(LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life laws banning virtually all abortions are now in effect in around ten states in post-Roe America. Four other states have also sharply restricted the murder of the unborn with newly-enforceable heartbeat laws, which limit abortion at about six weeks, and several more states may move to enforce bans in the coming days and weeks following the Supreme Court’s historic ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
See which states have the toughest pro-life laws, which are sanctuaries for abortion, and what comes next in the fight to defend life in America using the map below. Click on the blue, purple, and yellow states for more information. Check beneath the map for more about the newest updates.
- Indiana on Friday became the first state to enact new pro-life protections since the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Abortion will become illegal in the state starting September 15 except when allegedly necessary to preserve the mother’s life or to prevent serious physical injury and for rape, incest, or fatal fetal anomalies within certain time limits.
See the guide below for more information about these developments and the constantly shifting legal landscape of abortion in the U.S. after Roe v. Wade.
States where abortion bans have taken effect
Abortion is now virtually illegal or significantly restricted in more than a dozen states, many of which have implemented what are known as “trigger” laws designed to take effect immediately upon the reversal of Roe v. Wade and criminalize abortion throughout pregnancy.
Clinics shuttering: The bans are a devastating blow to the abortion industry: Since June 24, clinics have ceased abortions in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Abortions initially stopped in Utah and West Virginia but have resumed for now due to temporary court orders.
More than 100,000 abortions took place in those states in 2019, according to CDC data.
Around one-quarter of women aged 13 to 44 in the U.S. live in states where total or near-total bans have taken effect, including over 6 million in Texas alone. For many of those women, the nearest abortion facility could be hundreds of miles away, and even then may not be accessible.
Strict penalties: Penalties for abortions in many conservative states are extremely prohibitive. In Alabama, performing any elective abortion is now a felony equivalent to rape or murder and can lead to life imprisonment. In Louisiana, aborting a minor’s baby carries up to 50 years in prison.
Few exceptions: All states with bans in effect post-Roe except three (Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina) prohibit abortion for both rape and incest, in a striking testament to increased awareness of the personhood of the unborn and a break with longtime Republican policy.
Abortion not ‘necessary’: Every state continues to allow exceptions when “necessary” to save the mother’s life due to a physical condition. Experts have attested that abortion is never medically necessary, however, and many pro-lifers and the Catholic Church point out that it is always the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.
But abortionists lament that exemptions in the newly-enforceable bans are often so narrow as to make them hesitant to perform any abortions for fear of prosecution and make it impossible to maintain a clinic.
Despite false claims by Democrats and pro-abortion activists, no state prohibits treatment for miscarriage or ectopic pregnancies, according to the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute. Nearly all states explicitly exempt pregnant women who obtain abortions from criminal penalties.
ALABAMA – Ban throughout pregnancy
Abortion is illegal at all stages of pregnancy in Alabama. A federal court lifted an injunction on the state’s near-total abortion ban enacted in 2019, Attorney General Steve Marshall announced within hours of the Dobbs ruling.
Penalties: The 2019 law, known as the Human Life Protection Act, makes performing an abortion a Class A felony that can result in life imprisonment. Class A felonies are the highest level of crimes in Alabama and include first-degree murder and first-degree rape.
Exceptions: The law allows exceptions when “necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” including death, and for fatal fetal anomalies. Alabama has another 1951 pre-Roe ban on the books that outlaws abortion except to preserve a mother’s life or health.
Impact: The last three abortion facilities in Alabama halted all abortions on June 24.
ARIZONA – Ban throughout pregnancy (legally unclear)
Arizona has an enjoined pre-Roe law from 1901 that bans abortion throughout pregnancy with penalties of up to five years in prison for anyone who aborts a woman’s baby or helps her to do so. The only exception is when an abortion would be “necessary to save [the mother’s] life.” The law doesn’t penalize women who have abortions.
In effect?: Gov. Doug Ducey has said that he will move to implement a 15-week ban that he signed in March and that takes effect in September. But Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced on June 29 that the pre-Roe law is in effect, and he said it doesn’t conflict with the more recent ban.
Brnovich added that he’ll seek the removal of an injunction placed on the law in 1973, the Associated Press reported.
Eugenic abortion ban: Brnovich has indicated that another pro-life law enacted last year that prohibits abortions due to race, sex, or non-lethal genetic abnormality may also take effect with Roe out of the way. That law, SB 1457, makes knowingly performing a eugenic abortion a Class 3 felony except in a “medical emergency” necessitating an immediate abortion to avoid mother’s death or serious, permanent injury, based on “good faith clinical judgment.”
Fetal personhood: It also contains a provision declaring unborn babies legal persons “at every stage of development” and granting them “all rights, privileges and immunities available to other persons, citizens and residents of this state, subject only the Constitution of the United States” and constitutional decisions of the Supreme Court.
ARKANSAS – Ban throughout pregnancy
Abortion is illegal throughout pregnancy in Arkansas.
A 2019 trigger law came into effect after Attorney General Leslie Rutledge certified on June 24 that the Supreme Court had struck down Roe, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported. “None of us thought today would come in our lifetimes,” Rutledge said.
Penalties: Anyone other than the mother who performs or attempts to perform an abortion can now face felony charges, fines of up to $100,000, and up to 10 years in prison.
Exceptions: The trigger law allows exceptions only when “necessary to preserve the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury.”
Impact: In response to the trigger law, Planned Parenthood Great Plains has completely halted abortions in Arkansas.
FLORIDA – Ban at 15 weeks
In Florida, a 15-week abortion ban signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this year is in effect pending litigation.
Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper placed an injunction on the law in July, but it came back into effect automatically when Gov. DeSantis appealed the decision on the same day. Cooper later rejected a request from abortion clinics to vacate the stay on his injunction, allowing the 15-week ban to remain in force.
The law may ultimately come before the Florida Supreme Court, the Orlando Sentinel noted. The high court recognized a “right” to abortion in the Florida Constitution in 1989, but all of the current justices were appointed by Republican governors, and three of the seven are DeSantis appointees.
Penalties: Illegal abortions can result in third-degree felony charges.
Exceptions: The 15-week ban allows exceptions to save the mother’s life or prevent serious injury or when two doctors agree that a baby would not survive after birth.
Impact: The law will impact around 3,300 yearly abortions in Florida, according to estimates from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. Almost 75,000 abortions were reported in the state in 2020.
DeSantis has said that Florida will “work to expand pro-life protections.”
GEORGIA – Ban at around six weeks
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Georgia’s previously blocked fetal heartbeat law to take effect on July 20, citing the Dobbs decision.
“Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Org., makes clear that no right to abortion exists under the Constitution, so Georgia may prohibit them,” the court ruled.
“Georgia’s prohibition on abortions after detectable human heartbeat is rational,” the decision added. “’Respect for and preservation of prenatal life at all stages of development’ is a legitimate interest.”
The 2019 law, also known as the LIFE Act, prohibits abortion once a baby’s heartbeat can be detected, which is typically by around six weeks of pregnancy.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced on June 24 that he asked the 11th Circuit to let the law go into effect immediately after the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Exceptions: The LIFE Act allows exceptions for rape and incest reported to law enforcement, “medically futile” pregnancies, and when “necessary in order to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or the substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.” The rape and incest exceptions end after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Penalties: Abortionists can face penalties of up to 10 years in prison for criminal abortions.
Georgia’s heartbeat law also features a unique component defining unborn babies as legal persons “at any stage of development” under Georgia law.
Planned Parenthood Southeast and other abortion groups argued that the personhood provisions were unconstitutionally vague, but the 11th Circuit rejected those claims. “The expanded definition of natural person is not vague on its face,” the court’s ruling states.
KENTUCKY – Ban throughout pregnancy
Kentucky’s trigger law that banned abortion in the state immediately following the reversal of Roe v. Wade came back into effect on August 1.
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mitch Perry halted enforcement of the law and an already-blocked six-week ban at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and Planned Parenthood days after the Dobbs ruling. On July 22, Perry granted a longer injunction sought by abortion clinics.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals then granted an emergency request sought by Attorney General Daniel Cameron to reinstate the laws as litigation continues.
Kentucky’s trigger law defines an unborn child as a “human being” from fertilization and prohibits any procedure “with the specific intent of causing or abetting” the death of an unborn baby at any stage of embryonic or fetal development.
“No person shall knowingly administer to, prescribe for, procure for, or sell to any pregnant woman any medicine, drug, or other substance with the specific intent of causing or abetting the termination of the life of an unborn human being,” the law states.
Penalties: Abortions can result in Class D felony charges and up to five years in prison for anyone other than the mother.
Exceptions: The trigger law exempts abortions performed when “necessary” to prevent the mother’s death or permanent injury to a “life-sustaining organ” in a physician’s “reasonable medical judgment,” but requires doctors to “make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of the unborn human being.”
Impact: Kentucky’s two abortion clinics have cancelled abortions.
A 15-week abortion ban took effect in July after U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings lifted a previous order halting it. Other provisions of the law, including restrictions on abortion pills, remain blocked.
Pro-life amendment: An amendment on the ballot in Kentucky in November would alter the Kentucky Constitution to explicitly state that it does not include a “right” to abortion.
LOUISIANA – Ban throughout pregnancy
A court ruled on July 29 that Louisiana’s ban on abortion throughout pregnancy can once again go into effect as litigation continues.
Attorney General Jeff Landry had announced on June 24 that the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade activated a 2006 trigger law prohibiting nearly all abortions from conception. The state has enacted multiple trigger bans in recent years.
But days later, a state judge in New Orleans issued a temporary restraining order halting enforcement of Louisiana’s abortion bans. The Center for Reproductive Rights and Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, a law firm with ties to the Democratic Party, sued to block the laws on behalf of an abortion clinic, arguing that they were unconstitutionally vague.
District Judge Ethel Julien declined to extend the order in July, however, saying that the suit should have been filed in the state’s capital, Baton Rouge, rather than New Orleans. A Democratic judge in Baton Rouge, District Judge Donald Johnson, subsequently blocked the bans the following week.
Pro-life court victory: But on July 29, the Louisiana 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state may again enforce its abortion ban as Attorney General Landry appeals Judge Johnson’s decision. The law went back into effect that day, shutting down the state’s three abortion clinics.
Landry had filed a supervisory writ asking the 1st Circuit Court to lift Johnson’s injunction.
Louisiana lawmakers have said that they would pass further pro-life legislation if necessary. The state constitution explicitly rejects a “right” to abortion.
Penalties: Under Louisiana law, anyone who performs an abortion or intentionally provides a pregnant woman with substances to kill her unborn child can face up to 10 years imprisonment and $100,000 in fines. Late-term abortions (15+ weeks) can result in up to 15 years in prison and $200,000 in fines. Performing an abortion on a minor can lead to 50 years in prison.
Exceptions: Louisiana permits exceptions when “necessary” to prevent the death of the mother “due to a physical condition,” to avoid “serious, permanent impairment of a life-sustaining organ of a pregnant woman,” or if two doctors agree that an unborn baby would not survive after birth.
For an abortion allegedly to save the mother’s life, a doctor must “make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with reasonable medical practice,” the 2006 trigger law states.
MISSISSIPPI – Ban throughout pregnancy
Mississippi’s trigger law banning abortion throughout pregnancy took effect July 7. Attorney General Lynn Fitch certified on June 27 that Roe v. Wade had fallen, starting a 10-day countdown until the ban could come into effect.
Penalties: Anyone but the mother who commits or attempts to commit an abortion or who prescribes abortion-inducing drugs to a pregnant woman risks up to 10 years in prison.
Exceptions: The trigger law provides exemptions when “necessary for the preservation of the mother’s life” or if the mother has filed a formal charge of rape, but not for incest.
Impact: The sole abortion clinic in Mississippi has officially been sold, as of July 18. That clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, was at the center of the Dobbs case. The owner has said she plans to open a clinic in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where abortion is legal on demand with no gestational limit.
MISSOURI – Ban throughout pregnancy
Missouri became the first state to criminalize abortion on June 24, Republican Gov. Mike Parson announced. Parson and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt signed proclamations activating Missouri’s Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act within minutes of the Dobbs decision.
Exceptions: The act prohibits all abortions unless a medical condition would “necessitate” one to avoid the mother’s death or “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” based on a physician’s “reasonable medical judgment.”
Penalties: Otherwise, inducing an abortion in Missouri is a Class B felony that carries up to 15 years in prison.
OHIO – Ban at around six weeks
In Ohio, abortion is now illegal when a baby’s heartbeat can first be detected, which is typically at around six weeks of pregnancy.
On June 24, a federal judge dissolved an injunction on the state’s 2019 heartbeat bill following a request from Attorney General Dave Yost, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The injunction was based on Roe and later pro-abortion Supreme Court decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Yost said. The Court also overturned Casey in the Dobbs ruling.
“The Heartbeat Bill is now the law,” Yost declared.
In effect: The Ohio Supreme Court has refused a request from Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups to halt the heartbeat law. Republicans hold a 4-3 majority on the court. Judicial elections in November will determine whether Republicans retain three of those seats.
Penalties: Illegal abortions can result in felony charges and up to one year in prison.
Exceptions: When a “medical emergency or medical necessity” of a pregnant woman “necessitates the immediate performance or inducement of an abortion.”
Total ban coming: Republican Senate President Matt Hoffman told Politico that Republican state lawmakers will move later this year to pass a ban on all abortions with exceptions only to save the woman’s life.
OKLAHOMA – Ban throughout pregnancy
Oklahoma’s trigger law went into effect soon after the reversal of Roe v. Wade, allowing enforcement of an abortion ban throughout pregnancy, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Attorney General John O’Connor announced.
Penalties: Anyone who performs an abortion or prescribes, administers, or “advises” a woman to take abortion-inducing substances or procures them for her can face between two and five years in prison under Section 861, a state statute dating back to 1910.
O’Connor on June 24 certified that the Supreme Court reversed Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The certification “immediately put into effect Oklahoma’s trigger law, which also means—because the Attorney General certified it—that Section 861’s total criminal ban on abortion throughout pregnancy can be enforced,” according to Gov. Stitt’s office.
Exceptions: Section 861 allows exceptions only when “necessary to preserve [the mother’s] life.”
Texas-style ban: Oklahoma had already criminalized virtually all abortions in May with a law enforced by civil lawsuits that took effect despite Roe. That measure, modeled after Texas’ heartbeat bill, allowed abortion in cases of incest or sexual assault reported to police.
“Law enforcement is now activated in respect to any effort to aid, abet or solicit any abortions,” O’Connor has warned.
Impact: Clinics in Oklahoma have stopped performing abortions since May.
SOUTH CAROLINA – Ban at around six weeks
South Carolina’s heartbeat has taken effect, banning abortion with limited exceptions from around six weeks of pregnancy, Gov. Henry McMaster announced.
The law requires an abortionist to perform an ultrasound to test for a fetal heartbeat before an abortion and criminalizes aborting or attempting to abort a baby with a detectable heartbeat.
Penalties: Violations carry felony charges and penalties of up to $10,000 in fines, imprisonment of two years, or both.
Exceptions: The heartbeat law permits exemptions up to 20 weeks of pregnancy for alleged incest or rape that abortionists must report to law enforcement, as well as for fatal fetal anomalies and when “necessary to prevent the serious risk of a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman” or her death.
Impact: Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, which manages abortion mills in Charleston and Columbia, said it will adhere to the law, according to the Post and Courier.
SOUTH DAKOTA – Ban throughout pregnancy
Abortion is illegal in South Dakota under the state’s trigger law.
Penalties: The 2005 law makes inducing an abortion or prescribing or procuring abortion-causing substances for a pregnant woman a felony punishable by up to two years in prison and $4,000 in fines.
Exceptions: The only exception is when an abortion would be “necessary to preserve the life” of the mother based on “appropriate and reasonable medical judgment.”
Impact: The last abortion facility in South Dakota had already shut down in mid-June.
TENNESSEE – Ban at around six weeks, trigger ban soon
Abortion is now illegal at around six weeks of pregnancy in Tennessee, after a federal court let the state’s heartbeat ban take effect in late June.
The law prohibits abortion once a baby’s heartbeat can be detected and on the basis of race, sex, or a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Penalties: Performing an illegal abortion is a Class C felony carrying up to 15 years in prison under the law.
Exceptions: It permits exceptions for medical emergencies that would “necessitate” an abortion “to avert the death of the pregnant woman” or prevent “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions,” based on a physician’s “good faith medical judgment.”
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery had asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to lift an injunction on the heartbeat law.
Trigger law: A trigger ban enacted by the state in 2019 will make abortion illegal all throughout pregnancy 30 days after the Supreme Court issues its official judgment overturning Roe v. Wade. A judgment is a legal document distinct from the Court’s opinion, according to Attorney General Slatery’s office. It was released on July 26.
The trigger law criminalizes any abortion as a Class C felony except when “necessary” to avoid the mother’s death or “serious risk” of permanent injury to a “major bodily function.”
Impact: Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi has completely halted abortions in the state.
TEXAS – Ban throughout pregnancy
Pre-Roe ban: Texas still has pre-Roe abortion restrictions on the books, including a total ban from 1925 and a law that makes it a crime to “furnish the means for procuring an abortion.”
Enforceable: State District Judge Christine Weems temporarily blocked those laws at the request of several abortion clinics represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Reproductive Rights. But the Texas Supreme Court has since ordered that the 1925 ban can be civilly enforced as litigation continues. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had immediately appealed Weems’ ruling.
The Texas Supreme Court order doesn’t lift an injunction against district attorneys, however, preventing criminal enforcement of the law for now, though it does allow for abortion providers to face civil penalties, including fines and suspension of licenses, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The pre-Roe law penalizes anyone who causes an abortion with between two and five years in prison, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Heartbeat act: Texas has prohibited abortion at approximately six weeks of pregnancy since September 2021 through the Texas Heartbeat Act, which state and federal courts let stand for months even while Roe remained in place. The law escaped injunction in part due to a unique enforcement mechanism that relies on civil lawsuits brought by private citizens as opposed to prosecution by the government.
Trigger ban: A trigger law will take effect in Texas 30 days after the Supreme Court issues its judgment overturning Roe, according to an advisory published by Attorney General Paxton. Texas’ trigger law criminalizes abortion from the moment of fertilization, and anyone other than the mother who performs, attempts, or induces an abortion can face life imprisonment and up to $100,000 in fines.
Exceptions: The Texas heartbeat law allows exceptions when “necessary” due to a “medical emergency.” The trigger ban permits abortions when a woman has a “life-threatening physical condition” and her pregnancy puts her “at risk of death or poses a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function unless the abortion is performed or induced.”
Under the second law, a doctor must provide “the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive” unless doing so would put the woman at greater risk of death or serious injury.
Impact: Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas has ceased abortions in the Lone Star State. One of Texas’ top abortion groups has announced that it is shutting down all locations in the state and attempting to reopen in New Mexico.
UTAH – Ban throughout pregnancy (temporarily blocked)
Elective abortion became illegal in Utah following the reversal of Roe v. Wade, but a state judge quickly blocked enforcement of Utah’s trigger law.
The 2020 trigger ban went into effect on June 24 after the state legislature’s general counsel certified to the Legislative Management Committee that the Supreme Court had reversed Roe, Deseret News reported.
Three days later, Third District Court Judge Andrew Stone granted the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah a temporary restraining order blocking the law. He placed a longer preliminary injunction on the measure on July 11.
Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit will likely be appealed to the Utah Court of Appeals or the Utah Supreme Court.
Penalties: “Violating Utah’s trigger law is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. And any clinic or physician involved could lose their license,” KCPW reported.
Exceptions: The ban outlaws abortion at all stages of pregnancy with exemptions for cases of rape or incest reported to law enforcement, when necessary to save the mother’s life or to prevent “serious risk” of major, irreversible injury, or if two doctors who practice “maternal fetal medicine” conclude that the baby “has a defect that is uniformly diagnosable and uniformly lethal” or “a severe brain abnormality that is uniformly diagnosable.”
18-week ban: Another law banning abortion at 18 weeks took effect in late June after a federal judge dismissed an injunction placed on it in 2019, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
WEST VIRGINIA – Ban throughout pregnancy (temporarily blocked)
In West Virginia, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a June memorandum that a pre-Roe ban criminalizing abortion throughout pregnancy is enforceable due to the Dobbs ruling.
A state judge temporarily blocked the law on July 18, but Attorney General Morrisey has said he will appeal the order “as soon as legally possible.” The state’s highest court has a Republican majority.
Penalties: The pre-Roe law, West Virginia Code § 61-2-8, states that anyone who “administer to, or cause to be taken by, a woman, any drug or other thing, or use any means, with intent to destroy her unborn child, or to produce abortion or miscarriage, and shall thereby destroy such child, or produce such abortion or miscarriage” commits a felony punishable between three to 10 years in prison, according to Morrisey.
The law “covers persons who perform abortions and, at least arguably, women who seek them,” the attorney general noted.
Exceptions: It permits actions “done in good faith, with the intention of saving the life of such woman or child” and adds that “intent is an integral part of the crime of abortion.”
The West Virginia legislature failed to pass a new abortion ban during a legislative session that ended in early August.
WISCONSIN – Ban throughout pregnancy
A pre-Roe ban in Wisconsin that criminalizes killing an unborn baby from conception except when “necessary to save the life of the mother” has taken effect.
Democrats won’t enforce: Wisconsin Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul and some local Democratic officials have pledged that they will not enforce it. Kaul and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers have sued to block the law.
Impact: Abortion mills have still stopped killing pre-born babies in the state.
Life on the ballot: Republicans control the Wisconsin legislature. Evers, who has pledged to give illegal abortionists clemency, and Kaul are up for re-election in November.
WYOMING – Ban throughout pregnancy (temporarily blocked)
Penalties: Performing an abortion can result in felony charges and up to 14 years in prison.
Exceptions: For cases of sexual assault, incest, or when necessary to avert “serious risk of death” or permanent injury to the mother not due to “psychological or emotional conditions.”
“An abortion shall not be performed after the embryo or fetus has reached viability except when necessary to preserve the woman from an imminent peril that substantially endangers her life or health, according to appropriate medical judgment,” the bam states.
States where abortion will soon be banned
IDAHO – Trigger ban soon
An Idaho law banning abortion throughout pregnancy will take effect 30 days after the Supreme Court issues its judgment reversing Roe v. Wade.
Exceptions: The law allows exceptions for incest or rape reported to law enforcement and when “necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman,” though not to prevent potential self-harm.
When performing an abortion allegedly to save the life of a pregnant woman, a doctor must provide “the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive” unless doing so would put the woman at greater risk of death or serious injury.
Penalties: “Under the trigger law, the person performing the abortion could face a felony prosecution punishable by up to five years in prison,” the Associated Press reported. Health care professionals could have their licenses suspended for illegal abortions.
Texas-style ban: Idaho also has a Texas-style civil ban outlawing abortion at six weeks that is currently blocked in court but could come into effect following Dobbs.
The Idaho Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments about the state’s abortion bans in August.
INDIANA – Ban on abortion throughout pregnancy soon
On August 5, Indiana enacted a law banning abortion throughout pregnancy with some exceptions. The measure takes effect September 15.
Exceptions: For rape and incest up to 10 weeks with an affidavit, fatal fetal anomalies up to 20 weeks, and when a medical condition “necessitates an abortion to prevent death or a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” excluding mental conditions, or when “necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life.”
Penalties: Level 5 felony charges and between one to six years in prison, fines of up to $10,000, and loss of medical license.
Pro-life advocates have criticized the exceptions in the bill and initially condemned the measure entirely due to a lack of enforcement provisions. Following amendments in the state House, however, Indiana Right to Life expressed “renewed hope” that the bill will end more than 95 percent of abortions in the state.
“House amendments will make abortion clinics a thing of the past in Indiana, requiring that abortions for limited circumstances be done in hospitals, or hospital-owned surgical centers,” the group said. “The House also tightened language for the life of the mother exception, limited abortions to ten weeks in circumstances of rape or incest, and limited abortions for lethal fetal anomalies to 20 weeks.”
A ban on dismemberment abortion had taken effect in Indiana on July 8 after a federal judge lifted an injunction she had placed on the law in 2019.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita also announced in June that he asked federal courts to dissolve orders blocking a slate of abortion restrictions, including a law that prohibits abortions based on race, sex, or disability and a parental notification measure. The U.S. Supreme Court issued an order on July 18 allowing Indiana to enforce the parental notification law.
NORTH DAKOTA – Trigger ban (temporarily blocked)
Abortion will be illegal in North Dakota 30 days after the state attorney general certifies to the legislative council that the Supreme Court has “restored to the states the authority to prohibit abortion,” according to the office of Gov. Doug Burgum.
North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley moved to being enforcing the state’s 2007 trigger law on July 28, but a judge temporarily blocked him from doing so on procedural grounds. Judge Bruce Romanick ruled that Wrigley “prematurely attempted to execute the triggering language.”
Wrigley has since said that he issued a new certification and that the ban is now set to take effect on August 26.
Penalties: North Dakota’s trigger law makes abortion a Class C felony carrying up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Exceptions: For cases of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life.
States where heartbeat bans could take effect soon
IOWA – Ban at around six weeks likely
Iowa has enacted a fetal heartbeat law that could take effect following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling. Republican Gov. Kim Reynold has announced that she will ask Iowa courts to let the state enforce the law.
Republicans control the state government and may advance additional pro-life protections.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in June that the state constitution does not guarantee a “fundamental right” to have an abortion. The decision overturned a 2018 precedent and will likely give lawmakers greater ability to restrict the murderous practice, though the court has not yet said what the standard should be, the Des Moines Register reported.
A previously blocked 24-hour waiting period is in effect as of July 11.
Michigan has a pre-Roe ban that has not been repealed. The statute could apply to women who abort their own babies and its only exception is to save the mother’s life, according to Axios.
Blocked: Illegal abortions can result in penalties of up four years in prison under the 1931 ban, but a Michigan judge has temporarily blocked it, and radical lesbian Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has refused to enforce it.
Multiple local prosecutors, including Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker, have vowed to enforce the law despite the injunction.
A state court ruled on August 1 that local prosecutors could enforce the law, but an Oakland County judge blocked it again at the request of radically pro-abortion Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Gov pushes abortion ‘right’: Whitmer, who is up for re-election this year, has urged the state supreme court to declare abortion a “right” under the Michigan Constitution and has preemptively sued 13 county prosecutors who have abortion facilities in their jurisdictions in an attempt to get around the pre-Roe ban, CBS News reported.
Anti-life amendment: A campaign for a ballot initiative that would enshrine abortion in the Michigan Constitution has turned in nearly double the number of signatures needed to get the issue on the ballot in the fall.
“The signatures still must be verified by the Bureau of Elections and validated by the Board of State Canvassers before the proposed amendment can appear on the Nov. 8 ballot,” the Associated Press reported on July 11.
The amendment would allow abortion up to the moment of birth for a woman’s “mental health,” in addition to several other radical provisions, including making “infertility care,” such as in vitro fertilization, a “fundamental right.”
North Carolina has an enjoined pre-Roe ban that was modified in 1973 to protect unborn babies starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to the New York Times.
Dems won’t enforce: The governor and state attorney general of North Carolina are both pro-abortion Democrats and have not moved to implement it. Their terms end in January 2025.
GOP taking action: Republican Senate President Philip Berger has said Republicans “will take immediate action to ensure North Carolina’s late-term abortion ban is reinstated.”
Life on the ballot: Clinics have continued aborting babies in North Carolina after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling, and the state is poised to remain an abortion haven for the foreseeable future unless Republicans win veto-proof supermajorities in the state legislature this year. They need three House seats and two Senate seats, according to fivethirtyeight.com.
State supreme court elections in November will determine whether Democrats retain a 4-3 majority or Republicans win back control of the court.
Other states to watch
NEBRASKA: Republican leaders have signaled they will seek new pro-life protections in Nebraska, where Republicans control the state government but a proposed trigger law failed to clear the legislature this spring. In the meantime, abortion remains legal in the state up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.
VIRGINIA: Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin said he will work to tighten Virginia’s abortion limit from around 26 weeks to 15 weeks, by which time babies in the womb feel pain. Republicans control the Virginia House of Delegates, but Democrats narrowly control the state Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw has pledged that Democrats will kill pro-life bills. The next Virginia Senate elections are in 2023, and Republicans need two seats to retake the chamber.
KANSAS: Kansas in August voted down an amendment that would have changed the state constitution to declare that it includes no “right” to abortion and allow lawmakers to pass a total or near-total ban. The state supreme court found a “right” to abortion in the Kansas Constitution in 2019. Abortion is currently legal on demand up to 22 weeks in Kansas.
Republicans have a supermajority in the Kansas legislature, and pro-abortion Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelley faces a tough re-election bid in November. The state will remain an abortion haven until the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision is reversed.
MONTANA: In Montana, abortion remains protected by a 1999 decision of the Montana Supreme Court that Republican leaders are actively challenging, according to the Montana Free Press. “All eyes in Montana need to be on our own judicial branch of government,” Montana Senate President Mark Blasdel and House Majority Leader Sue Vinton said in a joint statement in June. Montana has a blocked 20-week abortion ban.
Conservatives could upend the Montana Supreme Court’s pro-abortion majority by flipping a seat on the court in November.
ALASKA: Republicans have also made renewed calls for restrictions in Alaska, which has had strong abortion protections for decades despite the state’s conservative leanings. In November, Alaska voters will decide whether to call a convention that could change the state constitution in favor of life.
Which states will protect abortion access?
More than a dozen other states have legal abortion protections in place and are unlikely to reverse them in the immediate future: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as Washington, D.C.
None of those states prohibits elective abortion before 24 weeks, and many of them have already announced extreme measures to expand abortion access, including for out-of-state women. Alaska, Colorado, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and D.C. have no gestational limits on abortion at all.
Three states – Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and New Mexico – do not explicitly protect abortion but are considered unlikely to advance restrictions for now due to pro-abortion state leaders.
State Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor, has sponsored a heartbeat bill in the state’s GOP-controlled legislature and said he would sign it as governor. Mastriano has also said he would back a total ban at conception and does not support any exceptions. Elective abortion is legal in Pennsylvania up to 24 weeks.
Mark Ronchetti, the Republican nominee for the New Mexico governor’s race this year, has said he would seek to end late-term and partial-birth abortion if elected, but added that he would need the support of the heavily Democratic New Mexico Legislature.
RealClearPolitics rates the Pennsylvania and New Mexico governor’s elections as toss-ups.
Pro-abortion Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is favored to win re-election in the Granite State in November. He reluctantly signed a 24-week ban passed by the Republican state legislature last year.