory state-mandated counseling to prevent abortion. Also, children are required to obtain parental consent, and Medicaid and private insurance are prohibited from financing abortions.
In August 2022, voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have outlawed abortions in the state.
Due to a trigger statute that went into force after Roe v. Wade’s overturns, abortion is prohibited in Kentucky. Currently, the only exclusions are for pregnant women with life-threatening health conditions.
SB9 was enacted by the state legislature in 2021, mandating that physicians provide “medically appropriate and reasonable life-saving and life-sustaining medical care and treatment to all born-alive newborns,” including fetuses delivered alive after an abortion. In addition, lawmakers adopted HB2, which provides the state’s attorney general with expanded authority over abortion clinics that violate state laws.
In Kansas, the legislature enacted HB91, which would change the state’s constitution to state that there is no constitutional right to abortion and no requirement for government funding of abortions. But, in November 2022, Kentucky voters rejected the initiative.
With few exceptions to save the life of a pregnant woman or if the fetus would not survive birth, abortion is currently prohibited in Louisiana. The prohibition has both civil and criminal repercussions.
Gov. John Bel Edwards signed HB578 in 2021, mandating that physicians warn patients about the possibility of a medication-induced abortion “reversal” (The “reversal” of medication-induced abortion is not clinically acceptable and is not based on research, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.)
Edwards also signed HB357, which modifies the state’s judicial bypass system for minors and mandates that minors petition a court for an abortion without parental agreement only within their own local jurisdiction and not in areas of the state with abortion clinics.
According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, there are just three abortion clinics in Louisiana as of 2023, and 94% of counties lack abortion facilities.
In Maine, abortion is permitted up to the time of fetal viability (24–26 weeks), and state law provides multiple protections for abortion rights. Medicaid and private insurance are both obligated to cover abortion.
Legality of abortion till fetal viability (24–26 weeks). The Abortion Care Access Act, or House Bill 937, was enacted in 2022 in Maryland. It offers funding and access to reproductive care, including abortion, preventive, and other treatments. In addition, both Medicaid and commercial insurance in the state are obligated to cover abortions. Minors must seek parental consent.
There was an effort to alter the state constitution to codify the right to abortion, but the bill died in committee. Similarly, a referendum initiative to abolish this act failed to garner enough signatures.
Abortion is legal up until the 24th week of pregnancy, with exceptions made for situations requiring the mother’s life or health. The Massachusetts Supreme Court has acknowledged the constitutional right to abortion.
Medicaid and private insurance are both obligated to cover abortion. Parents’ permission is essential for youngsters younger than 16 years old.
In Michigan, abortion is permitted until fetal viability (24–26 weeks) after a necessary 24-hour waiting period. The state prohibits Medicaid and private insurance coverage for abortions. For minors, parental consent is required.
A judge in Michigan struck a 1931 legislation that would have rendered abortion illegal in Michigan if Roe were to be overturned in 2022. Voters in Michigan approved a constitutional amendment enshrining abortion rights in the state constitution in November 2022.
The legality of abortion till fetal viability (24-26 weeks). Prior to July 2022, when the state’s highest court recognized abortion as a constitutionally protected right, the state had a number of restrictions on abortion, including state-mandated counseling, parental notification, and a 24-hour waiting period. However, these restrictions were all permanently overturned when the state’s highest court declared abortion a constitutionally protected right.
On June 25, 2022, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order guaranteeing access to reproductive health care, including abortion, and barring civil and criminal consequences for abortion. In addition, the ruling protects those who come to Minnesota for reproductive health treatment from extradition.
Abortion is strictly prohibited in Mississippi. The final abortion facility in the state, which was at the crux of the Supreme Court case that reversed Roe v. Wade, closed in July 2022. Individuals seeking an abortion in Mississippi must fly to another state.
In March 2019, Governor Phil Bryant signed a “heartbeat bill” prohibiting abortions after the detection of fetal cardiac activity. The law was promptly stopped in the courts and contested all the way to the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson, the case in which the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Prior to the reversal of Roe, abortions up to the 25th week of pregnancy were lawful in Missouri. Currently, however, abortion is prohibited unless in a medical emergency and when the pregnant woman’s life is at risk.
Prior to the Dobbs decision, Missouri’s Governor Mike Parson signed into law in 2019 a prohibition on most abortions after the eighth week of pregnancy, one of the harshest bans in the United States. In Missouri, the Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act “took effect” in June 2022, surpassing the 8-week abortion restriction.
Legality of abortion till fetal viability (24–26 weeks). Medicaid covers abortions and requires parental consent for minors.
Gov. Greg Gianforte implemented three anti-abortion laws in 2021: HB136 restricts abortions after 20 weeks, HB140 mandates that doctors give patients a chance to see an ultrasound and hear a fetal heartbeat before an abortion, and HB171 controls the administration of medication-induced abortions by requiring that the drugs used in the procedure be given by a licensed medical professional. The courts have temporarily banned all of these actions.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, these policies aim to prohibit the extensive use of telemedicine to prescribe abortion-inducing drugs during the epidemic.
Up until 22 weeks of pregnancy, abortion is legal in 2023, but it comes with a long list of strict restrictions, including state-mandated counseling, a 24-hour waiting time, restrictions on Medicaid and private insurance coverage, and onerous requirements for abortion clinics. In addition, minors must have parental consent.
In Nevada, abortions within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy are permitted. If the pregnant woman’s life or health is in jeopardy after 24 weeks, the state permits abortion. Medicaid does not provide coverage for abortions.
The Trust Nevada Women Act, which decriminalized medication abortion and repealed informed consent restrictions that operated as barriers to restrict access to abortion, was signed into law by Governor Sisolak in 2019.
Governor Steve Sisolak of Nevada issued an executive order in June 2022 safeguarding people seeking abortions in Nevada against extradition requests from other states.
State of New Hampshire
Abortion is legal up to 24 weeks gestation. Medicaid does not fund abortions, ultrasounds are necessary for those seeking abortion services, and parental approval is required for minors.
State of New Jersey
In New Jersey, there are no restrictions for abortion depending on gestational age. Medicaid pays for abortions. Governor Phil Murphy signed the Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act into law in 2022, establishing abortion as a fundamental right protected by statute.
The state of New Mexico
There are no gestational age abortion restrictions in New Mexico. In 2021, the governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, approved SB10, which repealed abortion restrictions in the state that predates Roe v. Wade, including criminal penalties for certain abortions. Medicaid provides coverage for abortions in the state.
New York City
With some limitations, abortion is permitted in New York until fetal viability (24–26 weeks). Medicaid and private insurance are both obligated to cover abortion. In 2019, New York enacted statutory safeguards for abortion as a basic right and expanded abortion care access in the state.
State of North Carolina
North Carolina allows abortions up to 20 weeks. A pregnant person seeking abortion care is required to receive state-directed counseling that includes information intended to dissuade them from having an abortion, then wait 72 hours before the procedure is performed; they must also undergo an ultrasound prior to obtaining an abortion, and the provider must offer them the option to view the image. Parental approval is required before an abortion on a minor.
North Dakota allowed abortions up to 22 weeks before the Supreme Court overturned Roe. Yet, a trigger law might prohibit abortion in the state entirely. The state’s lone remaining abortion clinic is contesting the ban, which is presently blocked by a court judgment.
A woman must get counseling from the state that contains material aimed to dissuade her from having an abortion and then wait 24 hours before receiving the procedure. Prior to an abortion, parental approval is required.
Ohio currently permits abortions up to 22 weeks gestation. Those seeking an abortion are required to wait 24 hours after receiving in-person counseling. Medicaid does not cover abortions, and parental approval is required for minors.
SB260 was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in 2021, outlawing the use of telemedicine for medication-induced abortions and mandating that patients take their initial dose of any drug in the presence of a physician. DeWine also signed a two-year budget that included, among other abortion-related limitations, a provision allowing providers to refuse to offer health care services based on religious convictions.
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Oklahoma approved a law prohibiting abortion. The two exceptions are when a pregnant woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy results from a reported rape or incest.
In 2021, Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill outlawing abortion immediately in the United States. The Roe v. Wade decision would be referred to as a “trigger law” if the Supreme Court were to reverse it. Moreover, Stitt signed three additional abortion restrictions into law.
HB2441 compels physicians to examine for fetal heart activity and prohibits abortions if a cardiac activity is detected unless the pregnant woman is at bodily risk. HB1102 prohibits practitioners from providing abortions outside of medical emergencies and threatens those who violate the law with a one-year medical license revocation. HB1904 stipulates that all abortions must be performed by medical professionals who are board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology.
State law in Oregon preserves the right to abortion. There are no gestational age limitations on abortion. Medicaid and commercial health insurance are mandated to cover abortion.
Up to the 24th week of pregnancy, abortion is allowed in Pennsylvania, however, the patient must get counseling from the state and wait 24 hours before the procedure is performed. Medicaid does not cover abortions, and parental approval is required for minors.
Rhode Island allows abortions until fetal viability (24–26 weeks). Medicaid does not cover abortions, and parental approval is required for minors.
In 2019, Rhode Island passed the Reproductive Privacy Act, which established the legal right to abortion.
State of South Carolina
Now, abortions up to 22 weeks are legal in South Carolina. There is a 24-hour waiting time following counseling, and telehealth for medication abortion is prohibited. Medicaid does not provide coverage for abortions. Minors must seek parental consent.
In 2021, Governor Henry McMaster signed into law SB1, which prohibits abortions when identifiable embryonic heart activity is present. The measure makes exceptions for the pregnant woman’s life, rape, or incest when the pregnancy is less than 20 weeks. The state supreme court has temporarily stopped the plan.
In August of 2022, the state legislature went even further and enacted a total ban on abortion. The state senate must yet approve this legislation.
A trigger law prohibits abortion in South Dakota unless it is necessary to preserve the pregnant woman’s life. Also, in 2022, Gov. Kristi Noem signed HB 1318 into law, which severely restricts access to pharmacological abortion by forcing a pregnant woman to go to three different doctors in order to obtain abortion pills. Medicaid does not cover abortions, and parental approval is required for minors.
As a result of a trigger law enacted after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, abortion is outlawed in Tennessee. Also, the state’s constitution clearly prohibits abortion. Following the Supreme Court’s decision, Tennessee’s so-called “Heartbeat Law” went into force, making abortion illegal as early as six weeks, when heart activity may be detected.
In Texas, abortion is strictly prohibited unless it is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman. Rape and incest are not exempt from this rule. This is due to HB1280, a statute that instantly outlawed abortion upon the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Previous to that, in 2021, Governor Greg Abbott signed SB8, a so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill that prohibited abortions beginning at six weeks. The bill authorizes private citizens to sue those who assist a pregnant woman in obtaining an abortion, including medical professionals, ride-share drivers, and those who provide financial assistance for the procedure. The bill became effective in late 2021, resulting in what the Guttmacher Institute described as a “14-fold increase in the driving distance” for Texans seeking abortions.
Nowadays, abortion is permitted for up to 18 weeks. SB174, however, prohibits all abortions in Utah except in circumstances of rape, incest, or medical emergency. The statute is being litigated, and the courts have issued a preliminary injunction enabling abortion to remain legal pending the outcome of the case.
There are no legal limits on abortion in Vermont. Medicaid covers abortions, and qualified healthcare practitioners other than physicians can perform them. In November 2022, Vermont voters approved Proposal 5, a constitutional amendment that guarantees reproductive freedom.
Virginia permits abortions up to 25 weeks. After viability, the surgery may be performed if the pregnancy poses a threat to the pregnant woman’s life. Medicaid does not cover abortions, and parental approval is required for minors.
In 2021, Governor Ralph Northam signed Senate Bill 1276/House Bill 1896, which repealed the state’s ban on abortion coverage within some state health insurance plans. Later that year, the law became effective.
Washington State allows abortions up to 25 weeks gestation. Medicaid and commercial insurance plans in the state are mandated to cover abortion.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed HB1009 in 2021, mandating that college student health plans provide maternity care and “also provide a covered person with substantially equal coverage to authorize an abortion.”
Before overturning Roe v. Wade, abortions up to 20 weeks of gestation were legal. Yet, as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling, West Virginia has a total prohibition on abortion, with very few exceptions. Those who become pregnant due to rape or incest may receive an abortion up to eight weeks into their pregnancy, but only if they disclose the crime to law enforcement first. Underage victims of rape or incest have up to 14 weeks to report the incident to a physician or law police. Moreover, abortion is permitted in medical emergencies.
In 2021, Gov. Jim Justice passed HB2982, which mandates counseling regarding the unscientific potential of “reversing” a medication-induced abortion.
Wisconsin’s pre-Roe abortion legislation is vaguely written and unclear, making abortion virtually always a class H felony. As a result, residents are referred to Illinois for abortion services.
Prior to the ban, MPs introduced a so-called “born alive” bill to handle the extremely uncommon event of a baby being delivered alive during a botched abortion. Under the proposed legislation, abortion practitioners must provide care for surviving infants. Failure to comply would be a felony punishable by up to six years in jail, and medical professionals might face life in prison. During the 2021/2022 legislative session, Republicans unsuccessfully attempted to pass a “heartbeat law” styled after SB8 of Texas.
Wyoming has a trigger law, HB0092, which prohibits abortion unless in circumstances of rape, incest, or to save the pregnant woman’s life. A violation of the prohibition is punishable by up to 14 years in jail as a felony. The prohibition went into force in July 2022, but it is temporarily postponed pending a legal appeal. Hence, abortion is legal until fetal viability (24–26 weeks). Medicaid coverage is forbidden for minors, and parental approval is required.
The Born Alive Infant-Means of Care Bill was signed into law by Gov. Mark Gordon in 2021, requiring medical professionals to treat any “viable baby aborted alive” with the same level of care as any other live-born infant.
Meaningful articles you might like: Roe V. Wade’s Overturn and it’s Effects for Teens & their Families, The Importance of Right to Build Families Act, How The Texas Abortion Ban Affects Abortion Seekers