Society

Abortion Laws by State

Abortion laws vary from state to state across the US.

The Supreme Court of the United States legalized abortion in 1973. The Supreme Court came to this decision after hearing the case of Roe v. Wade. In fact, each state in the United States of America has at least one clinic for an abortion. However, each state has a jurisdiction to regulate abortion cases. The states are also capable of criminalizing the act in case the Supreme Court overturns its ruling on the Roe case. So far three states already have laws which would criminalize abortion. The states do have an uphill task to define clearly under which circumstances an expectant woman can have an abortion. In this article, we shall look at the significant provisions of different state laws for an abortion to take place. These rules are in effect despite the fact that the authorities rarely enforce them.

Abortion Laws in Different States

A total of 41 states require only a licensed physician to perform an abortion. In other 19 states, abortion can only be performed after a certain duration of the pregnancy in a hospital. Other 19 states require that a second physician should be involved after some period. In 43 states, it is completely illegal to have an abortion unless the life of the expectant lady is in danger and the only way to protect it is through abortion. 20 states in the USA have legislation that criminalizes “partial-birth” abortion. However, 3 of these legislations apply to abortions that have post-viability. 13 states have passed a legislation whereby the state funds any abortion that is medically necessary. However, 32 states refuse to fund any abortion unless there is an availability of federal funds. The two circumstances where the federal funds are used for abortion is when the pregnancy is as a result of rape, or the life of the expectant woman is in danger. In other states, the federal funds are limited to only when the life of the woman is in danger. Private insurance plans towards abortion are limited in 11 states. Such insurance cover is only available when the pregnant woman’s life is in danger. Most states, however, allow additional insurance coverage for abortion with some added costs on it. Individual health care facilities have been authorized by 45 states to refuse to involve themselves in abortion. On the other hand, 16 states limit this prohibition to only religious and private institutions.

Abortion Counseling

8 states have legislated that women are counseled before they undertake abortion. Issues such as the link between abortion and breast cancer, the pain that the fetus feels, and general health consequences are factored in in the counseling. Around 27 states require that a woman who has undergone counseling should be given at least 24 hours to make her decision. Laws in fourteen of the 27 states need the woman to make two visits to the hospital to get the procedure. At least 37 states require that parents of minors who want to get an abortion be involved in the decision making. 11 states need at least one of the parents should be notified about the procedure of the abortion.

Abortion Laws by State

RankStateMust Be Performed by a Licensed PhysicianMust Be Performed in a Hospital If AtProhibited AtProviders May Refuse to ParticipateWaiting Period (In Hours) After CounselingParental Involvement Required for Minors
1ALXViability20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)48Consent
2AKXIndividual & Private InstitutionNot in effect (permanently enjoined by court order)
3AZXViabilityViabilityIndividual & Institution24Consent
4ARX20 weeks (with exception in case of rape or incest)Individual & Institution48Consent
5CAViabilityIndividual & Religious InstitutionNot in effect (permanently enjoined by court order)
6CONotice
7CTViabilityViabilityIndividual
8DEXViability (with exception in case of fetal abnormality)Individual & InstitutionNotice (may be waived by specified health professionals in certain circumstances)
9DC
10FLXViability24 weeksIndividual & InstitutionNot in effect (temporarily enjoined by court order) Notice
11GAX20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Institution24Notice
12HIX (surgical abortions)ViabilityIndividual & Institution
13IDXViabilityViabilityIndividual & Institution24Consent
14ILX (surgical abortions)ViabilityIndividual & Private InstitutionNotice
15INX20 weeks20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Private Institution18Consent
16IAX20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Private InstitutionNot in effect (temporarily enjoined by court order) Notice
17KSX20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Institution24Consent
18KYX2nd trimester20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Institution24Consent
19LAX20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Institution24Consent
20MEXViabilityIndividual & Institution
21MDXViability (with exception in case of fetal abnormality)Individual & InstitutionNotice
22MAX (surgical abortions)24 weeksIndividual & InstitutionNot in effect (permanently enjoined by court order) Consent
23MIXViability (with exception in case of life endangerment only) Individual & Institution24Consent
24MNXViabilityIndividual & Private Institution24Notice (to both parents)
25MSX (OB/GYNs only)20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Institution24Consent (from both parents)
26MOXViabilityViabilityIndividual & Institution72Consent
27MTViability (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Private InstitutionNot in effect (permanently enjoined by court order) Not in effect (permanently enjoined by court order)
28NEX20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Institution24Consent
29NVX24 weeks24 weeksIndividual & Private InstitutionNot in effect (permanently enjoined by court order)
30NHNotice
31NJX (surgical abortions)14 weeksIndividual & Private InstitutionNot in effect (permanently enjoined by court order)
32NMX (surgical abortions)Individual & InstitutionNot in effect (permanently enjoined by court order)
33NYX (surgical abortions)24 weeks (with exception in case of life endangerment only) Individual
34NCX20 weeks20 weeksIndividual & Institution72Consent
35NDX20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Institution24Consent (from both parents)
36OHX20 weeks20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Institution24Consent
37OKX2nd trimester20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Private Institution72Consent and Notice
38ORIndividual & Private Institution
39PAXViability24 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Private Institution24Consent
40RI24 weeks (with exception in case of life endangerment only) IndividualConsent
41SCX3rd trimester20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Private Institution24Consent
42SDX24 weeks20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Institution72 (excluding weekends and annual holidays)Notice
43TNXViability Viability (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Institution48Consent
44TXX20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Private Institution24Consent and Notice
45UTXViability (with exception in case of rape or incest or in case of fetal abnormality)Individual & Private Institution72 (waived in cases of rape, incest, and fetal defect, or if the patient is younger than 15)Consent and Notice
46VT
47VAX2nd trimester3rd trimesterIndividual & Institution24Consent and Notice
48WAX (surgical abortions)ViabilityIndividual & Institution
49WV20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)24Notice (may be waived by specified health professionals in certain circumstances)
50WIXViability20 weeks (with exception in case of threat to the woman's physical health)Individual & Institution24Consent (may be waived by specified health professionals in certain circumstances)
51WYXViabilityIndividual & Private InstitutionConsent and Notice

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