Abortion Policy in the Absence of Roe

Background

Background

Laws and policies on abortion have been changing rapidly across the United States since the US Supreme Court overturned the federal constitutional right to abortion in late June in Dobbs v. Jackson. As a result, some information here may be out of date. Our team is working diligently to update this resource. Thank you for your patience.

Once the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the legality of abortion was left to individual states. A few states have amended their constitution to declare that it does not contain any protection for abortion rights or allow public funds to be used for abortion.

Meanwhile, policymakers in some states have approved laws to protect abortion rights without relying on the Roe decision. Most of these policies prohibit the state from interfering with the right to obtain an abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the life or health of pregnant person, and others offer legal protections for abortion providers. In some of those states, protections also extend to individuals who provide information on abortion and logistical and financial assistance to patients.

Visit our state legislation tracker for policy activity on all sexual and reproductive health topics.

Highlights

  • 4 states have passed a constitutional amendment explicitly declaring that their constitution does not secure or protect the right to abortion or allow use of public funds for abortion.
  • 17 states and the District of Columbia have laws that protect the right to abortion.
    • 3 states have protections for the right to abortion in their state constitutions.
    • 4 states and the District of Columbia have codified the right to abortion throughout pregnancy without state interference.
    • 12 states explicitly permit abortion prior to viability or when necessary to protect the life or health of the pregnant person.
    • 11 states have protections for abortion providers, and in some cases individuals that support patients, from the reach of out-of-state abortion restrictions and bans.

Abortion Policy in the Absence of Roe

State

Restricting the right to abortion

Protecting the right to abortion

 

Constitution explicitly does not secure right to abortion

Constitution explicitly secures right to abortion

Throughout pregnancy

Prior to viability

Alabama

X

 

 

 

California

 

X

 

X

Colorado

   

 X

 

Connecticut

   

 

X

Delaware

   

 

X

District of Columbia

   

 X

 

Hawaii

   

 

X

Illinois

   

 

Louisiana

X  

 

 

Maine

   

 

X

Maryland       X

Massachusetts

   

 

X

Michigan

 

X

 

 

Nevada

 

   

X

 

New Jersey

 

  X

 

 

New York

   

 

X 

Oregon

   

X

 

Rhode Island

   

 

Tennessee

 X

 

 

 

Vermont

 

X

X

 

Washington

   

 

X

West Virginia

 

 

 

TOTAL

4

3

4 + DC

1

On November 8, 2022, voters in California, Michigan and Vermont approved state constitutional protections for abortion. Michigan's protections are effective as of December 2022.
Law limits the effect of out-of-state abortion restrictions and bans on abortion providers in the state; in some states, these protections extend to individuals who provide information on abortion and logistical and financial assistance to patients.