The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which granted the legal right to abortion in 1973.
The court gutting Roe has returned control of abortion policy back to the states.
These seven maps and charts show the state of abortion in the US and what could happen without Roe.
The latest stage of pregnancy at which a patient can obtain an abortion by state in 2022 varies from 6 weeks to no limit — if abortion is not banned altogether.
As of June 27, 2022, eight states have outright banned abortion, with exceptions for cases where the patient’s physical health is threatened. Judges have temporarily blocked abortion bans enacted under “trigger laws” in Louisiana and Utah, allowing patients to receive care for the moment.
Six states have trigger laws still yet to go into effect that will ban abortion.
Of the 43 states and the District of Columbia that have not banned abortions, 36 states restrict abortion at a certain point in pregnancy in some way, either defined in terms of weeks post-fertilization or weeks from the patient’s last menstrual period.
Many other states also carve out exceptions for the physical and general health of the patient, fetal abnormalities, and rape or incest.
This map shows the latest point in pregnancy a patient can currently obtain an abortion in each state, according to data from the Guttmacher Institute.
Without Roe, 23 states have laws on the books that could outright ban or severely limit access to abortion, and 16 states and DC have passed laws that would explicitly protect the right to abortion.
Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe, it doesn’t mean abortion is banned nationwide.
Instead, the issue of abortion is now in the jurisdiction of the states, as was the case before the Roe decision.
Every state has free reign to permit or restrict abortion access, and over 30 states have passed laws or decrees that spell out how they’d treat abortion in the absence of Roe, according to research from the Guttmacher Institute.
13 states have passed “trigger” laws that are explicitly designed to ban all or most abortions if Roe were struck down.
Nine states have passed post-Roe abortion restrictions, like “heartbeat” bills and first-trimester abortion bans, that have been blocked by courts but could go back into effect with a court order if Roe fell.
Another group of nine states still have their pre-Roe abortion bans, which are currently unenforceable, on the books.
Those laws, importantly, aren’t automatically revived without Roe but have to be put back into effect by a state legislature or order from a state attorney general, Guttmacher told Insider in 2019.
And lawmakers in seven states have passed decrees, which do not hold the force of law, expressing their intent to ban abortion to the greatest extent possible if Roe falls.
Four states have also passed constitutional amendments establishing that there is no right to an abortion under the state’s constitution.
On the other hand, 16 Democratic-controlled states and the District of Columbia have passed laws that ensure abortion will remain legal within their borders.
The number of abortion clinics varies significantly per state, and more have shut down in the South and Midwest over the last decade.
In the decades since Roe, individual states have enacted a slew of restrictions to make it as difficult as possible for abortion clinics to operate, such that several states only have one remaining clinic.
Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers, or TRAP laws, impose very specific regulations on clinics. Oftentimes, these restrictions are so expensive that the costs of implementing them cause many clinics to close down altogether.
These include requirements on the width of corridors, the size and equipment of procedure rooms, and mandating that clinics have admitting privileges at local hospitals, even though less than 0.5% of abortions result in complications.
Between 2014 and 2017, more clinics opened up in the Northeast and on the West Coast but shut down in the South and Midwest, which lost 9% and 6% of their clinics respectively, partly due to TRAP laws in some cases.
In 2017, 89% of US counties had no known abortion providers, with 38% of US women ages 15-44 living in those counties.
The Supreme Court struck down one of the most extreme TRAP laws, Texas’ HB2, in a 5-3 vote in 2016. But despite that, over 20 states still have such laws on their books.
A closer look at the county level shows stark disparities in abortion access across the country. There are now 16 states where 95% of counties do not have an abortion clinic.
By causing clinics to close down, TRAP laws have the consequence of making patients travel further and further to get to a clinic, especially in states that require patients to make multiple trips to the clinic and undergo a 24-to-72-hour “waiting” .”
According to another study from the Guttmacher Institute, patients travel an average of 34 miles each way to access abortion, and one in five American women have to travel at least 50 miles to reach their closest abortion provider.
Here’s how the phases of pregnancy and fetal development line up with abortion bans. The Second Trimester starts at week 14.
Before Texas’ successful six-week abortion ban, states made many attempts to restrict patients from getting abortions after a certain number of weeks — oftentimes before a woman even knows she’s pregnant.
In 2019, the governors of Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Missouri signed bills to either severely restrict abortion with so-called “heartbeat bills” or, in Alabama’s case, ban the procedure altogether.
Other states have tried to ban dilation & evacuation (D&E), the method commonly used to perform abortions after 14 weeks.
The surgical procedure is usually used in late-term miscarriages and abortions to remove the fetal tissue as safely as possible and accounts for less than 0.5% of all abortions.
Prohibiting D&E abortions is effectively a ban on all second-trimester abortions.
Most US adults still favor protecting the legal right to abortion.
While the last decade has seen a huge increase in state-level abortion restrictions, Americans as a whole haven’t become more anti-abortion in the past 20 years, according to survey data from Pew Research Center.
As of 2022, 61% of adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 37% say it should be illegal in all or most cases. Those numbers are almost exactly the same as they were back in 1995.
A supermajority of Democrats support keeping abortion legal, while conservative Republicans favor making it illegal. Moderates are more split.
Abortion has long been a hot-button partisan issue, with support for the procedure in all or most cases being highest among liberal Democrats and lowest among conservative Republicans.
Just under a quarter of those who identify as conservative Republicans now believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to Pew Research.
And while state legislatures have passed draconian abortion restrictions for the purpose of starting litigation they hoped would overturn Roe v. Wade, support for the landmark decision still remains high.
A number of polls conducted prior to the 2020 election by organizations including Quinnipiac University, ABC News/Washington Post, Fox News, and Kaiser Family Foundation, found that between 61% and 69% of Americans support Roe, with 24% to 28% saying they want the decision overturned, CNN reported in 2021.
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