How late in pregnancy each state allows abortions
Abortion in later stages of pregnancy is still legal in most US states, but that’s likely to change if the Supreme Court ruled Roe v. Wade picks up.
The big picture: If Roe is struck down, states could individually regulate — or even outright ban — abortion before viability, known as the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb.
- Under Roe, states have the power to regulate abortion based on viability, which is generally between 24 and 28 weeks after a patient’s last menstrual period.
Where things are today
Despite deer, Some states have successfully introduced bans before the 24-week mark, based primarily on the “unsubstantiated claim” that a fetus can experience pain 22 weeks after the patient’s last menstrual period (LMP). according to the Guttmacher Institutea research organization that supports abortion rights.
- Six weeks LMP: Texas and Oklahoma are the only states that have laws in place prohibiting abortion if cardiac activity has been detected in an embryo about six weeks old.
- 20 weeks: Mississippi is the only state that currently bans 20-week abortions. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing the state’s 15-week ban, which has been blocked by lower courts since 2018. This case could decide Roe’s future.
- 22 weeks: Fifteen states ban abortions at 22 weeks gestation.
Over half of the states Limits only at or after viability or no limit at all.
- 24 weeks: Five states ban abortions at 24 weeks gestation.
- Viability: Twenty states prohibit abortion after the fetus is considered viable. Some laws, which do not set a limit, state that it is at the “discretion” of the abortion provider to determine whether a fetus is viable.
- Third trimester: Virginia is the only state to ban abortions in the third trimester of pregnancy, which Guttmacher says begins at about 25 weeks.
- No limit: Six states and Washington, DC do not impose term limits.
Remarkable: Many restricted states have exceptions, including to protect the life or health of a pregnant person, although they are often narrowly defined.
When patients usually get abortions
About 93% of reported abortions in 2019 were performed at or before the 13th week of pregnancy, 6% were performed between the 14th and 20th week of pregnancy and 1% were performed at or after the 21st week of pregnancy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- People who are prone to having abortions later in pregnancy do so because of “medical concerns such as fetal abnormalities or jeopardy to maternal life, as well as barriers to care that cause delays in obtaining an abortion,” the statement said Kaiser Family Foundation.
Laws vs Access
Abortion at any stage is still difficult for many people to access.
- 2017, Gutmacher reported that approximately 89% of counties in the US have no abortion clinics. There are even fewer clinics that offer abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy.
- Also, several states have patient and provider requirements Planned Parenthood calls “unreasonable” and “medically unnecessary”.
- Providers performing abortions near a state’s deadline face additional hurdles. You have to be “very good at ultrasound” to determine the exact gestational age of the pregnancy to avoid breaking the law, Hanna Peterson, an abortion provider in Kentucky, told Axios.
to see states
Arizona, Florida and Louisiana have enacted legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks, which has yet to go into effect. Mississippi and Kentucky attempted to enact similar legislation but were temporarily blocked by the courts.
- Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina and Idaho’s six-week bans have been temporarily blocked by federal judges. Missouri’s eight-week ban has also been blocked.
- 13 states passed “trigger” laws that would ban abortion shortly after Roe’s fall.
- Sixteen states have now codified abortion protection into their laws.