Political control: Both GOP Gov. Mike Parson and the Republican-led Legislature support laws against abortion.
Background: Missouri law previously allowed abortions up until 22 weeks of pregnancy. But a 2019 state law banned abortions “except in cases of medical emergency,” contingent upon the U.S. Supreme Court overturning its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Under that Missouri law, performing an illegal abortion is a felony punishable by 5 to 15 years in prison, though women receiving abortions cannot be prosecuted.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: The 2019 law contained a provision making it effective upon notification by the attorney general, governor or Legislature that the U.S. Supreme Court had overruled Roe v. Wade. Moments after Friday’s Supreme Court decision, Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Gov. Mike Parson filed the necessary paperwork for Missouri’s law to kick in. State statutes were subsequently updated online Friday saying the abortion-ban law had taken effect.
What’s next: Some Missouri residents wanting abortions are likely to travel to neighboring states, including Illinois and Kansas. A new Illinois logistics center near St. Louis helps women from out of state find travel, lodging and childcare if they need help getting to the area for an abortion, and it connects them with funding sources. The Kansas Supreme Court in 2019 declared that access to abortion is a “fundamental” right under the state constitution. Even without the ban in Missouri, the number of Missouri patients seeking abortions in Kansas has gone up in recent years, increasing about 8% from 2020 to 2021.
Political control: The Republicans who control the Montana Legislature and Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte want to limit access to abortion.
Background: Abortion used to be legal in Montana up until viability, or about 24 weeks of pregnancy, but the state Legislature passed a bill in 2021 to reduce that to 20 weeks, arguing that is when the fetus can feel pain. That law, along with one that requires chemical abortions to be done with in-person medical supervision, are being challenged in court. A state judge temporarily blocked enforcement in October 2021 while the challenges move through the courts. The state has asked the Montana Supreme Court to vacate that injunction and overturn a 1999 Montana Supreme Court opinion that found the state’s constitutional right to privacy guarantees a woman’s access to abortion care.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: The effect is unclear because of the unresolved legal challenges to the 2021 state legislation. Montana does not have an abortion ban that was triggered when Roe v. Wade was overturned, but the Legislature could seek to further restrict access in the next session.
What’s next: The Montana Supreme Court will issue a decision on the preliminary injunction. The Montana Legislature also passed a referendum to ask voters this November whether they support a state law to require abortion providers to give lifesaving treatment to a fetus that is born alive after a botched abortion. Opponents argue federal law already offers those protections.
Political control: Nebraska has an officially nonpartisan legislature with a Republican majority, but not a super-majority that would let the party unilaterally pass an abortion ban. Democrats appear to have enough votes to block such a bill, but just one defector could swing the vote. Nebraska’s Republican governor vehemently opposes abortion.
Background: Nebraska allows most abortions until the 22nd week of pregnancy, although a few small towns have voted to outlaw the procedure within their borders. The state requires doctors to be physically present when patients take the first of two drugs that are used in medication abortions. Lawmakers have rejected attempts to allow abortion medications to be administered remotely, which would provide easier abortion access in rural areas.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: A ruling that lets states set their own abortion laws will trigger an immediate push by Nebraska conservatives to ban the procedure, but it’s not clear whether they could do it this year. Unlike other conservative states, Nebraska doesn’t have a trigger law that automatically outlaws abortion. Gov. Pete Ricketts and other top Republicans have said they’ll seek a special legislative session, but it’s not clear whether they have enough votes to pass anything.
What’s next: If Ricketts calls a special session, attention will likely shift to state Sen. Justin Wayne, an Omaha Democrat who has declined to specify where he stands on abortion. Wayne was notably absent from a vote on the issue this year; his support would give Republicans the super-majority they need to enact a ban. He has struck deals with senators from both parties in the past. If a proposed abortion ban fails during a special session or if no special session is called, the issue will likely become a factor in the November election.
Political control: Nevada’s governor and state attorney general are Democrats who are up for reelection this year. Democrats control the state Senate and Assembly.
Background: Nevada voters enshrined the right to abortion in the state constitution in 1990. The law says a pregnancy can be terminated during the first 24 weeks, and after that to preserve the life or health of the pregnant person. It would take another statewide vote to change or repeal the law. Most Republican candidates for Congress, governor, state attorney general and other statewide posts say they oppose abortions.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: “Here in Nevada, overturning Roe would not be felt immediately,” state Attorney General Aaron Ford said in a position paper released after the draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion became public. Ford noted that a federal ban on abortion would supersede state law and said it would be naive not to recognize that some people want to ban abortions or make them more difficult to obtain. But he said his office will fight “attacks on abortion rights, rights to birth control access and rights for LGTBQ people.” Gov. Steve Sisolak on June 28 signed an executive order protecting abortion patients and providers from prosecution by other states. State agencies are barred from assisting other states in investigations of people who come to Nevada from other states for abortions. The order also protects providers from discipline and having their license revoked.
What’s next: Anti-abortion advocates are not expected to focus on trying to repeal Nevada’s abortion law. But they will seek laws affecting waiting periods, mandatory counseling or requiring parental notification or consent. Melissa Clement, executive director of Nevada Right to Life, said she believes there is strong support for parental involvement.
Political control: New Hampshire has a Republican governor and the GOP controls the 424-member Legislature. All face reelection this fall.
Background: Any abortion restrictions New Hampshire had on the books before Roe v. Wade were not enforced after the landmark 1973 ruling, and they were repealed altogether in 1997. The state had no restrictions until January, when a ban on abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy was enacted. In June, an exemption was added for cases in which the fetus has been diagnosed with “abnormalities incompatible with life.” Anticipating the Supreme Court action, Democrats this year tried unsuccessfully to enshrine abortion rights into state law and the state constitution. Gov. Chris Sununu calls himself pro-choice and says he is committed to upholding Roe v. Wade, but he also has boasted “I’ve done more on the pro-life issue than anyone.”
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: Nothing will change immediately in New Hampshire. The Legislature won’t return until fall, when there will be a one-day session to take up vetoed bills, and it would take a two-thirds majority vote to introduce new legislation then.
What’s next: The majority leader of the New Hampshire House has said the public should not expect Republicans in the Legislature to further tighten state abortion laws. But anti-abortion lawmakers who have filed bills in the past are expected to try again. Democrats are urging Sununu to call a special session of the Legislature to codify abortion rights into state law, but both he and Republican legislative leaders say there is no need.
Political control: Democrats control both houses of the state Legislature and the governorship. Gov. Phil Murphy started his second consecutive term this year.
Background: Murphy ran for reelection on the promise that he would sign legislation to enshrine abortion rights into state law, and he fulfilled that promise in January. The measure also guaranteed the right to contraception and the right to carry a pregnancy to term. It stopped short of requiring insurance coverage for abortions, something advocates had sought. Instead, it authorizes the state Banking and Insurance Department to study the issue and possibly adopt regulations if a need is discovered. Under Murphy’s predecessor, Republican Chris Christie, state funds to women’s clinics, including Planned Parenthood, were slashed. Murphy restored those and has been a strong supporter of abortion rights. New Jersey doesn’t have any significant restrictions on abortion, such as parental consent or a mandatory waiting period.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: Officials, including the governor, have said the end of Roe would not lead to any rollback of abortion services in the state. “Instead of hoping for the best, we prepared ourselves for the worst,” Murphy said in May, addressing reports of a leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling.
What’s next: Murphy has proposed several abortion-related measures. On the Monday after the ruling, the Legislature began considering a pair of bills to expand abortion rights. One would allow the state to block extradition of someone facing a criminal charge in another state related to reproductive services obtained legally in New Jersey. Another clarifies that out-of-state residents may access abortion services in New Jersey, as well as allowing those facing liability judgments stemming from abortion services to countersue.
Political control: The Democrats who control the New Mexico Legislature support access to abortion, as does the state’s Democratic governor. Several conservative Democratic state senators who voted against the repeal of the abortion ban in 2019 were ousted from office in 2020 by more socially progressive primary challengers.
Background: In 2021, state lawmakers repealed a dormant 1969 statute that outlawed most abortion procedures as felonies, thus ensuring access to abortion even after the federal court rolled back guarantees. Albuquerque is home to one of only a few independent clinics in the country that perform abortions in the third trimester without conditions. An abortion clinic in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, is just a mile from the state line with Texas and caters to patients from El Paso, western Texas and Arizona.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: There will be no immediate change in New Mexico now that the high court has overturned Roe v. Wade. It is unclear if Democrats, who control the state Legislature, will pursue additional guarantees to abortion access when lawmakers convene in January. Possible avenues of legislative reform include enshrining abortion rights in the state constitution, which requires approval by voters. Abortion rights activists say the state’s equal rights amendment could be harnessed to guide more public funding for abortion-related programs. Raúl Torrez, the district attorney in Albuquerque and the Democratic nominee for attorney general, is urging lawmakers to take further steps to protect access to abortions, including protections for women coming from other states. The state Republican Party said it’s time to elect more anti-abortion candidates to the Legislature.
What’s next: The state can expect to continue to see a steady influx of people seeking abortions from neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws. It already hosts patients from Texas and Oklahoma where among the strictest abortion bans in the country were introduced this year.
Political control: The Democrats who control the New York Legislature support access to abortion, as does the state’s Democratic governor.
Background: Abortion has been legal in New York state since a 1970 law was passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller. The law allows abortions within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy or to preserve the mother’s life. The 2019 Reproductive Health Act removed abortion from the state’s criminal code, codified Roe v. Wade and allowed abortions after 24 weeks if a fetus isn’t viable or to protect the mother’s life or health. Lawmakers have passed laws extending legal protections for people seeking and providing abortions in New York.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: Roe v. Wade protections are enshrined in state law. New York is planning to give abortion providers $35 million this year to expand services and boost security in anticipation of an influx of out-of-state people seeking abortions once any ruling comes down. It’s unclear how many more people from neighboring states could travel to New York to receive abortion care. New York had 252 facilities providing abortions as of 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.
What’s next: Planned Parenthood and civil liberty groups are urging lawmakers to start the process of passing a constitutional amendment protecting access to abortion care in case a future Legislature repeals the state law.
Political control: Republicans hold majorities in the state House and Senate, but the party lacks the margins to defeat a veto by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, a strong abortion-rights supporter. Since 2017, Cooper has vetoed a “born-alive” abortion measure and a bill prohibiting abortion based on race or a Down syndrome diagnosis. He can’t seek reelection in 2024 due to term limits.
Background: A 1973 North Carolina law that banned most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy is currently unenforceable after federal judges struck it down as unconstitutional in 2019 and 2021. Instead, abortions can be performed until fetal viability. A state law approved in 2015 provides for post-viability abortions only in a “medical emergency,” which means the woman would die or face a “serious risk” of substantial and irreversible physical impairment without the procedure.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, the 20-week ban could be restored. Legal experts say formal action would have to be taken to cancel the earlier court rulings striking it down. Republican legislative leaders late Friday asked state Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat and abortion rights supporter whose agency’s lawyers defended the 20-week law, to act. Otherwise, they said they would seek to intervene.
What’s next: Republican General Assembly leaders don’t plan to consider additional abortion restrictions during the soon-to-end legislative session, meaning a likely intensification of electoral efforts to gain the five additional seats the GOP needs to reach veto-proof margins come 2023. Cooper and other Democrats already are making abortion rights a key campaign pitch. Abortion politics are also expected to figure in two state Supreme Court seat elections in November. Republicans would gain a majority on the court if they win at least one of them.
Political control: North Dakota has a legislature dominated by Republicans who want to ban abortion, and the GOP governor had hoped to see Roe v. Wade wiped off the books in favor of state’s rights.
Background: The state has passed some of the nation’s strictest abortion laws, including one that would have banned abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can happen before a woman knows she is pregnant. The law never took effect because the state’s lone abortion clinic successfully challenged it in court. One failed Republican proposal would have charged abortion providers with murder with a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: North Dakota has a trigger law that will shut down the state’s sole abortion clinic in Fargo after 30 days. That 2007 state law makes it a felony to perform an abortion unless necessary to prevent the pregnant woman’s death or in cases of rape or incest. Violators could be punished with a five-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.
What’s next: The owner and operator of the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo said she would explore all legal options to ensure abortion services are available in North Dakota. Should that fail, clinic leader Tammi Kromenaker plans to move across the river to Moorhead, Minnesota, where abortion has not been outlawed. Planned Parenthood says it can provide abortions in Moorhead until Kromenaker gets up and running.
Political control: The Ohio Legislature is controlled by Republicans who support restricting or banning abortions, and the Republican governor backs those efforts. He is up for reelection this year against a former mayor who supports abortion rights.
Background: Before Friday’s ruling, Ohio did not ban most abortions until the 22nd week of pregnancy; after that they’re allowed only to save a patient’s life or when their health is seriously compromised. But the state imposes a host of other restrictions, including parental consent for minors, a required ultrasound, and in-person counseling followed by a 24-hour waiting period. Abortions are prohibited for the reason of a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis. Ohio also limits the public funding of abortions to cases of rape, incest or endangerment of the patient’s life. It limits public employees’ abortion-related insurance coverage and coverage through health plans offered in the Affordable Care Act health exchange to those same scenarios. Clinics providing abortions must comply with a host of regulations.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: A ban on most abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat became the law in Ohio hours after the ruling. Enforcement of Ohio’s 2019 “heartbeat” ban had been on hold for nearly three years under a federal court injunction. The state attorney general, Republican Dave Yost, asked for that to be dissolved because of the high court’s ruling, and U.S. Judge Michael Barrett agreed hours later.
Two trigger bills are on hold in the Legislature, but a key legislative leader has said he anticipates needing to write new legislation after the decision is reversed that more carefully reflects the actual ruling. That all but certainly would not happen until lawmakers return to the capital after the November election.
What’s next: Activists are considering how to help Ohioans get abortions elsewhere. They may also mount a statewide ballot initiative that would embed the right to an abortion in the state constitution, though that could not happen before next year. Abortion opponents are weighing strategies for imposing a statewide abortion ban.
Political control: Republicans in Oklahoma have a supermajority in both chambers of the Legislature and a Republican governor up for reelection this year who has vowed to sign “every pro-life legislation that came across my desk.”
Background: Abortion services were halted in Oklahoma in May after Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill that prohibits all abortions with few exceptions. The ban is enforced by civil lawsuits rather than criminal prosecution. Republican lawmakers have been pushing to restrict abortion in the state for decades, passing 81 different restrictions since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: It will have little practical effect given that abortions are no longer being provided in Oklahoma. Oklahoma also has a “trigger law” that outlawed abortion as soon as Roe was overturned.
What’s next: Given the fierce opposition to abortion from the governor and Legislature, Oklahoma will continue to prohibit the practice if states are given the option to do so. Meanwhile, abortion providers who had been operating in the state are taking steps to help patients seek abortions out of state, including coordinating funding for these women and developing a referral network of therapists to help address complications before or after a woman receives an abortion.
Political control: The Democrats who control the Oregon Legislature support access to abortion, as does the state’s Democratic governor.
Background: The Oregon Legislature passed a bill legalizing abortion in 1969. In 2017, Gov. Kate Brown signed into law a bill expanding health care coverage for reproductive services, including abortions, to thousands of Oregonians, regardless of income, citizenship status or gender identity. Oregon does not have any major abortion restrictions and it is legal at all stages of pregnancy.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: The Guttmacher Institute has estimated that Oregon will experience a 234% increase in women seeking abortions arriving from out of state, especially from Idaho. In March, Oregon lawmakers approved $15 million to expand abortion availability and pay for abortions and support services such as travel and lodgings for residents and out-of-state patients.
What’s next: Brown said after the draft Supreme Court decision was leaked that access to abortion is a fundamental right and that she will fight to ensure access to abortion continues to be protected by state law in Oregon. Democratic state lawmakers recently formed the Reproductive Health and Access to Care Work Group of providers, clinics, community organizations and legislators that will make recommendations for the 2023 legislative session and beyond. Recommendations may include proposals to protect, strengthen, and expand equitable access to all forms of reproductive care.
Political control: Republicans who control the Pennsylvania Legislature are hostile to abortion rights, but the state’s Democratic governor is a strong supporter and has vetoed three GOP-penned bills in five years that would have added restrictions beyond the state’s 24-week limit. The race for governor this year could tilt that balance.
Background: Abortion is legal in Pennsylvania under decades of state law, including a 1989 law that was challenged all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. That produced the landmark Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling that affirmed the high court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, but also allowed states to put certain limits on abortion access.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: Gov. Tom Wolf has vowed to protect access to abortion for the remainder of his time in office, through January. Running to replace him is the state’s Democratic attorney general, Josh Shapiro, who supports abortion rights, and Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who has said he supports banning abortion altogether, with no exceptions. The Legislature is expected to remain in Republican hands next year. Abortion clinics in some parts of the state already are experiencing fallout from the ruling. Less than a week after it came out, a clinic in Pittsburgh was flooded with patients who suddenly lost appointments in Ohio, the clinic director said. Clinic representatives are warning that Pennsylvanians will have a harder time finding appointments because of rising demand from out-of-state residents.
What’s next: Legislation to outlaw abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat — which can happen at six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant — has passed a House committee and is awaiting a floor vote. The state Supreme Court is considering a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers aiming to overturn a 1982 law that bans the use of state dollars for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. In response, Republican lawmakers are advancing a proposed amendment that would declare there is no constitutional right to an abortion in Pennsylvania or to public funding for an abortion.
Political control: The Democrats who control Rhode Island’s General Assembly support access to abortion, as does the Democratic governor.
Background: Rhode Island’s governor signed legislation in 2019 to enshrine abortion protections in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. The law says the state will not restrict the right to an abortion prior to fetal viability or after if necessary to protect the health or life of the pregnant woman. It repealed older laws deemed unconstitutional by the courts. The Rhode Island Supreme Court upheld the 2019 law in May, just two days after the Supreme Court draft opinion was leaked suggesting that a majority of the justices were prepared to overturn Roe. Abortion opponents had argued the law violates the state constitution. In 2020, there were 2,611 abortions in Rhode Island, according to the state health department.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: Rhode Island’s attorney general believes the 2019 Reproductive Privacy Act will continue to protect access to abortion. Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island also said abortion will remain legal regardless of the decision because the right was codified in state law.
What’s next: On the Monday after the Supreme Court decision, Rhode Island’s Democratic governor said he will sign an executive order to shield abortion providers in the state from lawsuits by anti-abortion activists in other states. McKee’s office didn’t have a date for the signing, but said the governor wants to act as soon as possible. Two of his opponents in September’s Democratic primary for governor, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea and Matt Brown, had urged McKee to sign such an order. They also want state lawmakers to return for a special session to add abortion coverage to Rhode Island’s Medicaid program and to the insurance coverage for state employees. Legislative leaders said they plan to address abortion coverage next year because it has financial implications and wasn’t included in this year’s budget.
Political control: South Carolina has a Republican governor, and its General Assembly is dominated by the GOP. However, the party doesn’t quite have the two-thirds majority in either chamber needed to overcome procedural hurdles or a veto if a Democrat wins the 2022 gubernatorial election.
Background: In 2021, South Carolina passed the “Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act” that requires doctors to use an ultrasound to try to detect a fetal heartbeat if they think a pregnant woman is at least eight weeks along. If they find a heartbeat, they can only perform an abortion if the woman’s life is in danger, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. The law is currently tied up in a federal lawsuit.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a federal judge allowed the state to begin enforcing the 2021 law. Planned Parenthood and others dropped their lawsuit, but the organization said it would continue to perform abortions in South Carolina under the parameters of the new law.
What’s next: The South Carolina General Assembly’s regular session ended in May, but Republican leaders had agreed they could return for a special session to take up more restrictive abortion bills if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. They have yet to announce a special session, despite Friday’s ruling. Some Republican lawmakers have opposed a complete abortion ban, especially without exceptions for victims of rape and incest.
Political control: Republicans hold super-majorities in both Statehouse chambers. Republican Gov. Kristi Noem is up for reelection this year and has been an ardent opponent of abortion rights.
Background: South Dakota law bans abortions except if the life of the woman is at risk. The state had only one clinic that regularly provided abortions, a Planned Parenthood facility in Sioux Falls. The Legislature has worked over the years to make it more difficult for women to get abortions, passing mandatory waiting periods and requiring them to review and sign paperwork that discourages them from ending their pregnancies.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: South Dakota’s trigger law immediately banned abortions except if the life of the pregnant woman is at risk.
What’s next: Noem has called for a special session to craft laws under the new legal landscape now that Roe v. Wade is overturned. She hasn’t commented on specific legislation, but lawmakers have floated proposals that would make it more difficult for women to seek an abortion out of state. However, South Dakota voters rejected outright bans in 2006 and 2008, and abortion rights advocates are preparing for a similar referendum on abortion access. The ban on abortions could eventually be challenged through a citizen-initiated ballot measure.