Though the U.S. Senate failed to codify abortion rights into federal law last Wednesday, states have already been taking a stand on the issue. When Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion was leaked on May 2, it became clear that abortion rights will eventually fall on state governance to implement their own restrictions and protections. Since then, some states have announced plans to restrict contraception and abortion through “trigger laws,” while other states are enshrining the right to abortion in state law.
Below is an overview of where states stand right now on the issue of reproductive rights.
Alabama is one of 26 states that already has a law or constitutional amendment designed to challenge Roe v. Wade, making almost all abortions illegal immediately. Alabama’s HB 23 would be a near-total ban, barring exceptions. After the leak, Republican Alabama state Rep. Terri Collins said she would support new state legislation that makes some exceptions to allow for abortions in the case of rape, incest, or an unhealthy fetus.
While abortion would remain legal in Alaska even if Roe falls, Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy is advocating for what he’s called a “robust discussion on the future of abortion access in Alaska.” This November, Alaskans will vote on whether or not to hold a constitutional convention, which is where they would decide to maintain abortion rights in their state constitution. Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of the 51 senators who helped kill the federal abortion rights bill last Wednesday.
Arizona has had a pre-Roe abortion ban since 1901 that also prohibits birth control. After the leak, GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters said he would ban birth control.
“We’ve already known that the opposition is not stopping at just banning abortion,” said Eloisa Lopez, the executive director of Pro-Choice Arizona. “As advocates, we are on the side of fighting for abortion access and our reproductive health.”
Lopez also works with an abortion fund in the state that helps people travel out of state to access abortion care. In Arizona, the gestational limit is at fetal viability, which is around 24 weeks.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has vowed to certify a “trigger law” that would ban abortion except to save the life of the patient if the Supreme Court overturns Roe.
California lawmakers are creating a series of bills that would make it a “sanctuary state” for abortions. Gov. Gavin Newsom convened The California Future of Abortion Council in September to identify barriers to abortion access and recommend policy solutions, such as helping cover the cost of the procedure, transportation, lodging, child care, food, and lost wages for those seeking an abortion there.
While states like Missouri and Texas have discussed banning out-of-state travel for abortions by allowing citizens to sue anyone who helps the patient access their abortion, California is encouraging people to travel there for care. SB 1142, which would help cover the cost of travel to California and legal fees for patients seeking abortions, moved forward in the state Senate on Monday.
A month ago, Colorado enshrined the right to abortion in state law through the Reproductive Health Equity Act.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill into law May 10 that expands abortion rights access and protections in the state. The law explicitly protects medical providers and patients seeking abortion care who travel from a state where it is outlawed.
The Delaware General Assembly passed a law in 2017 that asserted Roe v. Wade protections even if the decision is struck down. In addition, Delaware has eased access to medication abortion by passing a bill that allows physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to prescribe the medication.
Georgia’s six-week ban “trigger law” is currently not in effect since a federal court struck it down in 2020. An appeals court decided in September 2021 to wait on the Supreme Court’s decision, meaning that once the Dobbs decision is announced, Georgia’s ban will not go into effect until the appeals court makes a formal decision based on the new precedent.
Abortion is protected by Hawai’i law, which was voted in 1970.
Idaho Lt. Gov. and gubernatorial candidate Janice McGeachin has said she wants to implement the country’s harshest abortion ban, modeled after Texas’ SB 8, which bans abortions after six weeks. On Monday, May 9, McGeachin insisted that Gov. Brad Little call a special legislative session to eliminate rape and incest as exceptions to the state’s abortion law.
Illinois is one of 16 states that enshrines the right to abortion in state law. Surrounded by states that plan to limit or ban abortion, clinics are preparing for an influx of abortion patients from out of state.
Anti-choice Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has advised lawmakers not to make a trigger bill, but instead wait until the Supreme Court issues its official ruling to make a decision. But, given the roadblocks already in place to accessing abortion, including receiving a mandatory printed ultrasound image and not being able to use telemedicine to access abortion medication, Indiana will likely pass statewide abortion restrictions.
Abortion is currently legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy in Iowa. A state Supreme Court decision in 2018 found that the state constitution protects abortion rights. But the state’s court is hearing a case that could revisit the 2018 decision.
On Aug. 2, Kansas will face the first vote on reproductive rights in the U.S. following the official Dobbs decision. Kansas will vote on a constitutional amendment to create a total ban on abortion.
Kentucky’s six-week trigger ban would immediately go into effect once the Supreme Court decision comes down.
Louisiana is voting on a bill to criminalize in vitro fertilization, intrauterine birth control devices (IUDs), and emergency contraception. HB 813 would allow the state to disregard any federal court rulings contradicting the new law and would grant the legislature the right to impeach and remove any state judges that attempt to block it from taking effect. It is currently pending House passage.
Gov. Janet Mills has said she will fight to protect abortion rights, and Democratic legislators are trying to include protections by amending the state Constitution. But, the governor’s office, and all seats in the state House and Senate will be decided during midterm elections this fall.
Maryland will continue to protect abortion rights since it is codified into state law.
The Massachusetts house added $500,000 for abortion access and infrastructure in their budget last month. The money would go to the state‘s three abortion funds and help people get the abortions they need. Senate Democrats are calling for $2 million to the budget to improve reproductive health care access, infrastructure, and security at abortion clinics.
Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel said the state’s 1931 abortion ban, which defined abortion as a felony, is “draconian” and should be ended. Nessel said she would not enforce the 1931 abortion law and hopes the state’s Supreme Court finds it unconstitutional.
Minnesota may become an island of abortion access in the Midwest. Under a 1995 state Supreme Court ruling, abortion is enshrined in the Minnesota constitution.
Last Tuesday, May 10, the Missouri Senate committee advanced a resolution to trigger the state’s abortion ban when Roe is overturned.
In March, Missouri failed to pass a travel abortion ban which would have allowed private citizens to sue those who help others access abortion care across state lines.
The state constitution’s right to privacy covers Montana abortion rights.
Nebraska just finished defeating a six-week abortion ban last month, but state Sen. Mike Hilgers says he is ready to call a special session to discuss an abortion ban again if Roe falls.
“Abortion currently remains safe and legal in Nebraska, but these politicians are making their intention to outright ban abortion in Nebraska crystal clear, and we cannot allow that to happen,” said Andi Curry Grubb, the state executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska. “Every Nebraskan deserves the right to make the decisions that are best for their lives and families. When people can do this, families thrive and communities are created where each of us can participate with dignity and equality. Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy can have devastating and lasting consequences and does not align with the values of Nebraskans.”
In Nevada, the right to a legal abortion is guaranteed until 24 weeks of pregnancy. A 1990 referendum legalized abortion in the state and would require another vote to overturn it.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu calls himself a “pro-choice” governor and says he would sign any bill that guarantees statewide abortion protections. New Hampshire has a 24-week abortion ban, and the legislature has stopped two bills and a constitutional amendment that would have guaranteed abortion access in the state.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy proposed an insurance mandate to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for abortion care, and a state law codifying who can perform the procedure. Murphy also said the state would not cooperate with out-of-state investigations into abortion providers or anyone involved with the procedure.
Abortion will remain legal in New Mexico. Last year, the state legislature passed the Respect New Mexico Women and Families Act, which repealed old language from a 1969 abortion ban.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said New York would launch a $25 million fund to support abortion providers in the state and spend $10 million on security efforts at abortion centers. The right to abortion is enshrined in state law.
North Carolina has abortion restrictions, including a mandatory 72-hour waiting period, required abortion counseling, and restrictions on using state health care plans or Medicaid for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or when a patient’s health is in danger.
Republicans who control the General Assembly could move to pass more laws restricting abortion in North Carolina if Roe is overturned. But, Gov. Roy Cooper has already vetoed several bills that would restrict abortion.
North Dakota has a six-week trigger ban. A 2007 state law makes it a felony to perform an abortion unless necessary to prevent the patient’s death or in cases of rape or incest. Violations are punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Ohio has a six-week abortion ban. Democratic state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan is one of four women in the Ohio House and Senate who is sponsoring a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to abortion and all contraceptive methods.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a Texas-style abortion ban earlier this month.
“I want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country,” Stitt tweeted after signing the bill.
Abortion is legal in Oregon and covered by state Medicaid. Abortion clinics are preparing for an influx of patients from outside states.
Under Pennsylvania’s Abortion Control Act, pregnant people have to consult with a doctor at least 24 hours before an abortion, and minors have to obtain a parent’s permission. Gov. Tom Wolf and his potential Democratic successor, Josh Shapiro, have both said they would veto new abortion restrictions.
On May 4, Rhode Island’s Supreme Court upheld a state law guaranteeing the right to abortion. The court rejected a lawsuit by several individuals and an anti-abortion group challenging the state’s 2019 Reproductive Privacy Act.
The state’s increasingly conservative legislature, which has already attempted to ban abortion, could successfully ban abortion.
Should Roe fall, an abortion ban would be immediate, and the state would classify performing abortion care as a class 6 felony.
In addition to a trigger ban, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed HB 2416 into law May 5, which adds criminal penalties for doctors who are not physically present with a patient when prescribing abortion medication.
Texas already banned abortions at six weeks last year, but now the state is floating the idea of a bill to ban traveling out of state for the procedure.
A near-total trigger ban.
The right to an abortion is protected by Act 47, a law passed in 2019.
Abortion would remain legal, and the state could become a destination for abortion care since neighboring states would implement bans.
Abortion is legal and abortion clinics are preparing for an influx of patients from outside states.
West Virginia’s trigger ban would make abortion illegal, and the state constitution bars protections.
Wisconsin has had an abortion ban since before Roe. Abortion would become illegal in almost all cases.
A “trigger bill” was introduced and passed during Wyoming’s last legislative session that will ban abortions five days after the Supreme Court decision is made.
The divide between so-called “blue” and “red” states has become more apparent, and will create what abortion advocates call an abortion desert in parts of the country. “Purple” states like Pennsylvania will likely see abortion rights be determined by statewide elections for governor, Senate, and the House, which can make alterations to preexisting abortion laws. Advocates say supporters should donate to local abortion funds and help patients afford travel and the cost of the procedure.