Abortion law by state: What are the rules in each US state?

ABORTION is legal in the US thanks to the Roe v. Wade legal case in 1973.

The US Supreme Court ruling meant that unduly restrictive state regulation of abortion is unconstitutional – but laws and restrictions vary by state with some open to overturning the case.

That historic ruling though is now under threat after a leaked legal document revealed some judges want it scrapped.

The majority draft opinion, reportedly written by Justice Samuel Alito and obtained by Politico, rejects the 1973 decision guaranteeing constitutional protection of abortion rights.

Alito wrote: "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences."

The document stated: "Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each state from regulating or prohibiting abortion."

Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett reportedly voted with Alito.

The three Democratic-appointed justices – Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor – are reportedly working on filing amendments.

It's not known how Chief Justice John Roberts will vote. If he votes with the majority, the ruling would be 6-3.

Alito also supposedly referenced the 1992 decision of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld Roe v. Wade.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitution provision…”

Abortion laws by US state

Should Roe v Wade get overturned, there are 21 states, mainly in the South and Midwest, that have "trigger laws" allowing them to ban abortion, should the decision be passed.

While the details differ in those 21 states, all of them would become automatic upon any overturning.

Most would ban abortion outright with limited exceptions — such as medical emergencies or in cases of rape and incest.

They are currently in place in Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Here's what the laws say in the various states.

Washington, New York, Oregon, California, Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey

Abortion is legal in these states.

There are few to no restrictions and abortion is accessible – although the number of clinics offering the opportunity have declined over the past few decades.

Nevada

Abortion is legal and accessible in this state with few to no restrictions.

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There is a financial drawback, however.

State Medicaid funding of abortion services is prohibited outside of narrow exceptions, such as in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest.

Maryland 

Abortion is legal in the state of Maryland but there is one small catch.

Parental notification is required, meaning that a parent must be informed of the abortion before it is performed.

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Montana

Abortion is legal in Montana but, like Maryland, parents must be notified before the abortion is performed.

However, there is a judicial bypass available, where kids who can't tell their parents about their decision to have an abortion can file a petition to excuse them from required parental notification requirements.

Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, New Hampshire

Like Montana, these states require parental notification unless the minor is exempt under a judicial bypass, but there is one additional restriction.

In Colorado, Delaware and New Hampshire, State Medicaid funding of abortion services is prohibited outside of narrow exceptions, such as in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest.

In Illinois there are similar financial limitations, given that insurance offered on the state health care exchange that was established under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) restricts coverage of abortion.

Wyoming

In Wyoming parents must, by law, not only be notified but also give their consent to an abortion before it is carried out.

State Medicaid funding is also prohibited outside of narrow exceptions, such as in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest.

Massachusetts, Minnesota

In these states, parental consent must also be provided by law, but there is a judicial bypass available, where minors can file a petition to excuse them from required parental consent requirements.

In Minnesota, patients must also wait 24 hours between receiving state-mandated abortion counselling and obtaining an abortion.

Arizona, Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia

In these states, parental consent must also be provided by law, but there is a judicial bypass available, where minors can file a petition to excuse them from required parental consent requirements.

These states also have restrictive laws on insurance and State Medicaid funding, meaning that abortions can be a huge financial burden.

All of these states except Florida have required waiting times for patients ranging between 24-72 hours, with at least two visits to the clinic required in some states.

Georgia, Iowa, South Dakota, West Virginia

In these states, abortion is banned on or around 20 weeks, meaning that is is illegal to undergo the procedure after that time.

Depending on the circumstances there may be certain limited exceptions, but there are also a number of other restrictions.

Parents must be notified unless the minor is exempt under a judicial bypass, insurance and State Medicaid funding limitations apply and all states require a waiting time of between 24-72 hours with the exception of Iowa.

Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wisconsin

In these states, abortion is banned on or around 20 weeks, meaning that is is illegal to undergo the procedure after that time.

Not only that, but all of the states listed also required parental consent for the procedure to go ahead unless the minor is exempt under a judicial bypass.

Each state also mandates a waiting period ranging between 18-72 hours with a minimum of two clinic visits required by some.

All states except Alabama place legal restrictions on insurance and State Medicaid funding, prohibiting the financial coverage of abortion.

Texas

Texas is so far the only state to make abortion illegal after six weeks of pregnancy.

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Due to a controversial abortion ban, Texas health centres can only provide abortion services within six weeks of the first day of the patient's last period – a time before which some women know they are pregnant.

Insurance and State Medicaid funding restrictions are also in place, parental consent is required with the exception of a judicial bypass, and patients must wait 24 hours and take two trips to the clinic in order to receive the abortion.

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