Last June of 2022, The Supreme Court overturned its decision in 1973 Roe v. Wade that established the right to an abortion. This ruling marks a shift in abortion law and will make new rules limiting or completely banning access to abortion in almost half of the states. 

It has upended 50 years of precedent and given state lawmakers across the country the power to restrict or ban abortion. According to CBS News, Thirteen states have so-called “trigger laws” on the books, in which abortion will swiftly be outlawed in most cases. In the June 24 ruling, the court upheld a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Why is banning abortion a huge concern?

In a general sense, banning abortion laws would strip away women’s rights to safe abortion. It also takes away women’s rights to choose, whether to bear a child or not. The court’s liberal bloc, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, have expressed their dissent over the ruling. “With sorrow — for this court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection — we dissent.”

They have expressed that the Constitution now no longer guarantees that a woman with an unplanned pregnancy can make her own decision about whether to bear a child. Moreover, the Constitution also no longer protect women’s reproductive freedom and their ability to participate equally in economic and social life.

Thousands of citizens, especially women, have also expressed dissent. They protested for days both in the streets and on social media.

Celebrities protesting against the ban on abortion

  • Citizens who opposed this ruling also include celebrities. Amy Schumer, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, was on the Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. Schumer posted on Instagram about their protest and said: “I don’t have a uterus and she is pregnant but we out here @womensmarch @plannedparenthood #rallyforabortionjustice 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼”

  • Michelle Obama turned to Twitter to express her disappointment. This tweet was supported by Taylor Swift who said: “I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are – that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that.”

  • Harry Styles also expressed his thoughts on Twitter: “I’m absolutely devastated for the people of America today. Check on your friends. Look after each other. We’re all in this together, and the fight is just beginning. A truly dark day for America.”
  • Even Halsey, and many more celebrities.

Despite these thousands of protests, the ban has been pushed through. Now we are left with the question: how did every state respond to the ruling?

The status of abortion laws for each state

Photo courtesy of GeekWire

An article from The New York Times stated that most abortions are now banned in 12 states. In addition, two states now ban abortion at about six weeks of pregnancy, which is before many women would know they are pregnant

Until now, there are still states that continue to fight over access to abortion in courtrooms. Advocates have sued to block the enforcement of laws that would ban abortion.

The New York Times tracked down the current status of abortion laws in each state. About half of the states are expected to enact bans on abortion or other gestational limits on the procedure. In this table is in-depth information on the abortion laws for every state.

States where abortion is banned

Photo courtesy of The New York Times
STATE STATUS OF ABORTION MORE DETAILS
Alabama BANNED
  • Abortion is banned with no exceptions for rape or incest.
Arkansas BANNED

Idaho BANNED
  • Nearly all abortions are banned. However, a federal judge has blocked a piece of the law, ruling that doctors could not be punished for performing an abortion to protect a patient’s health. Futhermore, abortion advocates and the Department of Justice have sued to challenge the bans.
Kentucky BANNED
  • Abortion is banned with no exceptions for rape or incest.
Louisiana BANNED
Mississippi BANNED
Missouri BANNED
Oklahoma BANNED
South Dakota BANNED
Tennessee BANNED
Texas BANNED
Wisconsin BANNED
  • The state has a law from before Roe that bans abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest, and makes performing the procedure a felony. The Democratic governor and attorney general have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the ban.

 

States where abortion has a Gestational limit

STATE STATUS OF ABORTION MORE DETAILS
Ohio Gestational limit

Legal Until: 6 weeks

  • Abortion is banned after six weeks of pregnancy, after a judge allowed a 2019 law to go into effect.
Georgia Gestational limit

Legal Until: 6 weeks

  • Abortion is banned after six weeks of pregnancy after a court allowed a 2019 law to go into effect. Abortion rights groups have sued to block the ban.
Florida Gestational limit

Legal Until: 15 weeks

  • Abortion is banned after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion providers and advocates have sued to block the ban. The state’s Supreme Court recognized the right to an abortion in its Constitution three decades ago, but the court has become more conservative, with three of the seven judges appointed by the Republican governor.
Utah Gestational limit

Legal Until: 18 weeks

  • A judge temporarily blocked the state’s trigger ban on most abortions. A ban on abortion after 18 weeks of pregnancy is in effect.
North Carolina Gestational limit

Legal Until: 20 weeks

  • Abortion is banned at 20 weeks of pregnancy, after a federal judge allowed an older law to go into effect. The governor has issued an executive order to shield those seeking or providing abortions in North Carolina from laws in other states.

 

State where abortion ban is coming

STATE STATUS OF ABORTION MORE DETAILS
Indiana Ban coming

Legal Until: 22 weeks

  • Indiana lawmakers passed a near-total ban on abortion with exceptions for some cases of rape, incest, or fatal fetal abnormality, or to preserve the life or health of the woman. The law will go into effect on Sept. 15.

 

States where banning is blocked

Photo courtesy of The New York Times
STATE STATUS OF ABORTION MORE DETAILS
Arizona Ban blocked

Legal Until: Viability

  • A ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy will take effect in September.
Iowa Ban blocked

Legal Until: 22 weeks

  • A ban on abortion after six weeks has been blocked by a judge since 2019, but the governor is seeking its enforcement.
North Dakota Ban blocked

Legal Until: 22 weeks

  • A ban on abortion after six weeks has been blocked by a judge since 2019, but the governor is seeking its enforcement.
Michigan Ban blocked

Legal Until: Viability

  • The Democratic governor and attorney general have said they will not enforce the ban. Moreover, the governor issued an executive order to shield those seeking or providing abortions in Michigan from laws in other states.
Montana Ban blocked

Legal Until: Viability

  • The Legislature passed three anti-abortion laws in 2021, including a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, all of which have been blocked by a court since last year. The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that its Constitution protects the right to an abortion.
South Carolina Ban blocked

Legal Until: 22 weeks

  • The South Carolina Supreme Court temporarily blocked a ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy on Aug. 17; a lower court judge had allowed the ban to take effect in June.
West Virginia Ban blocked

Legal Until: 22 weeks

  • A judge temporarily blocked a state law from before Roe that banned abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest, and criminalized providers.
Wyoming Ban blocked

Legal Until: Viability

  • A judge temporarily blocked a ban on nearly all abortions on July 27, the same day the ban was set to take effect.

 

States where abortion is legal but limited

STATE STATUS OF ABORTION MORE DETAILS
Colorado Legal but limited

Legal Until: No gestational limit

  • In July, the governor issued an executive order to shield those seeking or providing abortions in Colorado from laws in other states.
Delaware Legal but limited

Legal Until: Viability

  • State law protects abortion and a new law expands access to providers. However, state funds cannot cover the cost.
Kansas Legal but limited

Legal Until: 22 weeks

  • State law protects abortion and a new law expands access to providers. However, state funds cannot cover the cost.
Nebraska Legal but limited

Legal Until: 22 weeks

  • A bill to enact a trigger ban failed in the Legislature earlier this year.
Nevada Legal but limited

Legal Until: 24 weeks

  • State law protects abortion but state funds cannot be used to cover the cost of most abortions.
New Hampshire Legal but limited

Legal Until: 24 weeks

  • Abortion will most likely stay accessible. However, it will not be protected nor funded by the state.
Rhode Island Legal but limited

Legal Until: Viability

  • Those seeking or providing abortions in Rhode Island are shielded from laws in other states.
Pennsylvania Legal but limited

Legal Until: 24 weeks

  • Anyone seeking or providing abortions in Pennsylvania is shielded from laws in other states.
Virginia Legal but limited

Legal Until: Viability

  • Abortion will most likely stay accessible. However, it will not be protected nor funded by the state.
Washington, D.C. Legal but limited

Legal Until: No gestational limit

  • Local law protects abortion throughout pregnancy. However, Congress prohibits the use of taxpayer funds to cover the cost.

 

States where abortion is legal

STATE STATUS OF ABORTION MORE DETAILS
Alaska LEGAL
  • Recognized a right to “reproductive choice” under its Constitution.
California LEGAL
  • California state law protects abortion, and the governor signed a bill to shield abortion providers from out-of-state bans.
Connecticut LEGAL
  • Connecticut state law protects abortion. A law expanding which clinicians can provide abortions took effect July 1.
Hawaii LEGAL
  • Hawaii state law protects abortion, and a new law expands access to providers.
Illinois LEGAL
  • Recognized abortion protections under its Constitution, and state law protects the procedure.
Maine LEGAL
  • Anyone seeking or providing abortions in Maine is shielded from laws in other states.
Maryland LEGAL
  • Maryland state law protects abortion, and new laws increase access to providers and insurance coverage.
Massachusetts LEGAL
  • Enacted laws protect abortion, and those seeking or providing abortions in Massachusetts are shielded from laws in other states.
Minnesota LEGAL
  • Seeking or providing abortions in Minnesota are shielded from laws in other states.
New Jersey LEGAL
  • New Jersey state law protects abortion throughout pregnancy. Furthermore, the governor has proposed making the state a “sanctuary” for those seeking the procedure.
New Mexico LEGAL
  • Abortion will most likely stay accessible. However, it is not expressly protected by state law.
New York LEGAL
  • Proposed other protections, including an amendment to the State Constitution.
Oregon LEGAL
  • Approved $15 million to support those seeking the procedure.
Vermonth LEGAL
  • Vermont state law protects abortion throughout pregnancy.
Washington LEGAL
  • Washington state law protects abortion, and recent laws expand access to providers.

 

Is there an alternative to abortion?

  • Many Women’s rights organizations have provided aid for women for safe abortions and its alternatives. Along those alternatives are pills. According to an article from CNBC, precisely because abortions are banned, women might acquire these pills from abroad.
Photo courtesy of ABC News
  • The abortion pill, mifepristone, is approved in the U.S. to end pregnancies before the 10th week of pregnancy. The Food and Drug Administration first approved the medication in 2000 but required women to obtain it in person under a program that monitors certain drugs for safety risks.
  • However, Abortion rights advocates criticized the FDA for its requirements. They stated that mifepristone has a proven track record as a safe and effective way to end early pregnancies. 
  • Unfortunately, the agency has permanently ended the in-person requirement, which will allow certified pharmacies in the U.S. to fill and send prescriptions by mail.

A threat to Women’s rights

To conclude, banning abortion is taking away women’s right to choose not only for themselves but also for their future. It rids the woman’s power of having the right to live however she wants. Definitely, the Supreme Court’s ruling has turned backward against a progressive society that enables women to have their own choice and safeguard their health and wellbeing.

Until then, stay with us here at Spiel Times for more content.

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SOURCES: nytimes.com, cbsnews.com, cnbc.com