As Americans' reproductive rights tighten in the wake of Roe v. Wade's overturning, here's everything you need to know about where in the US abortion is now illegal – and which states are expected to follow suit.
The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24 has permanently upended America’s abortion law, scrapping the country's constitutional right to reproductive healthcare that has existed since the landmark bill was passed back in 1973.
From this point forward, individual states will decide what access, if any, its residents have to abortion – a 'freedom' that could restrict the bodily autonomy of an estimated 33 million people of childbearing age.
The controversial move was confirmed on Friday, less than two months after a leaked document published by Politico suggested that the country’s highest court was planning to reverse the historic bill. An eruption of national and global outrage ensued almost immediately, with pro-choice campaigners taking to streets across the US and beyond to protest the overturning.
President Joe Biden voiced his objection to the decision shortly after it was announced, condemning it as a ‘tragic error’ and urging Americans to vote pro-choice lawmakers into government in November’s midterm elections. Several high-profile celebrities, including Madonna, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Shonda Rhimes, have also spoken out against the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Planned Parenthood, the largest single provider of reproductive health services in the US, has since vowed to continue supporting its patients in light of the strike down. The overturning of Roe v Wade has also led US firms to pledge payments for staff abortion travel costs, with corporate giants like Netflix and Paramount promising to support employees who need to leave the state for treatment.
Which US states is abortion now illegal in?
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade means that abortion will soon be completely illegal in over a dozen US states.
Thirteen conservative states already had ‘trigger laws’ on their books, which are laws expected to come into effect immediately or shortly after the removal of Roe Vs Wade. So far, these trigger laws have already been activated in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, and South Dakota. In all five states, it will now be a felony to knowingly perform or induce an abortion – with those prosecuted facing the risk of being fined or even sentenced to jail.
Abortion is now also illegal or heavily restricted in the states of Alabama, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.
Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming have not banned abortion yet but are expected to do so soon.
Which US states is abortion still legal in?
Nine states in the US have protected the right to abortion under their own constitutions, which means their residents will still be able to terminate a pregnancy despite the overturning of Roe V Wade – at least, for the foreseeable future.
These states include Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, and New Jersey. Iowa had been on the list until June, when its predominantly Republican Supreme Court ruled that abortion was not protected under the state's constitution. Abortion is also expected to remain legal in Oregon, Nevada, and Washington.
Amongst these nine states, abortion access isn't equally available. In April, Florida signed a law that banned abortion after 15 weeks. This time restriction, which is also enforced in Arizona, will come into effect on 1 July, and is now also expected to be implemented in Virginia.
Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, and Vermont all passed legislation earlier this year intending to protect or expand abortion access.
Abortion is also set to remain legal in New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
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Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.
Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.
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