Americans’ federal right to an abortion disappeared in June after the Supreme Court ruled against a Mississippi abortion clinic in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion across the United States. That decision threw the question of abortion access to state legislatures.
So, this summer, states have started gearing up to make their own decisions about whether abortion will be legal—and to what extent it will be legal—within their borders. Some have passed tighter restrictions or allowed preexisting laws to go into effect, while others have worked to ensure that abortion remains legal and accessible.
After Roe was overturned, at least 13 states had pre-existing “trigger laws” in place that either immediately or very quickly made abortion illegal. A “trigger law” is a nickname for a law that is “triggered” or takes effect only when other legal barriers with more precedence over the state law finally change.
As of August 10, ten states have laws banning abortion while another four states ban the practice after just six weeks, per The New York Times.
And as of today, 21 states (and D.C.) have laws that protect the right to abortion or have expanded their access to abortion for citizens, according to data from the Center for Reproductive Rights. It’s important to note that these numbers are constantly changing.
These are the states that currently ban abortion, according to data from The New York Times’ tracker: South Dakota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama.
These are the states that currently ban abortion after six weeks: Idaho, Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia.
These are the states that have laws to protect the right to abortion or have expanded access to abortion: Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, Delaware, New Hampshire, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.
But the fate of abortion access in other areas of the country is still up in the air, with at least 18 states identified as “hostile” abortion states, meaning they have “expressed a desire to prohibit abortion entirely,” and do not have legal protections for abortion, per the Center for Reproductive Rights. This includes states like Wyoming, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, and more.
Here’s the latest on where things stand:
Idaho’s near-total ban is set to begin on Aug. 25.
The Idaho Supreme Court ruled that the state’s near-total ban on abortion could begin on August 25 as part of a decision that consolidated separate legal cases pertaining to three abortion trigger laws, according to The Washington Post and CBS News. Doctors can defend themselves through a trial if they claim the abortion was done to save the pregnant person’s life, per CBS.
There are still exceptions for rape, incest or if the pregnant person’s life is at risk. But the U.S. Department of Justice is suing Idaho, hoping to block the ban from taking effect, saying that the ruling doesn’t follow federal guidelines requiring proper care for a pregnant person whose health is at risk, per The New York Times.
At the same time, Idaho’s Supreme Court also lifted a stay (or a legal hold) on another law that will now give a fetus’ relatives the power to sue providers who perform abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Under this law, a rapist wouldn’t be able to sue a provider for performing an abortion, but a rapist’s family member would be able to, per CBS.
Indiana now has a near-total ban on abortion.
Indiana passed a near-total ban on abortion on August 5, making it the first state to create and approve new limits on the procedure after Roe v. Wade was overturned, per The New York Times.
The law offers limited exemptions to this rule, including when the mother’s life is at risk, the fetus has a lethal condition, or the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.
Under the new legislation, abortion clinics in the state no longer have licenses. And any physician who performs unauthorized abortions within state borders will have their medical license revoked, the law says.
The ACLU of Indiana called the law “cruel and unconscionable” on Twitter.
Kansas voted down a restrictive abortion amendment.
While Kansas is considered a conservative state, voters recently struck down a proposed amendment that would have outlawed abortion in the state. Kansas was the first state to hold a vote after Roe v. Wade was overturned in June.
According to data obtained by The New York Times, a majority of Kansas voters, or 59 percent, said that abortion protections in the state should not be removed.
“This vote makes clear what we know: the majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and should have the right to make their own health care decisions,” President Joe Biden said in a statement after the votes were tallied. “The American people must continue to use their voices to protect the right to women’s health care, including abortion.”
Which other states are are making decisions?
In the next few months, it’s likely the country will see more statewide decisions coming down, and more lawsuits filed to protect or curtail abortion protections.
- Currently, Arizona is trying to lift a court injunction blocking a 1901 abortion ban from taking effect, per CNN.
- In Florida, abortion providers are trying to reenact a block on a 15-week ban that took effect after Roe fell.
- A lawsuit in Georgia seeks to challenge a new six-week abortion ban in the state, too, the outlet reported.
And more states are likely to make decisions in the coming months. Stay tuned for more updates.
Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more. She has a master’s degree from American University, lives by the beach, and hopes to own a teacup pig and taco truck one day.