Abortion Laws By State 2019

Abortion laws permit, prohibit, restrict or regulate the availability of abortion. Abortion is a controversial subject in many countries due to moral, ethical, religious and political reasons.

The 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision for abortion in the United States. The case involved a woman living in Texas, using the name “Jane Roe” who became pregnant with her third child but wanted an abortion. Abortion was illegal in Texas except when the pregnancy is deadly for the bother. She hired two attorneys who filed on her behalf against district attorney Henry Wade, alleging that the abortion law was unconstitutional. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled in her favor, which was appealed by Texas to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled that a woman had the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, and the three trimesters of pregnancy were used as a framework for its legality. In the first trimester, governments could not prohibit a woman from choosing to have an abortion as long as it was done by a licensed physician. In the second trimester, governments could enact medical regulations regarding abortions as long as they were tailored to protect the mother’s health. In the third trimester, governments could legally prohibit all abortions unless the procedure was necessary to protect the mother’s life or health.

This decision had caused a clear divide in the US, with “pro-choice” and “pro-life” teams. Because of a newly conservative US Supreme Court, many states are working to pass newly restriction abortion laws to get them in front of the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of Roe v. Wade.

Below is a list of each state’s abortion laws, including newly passed legislation that has no gone into effect yet.

Alabama

On May 14, 2019, Alabama signed a law banning abortion at any stage of pregnancy, including if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. An exception would be made if the mother’s health is in danger or a fetal abnormality that would be fatal to the baby after birth.

Alaska

Abortion in Alaska is legal. A licensed physician must perform the procedure. Patients under 17 must have parental consent. House Bill 178 was proposed in 2019 to ban legal abortion in Alaska, with no exceptions made for the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest.

Arkansas

On May 15, 2019, Arkansas signed a law banning abortion after 18 weeks, with exceptions made for rape, incest, and medical emergencies. The law previously banned abortion after 20 weeks.

Arizona

Arizona abortion laws permit legal abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Patients are required to meet a physician at least 24 hours before the procedure to get state-administered information, and a licensed physician must perform the procedure. Patients who are minors must have notarized consent by a parent or guardian.

California

California abortion laws are less restrictive than most of the other states. Abortion in California is legal. Nurse-midwives and other non-physician medical professions are permitted to perform the procedure as long as they have proper training. Public state universities are required to provide students with the abortion pill, Mifepristone, at no cost.

Colorado

Abortion in Colorado is legal. There are no laws restricting access to the procedure, and no laws protecting a woman’s right to it. Both parents (with exceptions), or the legal guardian(s) of a woman under 18 must be given notice before an abortion.

Connecticut

Connecticut abortion laws state that abortion prior to the viability of the fetus is legal and a decision made solely by the pregnant woman. Abortions can only be done by a licensed physician.

Delaware

Delaware abortion laws state that abortion prior to the viability of the fetus is legal. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician. Women under the age of 18 or who are mentally ill or incompetent must have parental consent. Two proposed bills have not made it to a floor vote: one that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and one that gives a woman the chance to receive an ultrasound of the fetus before the procedure.

District of Columbia

Washington D.C.’s abortion laws are the least restrictive in the United States. Abortions are legal in the District of Columbia and do not need to be performed by a licensed physician. There is no ban on late-term abortions.

Florida

Florida abortion laws state abortion is legal prior to 24 weeks of pregnancy. A woman must receive an ultrasound before the procedure and a licensed physician must perform the procedure. A parent or legal guardian must be notified if the patient is a minor.

Georgia

Georgia abortion laws are restrictive. On May 7, 2019, Georgia signed a “fetal heartbeat” law, which bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions are made for mothers whose lives are at risk due to the pregnancy, and in cases of rape or incest if a police report is filed. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician and the physician has a right to refuse to participate.

Hawaii

Hawaii abortion laws state that abortion is legal prior to the viability of the fetus. A licensed physician must perform the procedure.

Idaho

Idaho abortion laws state that abortion is legal prior to the viability of the fetus. Women must receive mandatory counseling and wait 24 hours after their initial appointment to have the procedure done. Patients under 18 must have the consent of one parent or guardian. Third-trimester abortions are allowed only if the mother’s life is in danger.

Illinois

Illinois’s Reproductive Health Act enacted on June 12, 2019, states that women have a fundamental right to abortion and insurers are required to cover abortions and other reproductive health services. An abortion can be done after viability if the woman’s life is in danger. A licensed physician must perform the procedure. Patients who are minors must have parental consent.

Indiana

Indiana abortion laws state that abortion is legal if performed by a doctor during the first trimester of pregnancy, or in a hospital or surgical center before a fetus is viable. After viability, abortion is only allowed to protect the health of the mother and must be done in a premature birth unit with a second physician present. Minors must get parental consent.

Iowa

Iowa abortion laws state that abortion is legal within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician. Patients under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian notified of the abortion 48 hours before the procedure.

Kansas

Kansas’s abortion laws state that abortion is legal within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician. There is a mandatory 24-hour waiting period for the procedure, during which a woman must receive counseling and notification of services, and must consent to a mandatory ultrasound.

Kentucky

On March 19, 2019, Kentucky signed a “heartbeat” law that bans abortions after six weeks that was struck down. Kentucky abortion laws currently state that abortion is legal prior to 20 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician.

Louisiana

On May 30, 2019, Louisiana approved an abortion law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, or after a heartbeat can be detected, and does not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Maine

Maine abortion laws state that abortion is legal prior to viability. As of June 2019, it is now legal for nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants and other professional medical providers, in addition to physicians, to perform the procedure. Maine now requires public and private insurance plans that cover prenatal care to cover abortions.

Maryland

Maryland abortion laws state that abortions are legal prior to viability. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician. A parent or guardian must be notified for minor patients, with exceptions if the physician believes notice might lead to physical or emotional abuse of the patient.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts abortion laws state that abortions are legal prior to 24 weeks of pregnancy and under a physician’s best judgment that the procedure is necessary. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician. Minors must have consent from either both parents or legal guardians.

Michigan

Michigan abortion laws state that abortions are legal prior to viability. A pregnant woman must wait 24 hours before the procedure to receive counseling and information on the procedure. Minors must receive consent from a parent or legal guardian. In cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment, public funding is available.

Minnesota

Minnesota abortion laws state that abortions are legal prior to viability. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician, and a second physician must be present for an abortion after the 20th week. Minors must have a parent or legal guardian notified before an abortion. There is a 24-hour waiting period after the woman receives mandatory counseling about the procedure.

Mississippi

Mississippi attempted to pass a “heartbeat” law which prohibited abortions after six weeks of pregnancy or when a heartbeat could be detected, which was blocked by a federal judge. Currently, Mississippi abortion laws state that abortion is legal before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Minors must have both parents notified of the procedure. There is a 24-hour waiting period after the woman receives mandatory counseling and notification about the procedure, including a mandatory ultrasound and heart tone.

Missouri

On May 17, 2019l Missouri passed a law that made abortions illegal after eight weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Montana

Montana abortion laws state that abortions are legal up until viability. Minors under the age of 16 must have a parent or legal guardian notified at least 48 hours prior to the procedure. The procedure must be performed by licensed physicians currently, but some advanced-practice clinicians provide abortion services. Montana protects a woman’s right to an abortion in their state constitution.

Nebraska

Nebraska abortion laws state that abortions are legal before 20 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician. There is a 24-hour waiting period for each woman, during which a woman must receive counseling on the procedure, except in an emergency. Minors under the age of 19 must have consent from a parent or guardian.

Nevada

Nevada abortion laws state that abortions are legal before 24 weeks of pregnancy. Abortions after 24 weeks are allowed only if to preserve the life or health of the mother. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician. Minors must have one parent or guardian notified before the procedure.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire abortion law states that abortions are legal at any point in the pregnancy. The procedure does not need to be performed by a licensed physician. Minors must get written consent from a parent or guardian at least 48 hours prior to the procedure.

New Jersey

New Jersey abortion laws state that abortions are legal. The procedure must be performed in a hospital or specialized facility, and in a “licensed hospital” after 14 weeks of pregnancy. There is no required waiting period, parental consent or ultrasound.

New Mexico

New Mexico has unenforceable abortion laws that state that an abortion that is not a justified medical termination is illegal; however, this law goes against the constitutional right a woman has over her own body. Only licensed physicians in licensed hospitals can perform the procedure. There are no requirements regarding parental notification, waiting periods, or counseling.

New York

New York abortion law states that abortions are legal within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, and anytime after when necessary to protect a woman’s life or health. The procedure can be done by any health care practitioner that is licensed and qualified to perform the procedure, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and midwives.

North Carolina

North Carolina abortion laws state that abortions are legal prior to 20 weeks of pregnancy, and only legal after if the mother’s health or life is at risk. A licensed physician must perform the procedure in a licensed hospital or clinic. Minors need written consent from a parent or guardian.

North Dakota

North Dakota abortion laws state that abortions are legal prior to 12 weeks (first trimester) of pregnancy. The procedure must be performed by a licensed physician. Minors must have parents or guardians notified at least 24 hours before the minor’s consent.

Ohio

On April 11, 2019, Ohio signed a “heartbeat” law that bans abortions after six weeks or when a heartbeat can be detected. There are no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, but allows exceptions if the woman’s life is at risk.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma abortion laws state that abortions are legal prior to 22 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician. Minors must have a parent notified and give consent. Patients must receive counseling about the procedure and then wait 24 hours before having the procedure done.

Oregon

Oregon abortion laws state that abortion is legal and protected under the state’s constitution. Oregon has no legislative restrictions on abortion.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania abortion laws state that abortion is legal prior to viability, or 24 weeks. The procedure must be performed by a licensed physician at a licensed hospital or facility. Patients must receive counseling about the procedure and wait 24 hours before getting the abortion done. Minors must receive consent from a parent.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island abortion laws state that abortion is legal before viability and is a fundamental right in the state. Minors must get written consent from at least one parent. The procedure, if surgical, must be done by a licensed physician.

South Carolina

South Carolina passed the “heartbeat” bill, banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Exceptions are made in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s health. The law is not expected to be enacted until 2020. Currently, the law in South Carolina prohibits abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later. A licensed physician must perform the procedure during a first-trimester abortion, and a licensed physician in a licensed clinic or hospital during a second-trimester abortion.

South Dakota

South Dakota abortion laws state that abortion is permitted in the first trimester, permitted with restrictions on facilities in the second trimester, and is banned in the third trimester unless the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s health or life. The procedure must be performed by a licensed physician and done in a hospital if done during the second trimester. Patients must be given counseling about the procedure and then wait 72 hours. Minors must have a parent notified before getting an abortion.

Tennessee

Tennessee attempted to pass a “heartbeat” bill earlier in 2019, but it failed. Tennessee currently bans abortions after fetus viability. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician. Minors must receive consent from a parent and wait 48 hours between consultation and the procedure.

Texas

Texas abortion laws state that abortion is legal before 20 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure must be performed by a licensed physician. After 16 weeks, an abortion can only be done in an ambulatory surgical enter or a hospital. Minors are required to get consent from a parent or guardian. Patients are required to receive counseling and an ultrasound 24 hours before their abortion.

Utah

On March 25, 2019, Utah signed a law that bans abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy, except for cases of rape, incest, and fatal fetal defects. This law was stopped by a federal judge. Abortions are currently legal in Utah is done before viability, and after viability if the woman’s life is at risk, if pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or if the fetus has a lethal defect. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician. Patients must wait 72 hours after informed consent to get the procedure done. Minors must give notice to parents or guardians if unmarried.

Vermont

On June 10, 2019, Vermont signed a law making abortion a fundamental right under state law. Abortions are legal at any stage of pregnancy for any reason. The procedure can be performed by a licensed physician or another qualified medical professionals such as a midwife or nurse practitioner. There are no waiting period, parental involvement or counseling restrictions. Every abortion is to be reported to the Vermont Department of Health within seven days for data collection purposes.

Virginia

Virginia abortion laws state that abortion is permitted in the first trimester, permitted with restrictions on facilities in the second trimester, and is banned in the third trimester unless the pregnancy poses a risk to the mother’s health or life. The procedure must be performed by a licensed physician and done in a hospital if done during the second trimester. Counseling must be given to the patient 24 hours prior to the procedure and an ultrasound is required. Minors must receive consent from a parent or guardian.

Washington

Washington abortion laws state that abortion is legal prior to fetal viability, or if the mother’s life or health is at risk after viability. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician in a hospital if surgical. Minors are not required to receive consent or give notice in order to have the procedure done.

West Virginia

West Virginia introduced a “heartbeat” bill in the state House in February 2019. West Virginia currently has pre-Roe v. Wade, unenforceable abortion laws that state that an abortion that is not a justified medical termination is illegal; however, this law goes against the constitutional right a woman has over her own body. Currently, abortions are illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Patients must receive counseling about the procedure and then wait 24 hours to get the procedure done. Minors must give notice to a parent or guardian 48 hours before the procedure.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin abortion laws state that abortions are legal until 22 weeks of pregnancy. The procedure must be done by a licensed physician in a licensed maternity hospital. Minors must receive written consent of a parent or legal guardian unless the pregnancy is a result of rape, incest, or the minor is suicidal. Patients must receive counseling about the procedure and wait 24 hours.

Wyoming

Wyoming abortions laws state that abortions are legal prior to fetal viability. The procedure must be performed by a licensed physician. Minors must receive parental consent at least 48 hours prior to the procedure. There is no required counseling.

Rank State 2019 Pop. 2019 Growth
1California39,747,2670.48%
2Texas29,087,0701.34%
3Florida21,646,1551.63%
4New York19,491,339-0.26%
5Pennsylvania12,813,9690.05%
6Illinois12,700,381-0.32%
7Ohio11,718,5680.25%
8Georgia10,627,7671.03%
9North Carolina10,497,7411.10%
10Michigan10,020,4720.25%
11New Jersey8,922,5470.16%
12Virginia8,571,9460.64%
13Washington7,666,3431.74%
14Arizona7,275,0701.44%
15Massachusetts6,939,3730.54%
16Tennessee6,833,7930.94%
17Indiana6,718,6160.40%
18Missouri6,147,8610.35%
19Maryland6,062,9170.33%
20Wisconsin5,832,6610.33%
21Colorado5,770,5451.32%
22Minnesota5,655,9250.80%
23South Carolina5,147,1111.24%
24Alabama4,898,2460.21%
25Louisiana4,652,581-0.16%
26Kentucky4,484,0470.35%
27Oregon4,245,9011.32%
28Oklahoma3,948,9500.15%
29Connecticut3,567,871-0.13%
30Utah3,221,6101.91%
31Iowa3,167,9970.38%
32Puerto Rico3,113,659-2.55%
33Nevada3,087,0251.73%
34Arkansas3,026,4120.42%
35Mississippi2,987,8950.05%
36Kansas2,910,931-0.02%
37New Mexico2,096,0340.03%
38Nebraska1,940,9190.60%
39West Virginia1,791,951-0.77%
40Idaho1,790,1822.05%
41Hawaii1,416,589-0.27%
42New Hampshire1,363,8520.55%
43Maine1,342,0970.28%
44Montana1,074,5321.15%
45Rhode Island1,056,738-0.05%
46Delaware975,0330.81%
47South Dakota892,6311.18%
48North Dakota760,9000.11%
49Alaska735,720-0.23%
50District of Columbia711,5711.30%
51Vermont627,1800.14%
52Wyoming572,381-0.93%