What States Allow Late Term Abortion 2022

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 highest 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 Alaska, Colorado, District of Columbia, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Vermont.

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: Idaho, Michigan,and Rhode Island. In the following states, the pregnancy must either threaten the mother’s life or health to permit a late-term abortion: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Virginia, and Washington.

In the following states, the pregnancy must either threaten the mother’s life or physical health to permit a late-term abortion: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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 2022

State Late Term Abortion 2022 Pop.
AlabamaTo protect mother's life/physical health4,949,697
AlaskaAllowed/No restrictions720,763
ArizonaTo protect mother's life/health7,640,796
ArkansasTo protect mother's life/physical health3,042,017
CaliforniaTo protect mother's life/health39,664,128
ColoradoAllowed/No restrictions5,961,083
ConnecticutTo protect mother's life/health3,546,588
DelawareTo protect mother's life/health998,619
FloridaTo protect mother's life/physical health22,177,997
GeorgiaTo protect mother's life/physical health10,936,299
HawaiiTo protect mother's life/health1,401,709
IdahoTo protect mother's life1,896,652
IllinoisTo protect mother's life/health12,518,071
IndianaTo protect mother's life/physical health6,842,385
IowaTo protect mother's life/physical health3,174,426
KansasTo protect mother's life/physical health2,919,179
KentuckyTo protect mother's life/physical health4,487,233
LouisianaTo protect mother's life/physical health4,616,106
MaineTo protect mother's life/health1,359,677
MarylandTo protect mother's life/health6,075,314
MassachusettsTo protect mother's life/health6,922,107
MichiganTo protect mother's life9,995,212
MinnesotaTo protect mother's life/health5,739,781
MississippiTo protect mother's life/physical health2,961,536
MissouriTo protect mother's life/physical health6,184,843
MontanaTo protect mother's life/physical health1,093,117
NebraskaTo protect mother's life/physical health1,960,790
NevadaTo protect mother's life/health3,238,601
New HampshireAllowed/No restrictions1,378,449
New JerseyAllowed/No restrictions8,870,685
New MexicoAllowed/No restrictions2,109,093
New YorkTo protect mother's life/health19,223,191
North CarolinaTo protect mother's life/physical health10,807,491
North DakotaTo protect mother's life/physical health774,008
OhioTo protect mother's life/physical health11,727,377
OklahomaTo protect mother's life/physical health4,007,179
OregonAllowed/No restrictions4,325,290
PennsylvaniaTo protect mother's life/physical health12,805,190
Rhode IslandTo protect mother's life1,062,583
South CarolinaTo protect mother's life/physical health5,342,388
South DakotaTo protect mother's life/physical health902,542
TennesseeTo protect mother's life/physical health7,001,803
TexasTo protect mother's life/physical health30,097,526
UtahTo protect mother's life/physical health3,363,182
VermontAllowed/No restrictions622,882
VirginiaTo protect mother's life/health8,638,218
WashingtonTo protect mother's life/health7,887,965
West VirginiaTo protect mother's life/physical health1,755,715
WisconsinTo protect mother's life/physical health5,867,518
WyomingTo protect mother's life/physical health582,233

What States Allow Late Term Abortion 2022