What States Allow Late Term Abortion 2021

Abortion is the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus to end a pregnancy. Generally, there are two ways to end a pregnancy via abortion: an in-clinic procedure or the abortion pill.

For many moral, ethical, religious, and political reasons, abortion is controversial in many countries.

Abortion is a relatively common procedure in the United States. According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were about 862,000 abortions in the U.S. in 2017. This is a 19% decline from 2011 when 1,058,000 were performed. Analyses have shown that abortion restriction, while harmful at an individual level, were not the main reason for the decline in abortions between 2011 and 2017. The decline in abortions seems to be part of a broader decline in pregnancies, evident in fewer births during the same period.

The states with the high abortion rates are the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Florida.

Abortion Laws in the United States

Abortion laws permit, prohibit, restrict, or regulate the availability of abortion.

The Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade states that governments cannot regulate a woman’s decision to have an abortion before the viability of the fetus. Viability is defined by the Supreme Court as the “the capacity of meaningful life outside the womb, albeit with artificial aid” and not just “momentary survival.”

After viability, which is around 24-28 weeks, no government can impose a regulation that favors a fetus’s life over a mother’s. Despite this decision made by the Supreme court, the nation has divided into passion pro-life and pro-choice camps.

In recent years, some states have been proposing legislation to further restrict abortion earlier than fetus viability. States have recently introduced the “heartbeat” bill, which prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy or when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

In many cases, in the United States and around the world, restrictive abortion regulations do not always lead to lower abortion numbers. In some cases, abortion rates may actually be higher; however, restrictions could mean that more unsafe, illegal abortions are being performed. This causes complications and higher risks, such as death, for the mother.

States that Allow Late-term Abortions

A late-term abortion, also called a late-termination of pregnancy, refers to the termination of pregnancy by induced abortion during a late stage of gestation. “Late” is not precisely defined and medical publications have stated different thresholds, typically ranging from 20 to 28 weeks or around the fetus reaches viability.

Currently, 43 states prohibit some abortions after a certain point in pregnancy. Several states, such as California, Arizona, and New York, use fetus viability as the cutoff, while some other states use the third trimester (around 28 weeks). Other states use a specified number of weeks post-fertilization, after a women’s last menstrual cycle, or after gestation. These weeks range anywhere from six to 20 weeks.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, as of August 1, 2020, 24 states prohibit some abortions at a specific gestational age.

States that allow for late-term abortions with no state-imposed thresholds are:

While other states have threshold restrictions for late-term abortions, all states have exceptions and allow late-term abortions when pregnancy threatens a woman’s health, physical health, and/or life. The exception of “physical health” permits abortion when the woman suffers from a “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”

In the following states, the pregnancy must threaten the mother’s life to permit a late-term abortion:

In the following states, the pregnancy must either threaten the mother’s life or health to permit a late-term abortion:

In the following states, the pregnancy must either threaten the mother’s life or physical health to permit a late-term abortion:

In Arkansas and Utah, late-term abortions are permitted in cases of rape or incest. Late-term abortions are almost permitted in case of fetal abnormality. In Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia the law applies to a lethal abnormality.

What States Allow Late Term Abortion 2021

State Late Term Abortion 2021 Pop.
AlabamaTo protect mother's life/physical health4,934,193
AlaskaAllowed/No restrictions724,357
ArizonaTo protect mother's life/health7,520,103
ArkansasTo protect mother's life/physical health3,033,946
CaliforniaTo protect mother's life/health39,613,493
ColoradoAllowed/No restrictions5,893,634
ConnecticutTo protect mother's life/health3,552,821
DelawareTo protect mother's life/health990,334
FloridaTo protect mother's life/physical health21,944,577
GeorgiaTo protect mother's life/physical health10,830,007
HawaiiTo protect mother's life/health1,406,430
IdahoTo protect mother's life1,860,123
IllinoisTo protect mother's life/health12,569,321
IndianaTo protect mother's life/physical health6,805,663
IowaTo protect mother's life/physical health3,167,974
KansasTo protect mother's life/physical health2,917,224
KentuckyTo protect mother's life/physical health4,480,713
LouisianaTo protect mother's life/physical health4,627,002
MaineTo protect mother's life/health1,354,522
MarylandTo protect mother's life/health6,065,436
MassachusettsTo protect mother's life/health6,912,239
MichiganTo protect mother's life9,992,427
MinnesotaTo protect mother's life/health5,706,398
MississippiTo protect mother's life/physical health2,966,407
MissouriTo protect mother's life/physical health6,169,038
MontanaTo protect mother's life/physical health1,085,004
NebraskaTo protect mother's life/physical health1,951,996
NevadaTo protect mother's life/health3,185,786
New HampshireAllowed/No restrictions1,372,203
New JerseyAllowed/No restrictions8,874,520
New MexicoAllowed/No restrictions2,105,005
New YorkTo protect mother's life/health19,299,981
North CarolinaTo protect mother's life/physical health10,701,022
North DakotaTo protect mother's life/physical health770,026
OhioTo protect mother's life/physical health11,714,618
OklahomaTo protect mother's life/physical health3,990,443
OregonAllowed/No restrictions4,289,439
PennsylvaniaTo protect mother's life/physical health12,804,123
Rhode IslandTo protect mother's life1,061,509
South CarolinaTo protect mother's life/physical health5,277,830
South DakotaTo protect mother's life/physical health896,581
TennesseeTo protect mother's life/physical health6,944,260
TexasTo protect mother's life/physical health29,730,311
UtahTo protect mother's life/physical health3,310,774
VermontAllowed/No restrictions623,251
VirginiaTo protect mother's life/health8,603,985
WashingtonTo protect mother's life/health7,796,941
West VirginiaTo protect mother's life/physical health1,767,859
WisconsinTo protect mother's life/physical health5,852,490
WyomingTo protect mother's life/physical health581,075

What States Allow Late Term Abortion 2021