More than half of the US could ban abortion if Roe v Wade is overturned. These states are protecting access

Without constitutional protections affirming the right to abortion, and without a federal law codifying that right, millions of Americans will live in states that will make abortion care illegal if the US Supreme Court overturns the ruling in Roe vs. Wade.

Thirteen states could quickly or immediately ban abortion under laws designed to take effect if the Supreme Court eviscerates Roe. Seven states maintain abortion bans that have been on their books for decades, despite the 1973 ruling in the Roe case making them unconstitutional. More than two dozen states have severely restrictive laws that could be used to end legal care.

But more than a dozen states and Washington DC have laws protecting abortion rights, including explicit protections in state constitutions or laws that allow abortion up to a certain point in pregnancy or during pregnancy.

Twelve states allow an abortion before viability, which reflects the time a fetus can survive outside the womb, usually within 22 to 24 weeks of pregnancy. the Roe The ruling affirmed that the Constitution protects the right to abortion before viability.

Three states and Washington DC have codified the right to abortion during pregnancy.

Some states have expanded those protections in recent months as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organizationinvolving a Mississippi law that prohibits abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The imbalance of abortion rights in the US, which varies from state to state or county to county in some states, creates a patchwork of care and criminalization, where bodily autonomy protections depend on where you live.

Most of the states that protect access to abortion are on the East and West coasts, surrounding a gulf of anti-abortion states across the South and Midwest where patients, like those in Louisiana and Mississippi, will have to travel. several hundred miles to access legal care.

Providers and abortion funders are bracing for an influx of patients traveling to states where access to abortion is protected, fearing that an already overstretched and fragile infrastructure of care will be strained by demand for abortion. patients expelled from their states.

California

State lawmakers have approved a measure that will allow voters to determine whether to amend the state constitution to include fundamental protections for abortion care. “We know we cannot trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement earlier this year.

The Governor also enacted legislation that prohibits insurance providers from requiring cost-sharing payments, such as deductibles, coinsurance, or copays for abortion care, in an effort to make access more affordable.

Colorado

Governor Jared Polis this year signed legislation guaranteeing the right “to have an abortion and make decisions about how to exercise that right.” It also states that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus has no independent or derivative rights” under state law.

Connecticut

The state protects the right to abortion until feasible, after which abortion care is permitted solely to protect the life or health of the patient.

Governor Ned Lamont also signed legislation that protects medical providers who perform abortions and out-of-state patients who travel to the state for the procedure from lawsuits in states that criminalize the care.

Delaware

The state protects the right to abortion until feasible, after which abortion care is permitted solely to protect the life or health of the patient.

Hawaii

The state protects abortion rights until viable, and state law prohibits the government from denying or interfering with a person’s “right to choose or obtain an abortion of a nonviable fetus” that would protect the life or health of another person. the patient.

Illinois

In 2019, the state recognized the “fundamental right to make autonomous decisions about one’s reproductive health,” including continuing a “pregnancy and giving birth or having an abortion.”

The law repeals the Illinois Abortion Act of 1975 and its Partial Birth Abortion Prohibition Act. It also states “that a fertilized ovum, embryo, or fetus has no independent rights under the law of this State.”

Following the leak of the Dobbs case draft opinion, Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker told a news conference that the state will remain “a beacon of hope in an increasingly dark world.”

“Because we will fight like hell, not just for the women of Illinois, but for every person in our state and every person across the country who believes not in limiting civil rights and human rights, but in expanding them,” she said.

Maine

The state protects the right to abortion until feasible, after which abortion care is permitted solely to protect the life or health of the patient.

Maryland

The State protects the right to abortion until it is feasible, after which abortion care is allowed only to protect the life or health of the patient, or if the fetus is “affected by a genetic defect or a deformity or anomaly serious”.

A bill that took effect July 1 also requires most health insurance providers to cover abortion care.

Massachusetts

The state protects the right to abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Snowfall

The state protects the right to abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, after which abortion care is permitted solely to protect the life or health of the patient.

New Jersey

The right to abortion is protected at all stages of pregnancy. In 2022, the state enacted protections that recognize abortion as a fundamental right, affirmed by the state constitution and the state supreme court as a woman’s “fundamental right to control her body and her destiny.”

New York

In 2019, the state passed comprehensive abortion protections and removed abortion from the state criminal code. The state protects the right to abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, after which abortion care is permitted only to protect the life or health of the patient or if the fetus is no longer viable.

A legislative package in 2022 includes legal protections for out-of-state abortion providers and patients seeking an abortion in New York, which would prevent state courts from pursuing cases involving out-of-state anti-abortion laws.

The measures also protect abortion providers from arrest, extradition and legal action in other states by prohibiting state and local courts and law enforcement from cooperating with anti-abortion cases in those states. Another law allows people to bring lawsuits for unlawful interference with their right to abortion care if they face civil or criminal charges for seeking or providing abortions.

The state will also prevent health insurance providers from taking action against New York-based providers who provide reproductive health services that are illegal in other states.

Oregon

Lawmakers passed a bill in 2017 that bars government agencies from interfering with patients’ right to abortion.

Rhode Island

The state protects the right to abortion until feasible, after which abortion care is permitted solely to protect the life or health of the patient.

Vermont

The state law passed in 2019 recognizes “the fundamental right of every person who becomes pregnant” to seek an abortion and prohibits government agencies from interfering with that right.

Washington

In June, state lawmakers strengthened protections against abortion by guaranteeing the right to access reproductive health measures regardless of gender identity.

Washington D.C.

The right to abortion is protected at all stages of pregnancy.

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