top of page

States' Responses to Roe V. Wade

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade abortion laws are now back in the states’ control. Some states including California, Oregon and Washington have promised to remain safe havens for abortion while other states are enacting trigger laws. As of June 29, 2022 these are the laws in each state:

Alabama: A bill signed in 2019 declared “abortion is banned, except in cases of life endangerment and health of the patient.” Two pro-choice protests took place in the 48 hours after the overturn of Roe V. Wade at the state capitol.

Alaska: Due to the right to privacy written into Alaska’s constitution in 1972 abortion remains legal, for now. However, the pro-life movement has a chance to ammend the constitution as Alaska has an opportunity to hold a constitutional convention though more often than not voters oppose the convention.

Arkansas: Similarly to Alabama, “the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade Friday triggered a 2019 Arkansas law that bans abortion in all cases except to save the life of the mother.” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson implied his future hope to incorporate exceptions for rape and incest in an interview with NBC after Chuck Todd presented the case of a 13-year-old who was raped by a relative couldn't get an abortion under the law.

California: Democrat controlled California vows to protect “personal reproductive autonomy.” In November California voters will decide if they want abortion rights protected in their constitution, though the word abortion will not be used. Instead the amendment would provide this promise, “[the state of California] shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.” Governor Gavin Newsom took to Twitter to express his support for abortion rights.

“Abortion is legal in California. It will remain that way,” Newsom tweeted. “I just signed a bill that makes our state a safe haven for women across the nation. We will not cooperate with any states that attempt to prosecute women or doctors for receiving or providing reproductive care.”

Colorado: In April of 2022 Colorado passed the Reproductive Health Equality Act which ensures the legality of abortion in the state. The bill features the progressive terminology “pregnant individual” and declares “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state.” President of The Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, Jim Daly, spoke for the pro-lifers in an interview with Colorado Public Radio.

“Now it's a 50-front battle zone for ideas and hopefully solutions,” Daly said. “And we think we have a great solution to help women keep their child - or allow their child to be put up for adoption, we think, is the better option.”

Connecticut: Abortion remains legal in Connecticut, in fact the state seeks to expand its abortion industry by passing a bill which allows “advanced-practice clinicians such as A.P.R.N.s and physician assistants to perform abortions by suction, also known as vacuum aspiration.” The summary of Connecticut Bill H.B. No. 5414 declares its intent “to provide protections for persons receiving and providing reproductive health care services in the state.”

Delaware: While abortion is legal in Delaware some restrictions apply. “Delaware's post-viability restriction states that no abortion may be provided after the 20th week of gestation unless continuation of the pregnancy is likely to result in a woman’s death.” With little exception to the rule a parent of a minor aged 16 or younger must be informed of an abortion. Government sponsored abortions are only available in cases of rape, incest of endangerment of life.

Florida: Current Florida law legalizes abortion up to 24 weeks. Leon Circuit Judge John C. Cooper is reviewing a new ban to outlaw abortion after fifteen weeks set to take place this week. Planned Parenthood and other health centers called for a temporary emergency injunction to block the bill, arguing that it challenges the right to privacy amended into the Florida constitution by voters in 1980. If the new bill passes exceptions will be given “if the procedure is necessary to save a mother’s life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality. It does not allow for exemptions in cases where pregnancies were caused by rape, incest or human trafficking. Violators could face up to five years in prison. Physicians or other medical professionals could lose their licenses and face administrative fines of $10,000 for each violation.”

Georgia: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy though it was never enforced. After a federal judge declared the bill a violation of womens’ constitutional rights the state appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The case was then delayed to wait for the outcome of the Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. After the overturn of Roe V. Wade on Friday Georgia attorney general, Chris Carr, asked for the bill to be enforced. Political tensions are on the rise in Tweets posted by Carr and Georgia Democrat Stacy Abrams.

“I believe in the dignity, value and worth of every human being, both born and unborn,” Carr tweeted. “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs is constitutionally correct and rightfully returns the issue of abortion to the states and to the people – where it belongs.”

“Last week, Brian Kemp immediately asked the Court to allow his extreme and dangerous six-week abortion ban to take effect,” Abrams tweeted. “Six weeks is before most women know they are pregnant. Let me be clear: His ban will not stop abortions. It will only stop safe abortions.”

Hawaii: The governor of Hawaii affirmed his intent to keep abortion legal in a statement released on Friday, “Despite the Supreme Court’s decision, abortion care remains protected under Hawaiʻi law. In the State of Hawaiʻi, individuals have the right to make their own decisions about their own bodies and futures; these decisions are profoundly personal. The Department of the Attorney General will continue its work in the fight to protect and strengthen reproductive rights.” In contrast, “Diamond Garcia, vice chair of the Hawaii Republican Party, said the decision to overturn Roe is ‘wonderful.’”

Idaho: Planned Parenthood is suing the state of Idaho with the goal of blocking the trigger law passed in 2020. The law would require a police report to confirm a case of rape and make almost all abortions a felony. Planned Parenthood claims the bill violates the Idaho constitutional right to privacy. The bill has also been criticized for vague terms in relation to the cases in which a physician is allowed to perform an abortion.

Illinois: One of the nine states attempting to block abortion bans, the Illinois Planned Parenthood office says they have been planning for the fall of Roe and expect 30,000 abortion patients from other states. Representatives of Illinois are split on this issue but a candidate for Illinois' First Congressional District, Chris Butler, shares his view on the issue.

"Democrats like me, who are running in primary races and being open about the idea of protecting preborn life are going to find that people in our communities really do understand this fact,” Butler said.

Indiana: At the moment Indiana’s policy of legal l abortion up to 22 weeks of pregnancy remains intact, though a plan to ban abortion was leaked in May.

Iowa: “I will do whatever it takes to defend the most important freedom there is: the right to life,” Kim Reynolds, Governor of Iowa said. Currently Iowa holds a ban on abortion after 20 weeks. Planned Parenthood spoke out against Governor Reynold’s views in their own statement, “Gov. Reynolds wants to take us back decades in time by forcing pregnancy on Iowans, a grave violation of their human rights. Iowa is headed down a dangerous path where Gov. Reynolds will have more say over our reproductive health than we do.”

Kansas: Voters will decide to preserve or eliminate the right to abortion on August 2nd. While the abortion legislation is the hottest topic on the Kansas ballot only one primary runner for governor has spoken out on the issue.

Kentucky: Controversy sparks in Kentucky after the enactment of their 2019 trigger law which immediately bans abortion after the overturn of Roe V. Wade. A lawsuit has been filed by Kentucky’s top abortion providers, EMW Women's Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood. They have requested a block on the bill under the violation Kentucky constitutional rights claim.

Louisiana: Louisiana has blocked the trigger laws set to take effect if Roe was overthrown. Quick to the draw and represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights supporters of abortion sued the state arguing “the abortion restrictions violate providers' due process rights and ‘lack constitutionally required safeguards to prevent arbitrary enforcement.’” Judge Robin Giarrusso scheduled a hearing for July 8 to determine if the ban will hold, but for now abortion remains legal.

Maine: Nothing is changing yet as the Republican party chooses to focus on economic issues. Governor Janet Mills released a video promising to protect abortion rights in Maine.

Maryland: Even midwives in Maryland can perform abortions and insurance has to pay. Maryland is preparing for an influx of abortion patients. While the current governor Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. is personally pro-life, he said he would not change state law. Hopeful successor or Hogan, Kelly Schulz, shares the same view. “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court changes nothing with regard to abortion in Maryland,” Schulz said. “As I have repeatedly said, while I am personally pro-life, the issue is settled law in Maryland and has been for 30 years, since Marylanders voted on it. Despite fear-mongering from others, as governor, I’ll do nothing to change current Maryland law.”

Massachusetts: Abortion remains legal in Massachusetts and will likely remain the same unless new representatives are elected. The main Massachusetts issues lie in budgeting disputes and a push for the distribution of abortion pills, Tami Gouveia wants to expand medicated abortion on college campuses. Planned Parenthood is requesting more funding due to an expected influx of patients.

Michigan: Michigan still wrestles with a 1931 ban which only allows for an abortion when a mother’s life is in danger though the dangerous conditions are not specified. The law would also convict any physicians performing abortions. A temporary injunction currently prevents the bill from becoming law, however, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker is still fighting to enact the law.

Minnesota: With all of its border states banning abortion Minnesota is preparing for a surge of patients. However, an election is quickly approaching and both political parties agree that the future of abortion relies heavily on the outcome.

Mississippi: A trigger law banning abortion after six weeks was set to begin ten days after the overthrow of Roe was set to take place in Mississippi. In response, “attorneys for Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only remaining abortion clinic in the state, filed a request for a temporary restraining order.” If the lawsuit is not resolved within the ten day time period it is unknown what will happen next.

Missouri: Only six minutes after the SCOTUS ruling on Roe V. Wade Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt shared a photo of himself signing a trigger law to ban all abortions; the only exception being a medical emergency. The Democratic party lacks the enthusiasm of its opposition and does not claim to have strict plans to oppose.

Montana: Stuck in a tie, Montana has yet to abolish or solidify abortion rights. Attorney General Austin Knudsen is pushing to end abortion though the high court has yet to respond. Pro-choice protests have rallied in major cities around the state.

Nebraska: Since the state did not have trigger laws in place nothing is changing in Nebraska, yet. “Governor Pete Ricketts has stated in the past he will call a special session in the summer, should Roe V. Wade be overturned.”

Nevada: Legalized abortion remains intact in Nevada as well with Democrat legislators vowing to keep fighting for reproductive rights. However, Nevadans are concerned with the possibility of change. “Abortion access here in Nevada may be safe for now, but extremists have made it clear that they will work to ban abortion nationwide,” Athar Haseebullah, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada, said in a statement. “None of our rights or liberties are secure in the face of a Supreme Court that would reverse Roe.”

New Hampshire: New Hampshire political officials have not released intentions to alter laws surrounding abortion, so for now it remains legal.

New Jersey: The state plans to protect abortion rights for those within their borders and beyond. State legislation passed two bills, one to protect women coming in from other states and the other to protect privacy of patients and physicians. In spite of the support of abortion pro-life protestors still gathered to express their views.

New Mexico: “We will not further imperil the rights and access points of anyone in the state of New Mexico,” Governor Lujan Grisham said. “As long as I’m Governor, everyone in the state of New Mexico will be protected, out of state residents seeking access will be protected, providers will be protected, and abortion is, and will continue to be legal, safe and accessible.”

New York: Not much will change in Democrat controlled NYC either. Along with its fellow protected abortion states New York plans to prepare for more patients.

North Carolina: North Carolina revisits a bill turned down in 2019 in hopes to ban abortions after 20 weeks. A decision should be given by July 1 but it would not be the end of the process. If approved by Attorney General Josh Stein the bill would have to return to the courts.

North Dakota: North Dakota’s only abortion clinic is required to shut down by July 28. Red River Women's Clinic, saddened by the news plans to move its office to pro-choice state Minnesota.

Ohio: Operating under a heartbeat bill, abortion is only legal up to six weeks in Ohio. The closest states offering abortions are New York and Illinois. Students gathered to protest the overturn of Roe which allows for the strict laws to remain intact.

Oklahoma: Among the firs states to enact trigger laws, “Oklahoma’s attorney general reinstated a law from 1910 that bans abortion except when the mother’s life is at risk.” Disputes over the bill’s language are beginning to spark, critics claiming it seems unclear.

Oregon: As of now laws in Oregon have yet to change, abortion is still legal and requires insurance companies to cover the costs. However, Lois Anderson, executive director of Oregon Right to Life shared her plan to focus on banning late term abortions in Oregon. Though she did not specify the definition of “late term” it “is often used to describe abortions performed beyond 20 weeks.”

Pennsylvania: Under the current Governor of Pennsylvania abortions up to 24 weeks remain legal. State House Republicans have said discussions to change the laws are “already under way.” Both parties agree on the importance of November’s elections.

Rhode Island: Democrat controlled Rhode Island is in support of abortion. In 2019 Governor Daniel McKee signed legislation to protect abortion rights in case Roe was overturned. At the moment opposition remains minimal.

South Carolina: Holding to a heartbeat bill, South Carolina will ban abortion after six weeks. Planned Parenthood will remain in operation within the parameters of the law. South Carolina Governor took to Twitter to share his statement.

“We’ve spent nearly a year and a half defending the Fetal Heartbeat Act in court. Finally, it has gone into effect in South Carolina,” McMaster tweeted. “This is why Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is so important – countless unborn children will be saved because of this law.”

South Dakota: Governor Kristi Noem spoke out after enacting trigger laws to ban abortion and the lack of exceptions to the bill, "I believe every life is precious ... And we know so much more using technology and science than we did even 10, 15 years ago about what these babies go through the pain that they feel in the womb, and will continue to make sure that those lives are protected," Noem said. "And I just have never believed that having a tragedy or tragic situation happened to someone is a reason to have another tragedy occur." Doctors performing abortions in the state will be prosecuted.

Tennessee: Trigger law in Tennessee, the Human Life Protection Act, makes it a Class C Felony in Tennessee for someone to perform abortions. Under the law women who try to get abortions are not punished. There are no exceptions to the law. Ashley Coffield, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi recommended those seeking abortions should travel to other states.

Texas: The attempted abortion ban has been temporarily blocked due to a lawsuit filed by “the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union and two Texas law firms on behalf of several abortion clinics.” Abortions up to six weeks can continue legally.

Utah: After the SCOTUS ruling on Friday Utah enacted a trigger law banning abortions outside of the following exceptions: “if the mother's life is at risk, if the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest, or if two physicians who practice "maternal-fetal medicine" both determine that the fetus has a severe defect.” However on Monday a Utah judge implemented a 14 day block on the law under the claim that the law was unconstitutional. “Planned Parenthood officials told the court it will seek a preliminary injunction in the next two weeks, which would prevent the law from going into effect for longer if granted.”

Vermont: As of now Vermont has no restrictions on abortion. November 8 voters have a chance to vote to add abortion rights to its constitution.

Virginia: Currently abortion through the second trimester is legal in Virgina though in light of the SCOUTUS ruling Govornor Youngkin is seeking to enact pro-life legislation. “Youngkin said he had asked four anti-abortion state lawmakers to draft the legislation (including one who is an OB-GYN) and to introduce it when the General Assembly convenes in January 2023.”

Washington: Governor Jay Inslee plans to implement abortion rights into the Washington constitution. “The right to this choice, this constitutional choice for the last five decades, should not depend on which party is in control of our state Legislature,” Inslee said.

West Virginia: Abortionists in West Virginia can be charged with a felony and the legislature is in no rush to change. Governor Jim Justice “is open to a special session” but leaves the timing up to legislatures and lawyers. “We’ll get through this, but there needs to be a lot more discussion with the Legislature; there needs to be a lot more discussion with the legal team to see if what we have on the books is adequate or if there is a need to call a special session,” Justice said.

Wisconsin: After trigger laws to ban abortion were enacted, “Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and State Attorney General Josh Kaul on Tuesday filed a challenge to a 19th century state law banning nearly all abortions.” Republican lawmakers may attempt to alter the bill upon their return in January.

Wyoming: Wyoming passed a trigger law in 2022 to ban abortions except in cases of rape, incest and serious risk of death for the mother. The bill goes into effect 5 days after Governor Mark Gordon “certifies the ruling to the secretary of state,” though it is unknown when this will take place.

86 views0 comments


bottom of page