State Abortion Laws in the Absence of Roe v. Wade

6/24/2022
United States map of State Abortion Laws in the Absence of Roe v. Wade

The 1973 Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision removed states’ authority to prohibit abortion at any stage of pregnancy except in limited circumstances. In December 2021, the court heard arguments in a case where petitioners asked the Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade and on June 24, 2022, the court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. In the absence of Roe v. Wade, at least 16 states, Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and the US Virgin Islands have laws that permit abortion, and at least 18 states, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands have laws that prohibit abortion. See the table below for additional information on each law.

States may also have a number of other laws related to abortion (e.g., which health care professionals can provide abortions, bans after a certain gestation, counseling requirements, or in-person/telehealth requirements), which are not included in this list. The list below only includes statutes regarding whether abortion is prohibited or permitted in the absence of Roe v. Wade. Abortion may be permitted in states that do not have a statute in place. 

Please note this may not be a comprehensive list and that NCSL takes no position on state legislation or laws mentioned in the table below.

  • At least 16 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C., have laws that permit abortion in the absence of Roe v. Wade.
  • At least 18 states, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands have laws that prohibit abortion in the absence of Roe v. Wade.
    • 10 states enacted laws after Roe v. Wade that are contingent upon receiving authority from the federal government to prohibit abortion at any stage of pregnancy.
    • 5 states† have laws prohibiting abortion through currently unenforced laws that were enacted before Roe v. Wade. Some legal experts believe states could seek to enforce these laws while others suggest uncertainty about whether these statutes would be enforceable without requiring additional policy action.
    • 3 states‡ have laws that were enacted both before and after Roe v. Wade.
    • American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands have laws that prohibit abortion.
State In the absence of Roe v. Wade, abortion is:
(Prohibited or permitted in state statute) *
Statute Synopsis
The language below is the state statute summary, directly from statute, or abbreviated for the purposes of this webpage. Language such as “fundamental right” is directly from the statute and not NCSL interpretation.
Alabama Prohibited† Ala. Code § 13A-13-7 (1852) Any person who willfully induces, aids or abets an abortion–unless necessary to preserve a woman’s life or health—shall be fined and may receive a criminal sentence upon conviction.
American Samoa Prohibited AM. SAMOA CODE ANN. § 46.3902 & 46.3903 (1986) Any person who uses any instrument or device or prescribes or administers any medicine, drug, or other substance which is likely to produce an abortion commits the crime of unlawful abortion unless the abortion is performed by a physician when the continuance of the pregnancy would endanger the life of the patient or substantially impair the physical or mental health of the patient.
Arizona Prohibited† Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann § 13-3603 (1901) A person who takes action with intent to procure the miscarriage of a pregnant woman—unless necessary to save her life—shall face criminal charges.
Arkansas Prohibited‡ Ark. Stat. Ann. § 5-61-304 (2019) Performing or attempting to perform an abortion, except to save the life of a woman or in a medical emergency, is a felony contingent upon the date the attorney general certifies that the authority to prohibit abortion has been restored to the states.
California Permitted Cal. Health & Safety Code § 123462 (2002) Every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child or to choose and to obtain an abortion before viability. The state shall not deny or interfere with a women’s fundamental right to choose to bear a child or choose to obtain an abortion.
Colorado Permitted

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-6-401 - 404 (2022)

A pregnant individual has a fundamental right to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion and to make decisions about how to exercise that right; a public entity shall not deny or interfere.
Connecticut Permitted Conn. Gen. Stat § 19a-602 (1990) The decision to terminate a pregnancy prior to the viability of the fetus shall be solely that of the pregnant woman in consultation with her physician.
Delaware Permitted Del. Code Ann. tit. 24 § 1790 (2017)  A physician may terminate, assist in the termination of, or attempt the termination of a pregnancy before viability.
District of Columbia Permitted D.C. Code Ann. § 2-1401.06 (2020) Every individual who becomes pregnant has the right to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term, to give birth, or to have an abortion. The District shall not deny, interfere with or restrict this right.
Hawaii Permitted Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 453-16 (2006) The state shall not deny or interfere with a female’s right to choose or obtain an abortion of a nonviable fetus or an abortion that is necessary to protect the life or health of the female.
Idaho Prohibited Idaho Code § 18-622 (2020) Performing or attempting to perform an abortion—except to prevent the death of the pregnant woman, to prevent risk of death, or in cases of rape or incest—is a felony. State statute goes into effect 30 days following circumstances that restore the states their authority to prohibit abortion.
Illinois Permitted Ill. Rev. Stat. chg. 775 § 55 (2019) An individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth, or to have an abortion. The state cannot deny, interfere with, or discriminate against these fundamental rights.
Kentucky Prohibited Ky. Rev. Stat. § 311-772 (2019) Performing or attempting to perform an abortion—except to prevent the death or substantial risk of death, or permanent impairment of a pregnant woman—is a felony immediately upon circumstances in which the authority to prohibit abortion is restored to the states.
Louisiana Prohibited La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 40:1061 (2006) Performing or attempting to perform an abortion—except to save the life, prevent permanent impairment, or prevent a substantial risk of death of the mother—is unlawful immediately upon circumstances in which the authority to prohibit abortion is restored to the states.
Maine Permitted Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 22 § 1598 (1993) The state shall not restrict a woman’s exercise of her private decision to terminate a pregnancy before viability.
Maryland Permitted Md. Health-General Code Ann. § 20-209 (1991) The state may not interfere with the decision of a woman to terminate a pregnancy before the fetus is viable.
Massachusetts Permitted Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. chg. 112 § 12L (2020) The commonwealth or a subdivision thereof shall not interfere with a person’s personal decision and ability to prevent, commence, terminate or continue their own pregnancy.
Michigan Prohibited† Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.14 (1931) Any person who willfully procures the miscarriage of a pregnant woman—unless necessary to save her life—shall be guilty of a felony.
Mississippi Prohibited‡ Miss. Code Ann. § 41-41-45 (2007) Performing or attempting to perform an abortion—except in cases where necessary to preserve the mother’s life or where the pregnancy was caused by rape—is unlawful at such a time when the attorney general determines the Supreme Court has overruled the decision of Roe v. Wade.
Missouri Prohibited Mo. Rev. Stat. § 188.017 (2019) Performing or attempting to perform an abortion—except in cases of medical emergency—is a felony upon circumstances in which the authority to regulate abortion is restored to the states.
The Northern Mariana Islands Prohibited 11 TTC § 51 Every person who shall unlawfully cause the miscarriage or premature delivery of a woman, with the intent to do so, shall be guilty of abortion and upon conviction thereof shall be imprisoned for a period of not more than five years.
Nevada Permitted Nev. Rev. Stat. § 442.250 (1973) Physicians may perform abortions within 24 weeks after the commencement of a pregnancy.
New Jersey Permitted N.J. Rev. Stat. § 10-7-1 (HB 100 2022) Individuals have the right to make their own decisions concerning reproduction, including the right to contraception, the right to terminate a pregnancy and the right to carry a pregnancy to term, without government interference or fear of prosecution.
New York Permitted

N.Y. Public Health Law § 2599-AA (2019)

 

 

 

 

N.Y. Public Health Law § 2599-BB

Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry the pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion pursuant to this article. The state shall not discriminate against, deny, or interfere with the exercise of these rights.

 

A health care provider may perform an abortion when the patient is within 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.

North Dakota Prohibited N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-31-12 (2007) It is a felony for a person to perform an abortion unless necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant female, or to terminate a pregnancy that resulted from gross sexual imposition, sexual abuse or incest.
Oklahoma Prohibited‡ S.B. 918 (2021) Restores the prohibition on abortion and repeals certain related state statutes upon certification of the attorney general that the authority to prohibit abortion has been restored to the states.
Oregon Permitted Or. Rev. Stat. § 659.880 (2017) A public body may not deprive a consenting individual of the choice of terminating the individual’s pregnancy, and may not prohibit a health care provider, who is acting in the scope of the health care provider’s license, from terminating or assisting in the termination of a patient’s pregnancy.
Puerto Rico Permitted   The Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico includes a provision that protects the right to privacy, as derived from the human right to dignity. Pursuant to that inalienable right, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico decided that abortion is allowed. In Pueblo v. Duarte Mendoza, 109 DPR 596 (1980), the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico upheld the right of any women to voluntary interrupt or conclude pregnancy.
Rhode Island Permitted R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-4.13-2 (2019) Neither the state nor any of its agencies or political subdivisions shall restrict or interfere with an individual person’s decision to continue or terminate that individual’s pregnancy after viability, or before viability when necessary to preserve the health or life of that individual.  
South Dakota Prohibited S.D. Codified Laws Ann. § 22-17-5 et seq. (2005) Any person who performs, procures or advises an abortion other than authorized by chapter 34-23A is guilty of a felony upon circumstances where the authority to prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy is provided to the states.
Tennessee Prohibited Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-213 (2019) A person who performs or attempts to perform an abortion commits the offense of criminal abortion, which is a felony—unless the abortion is necessary to prevent the death or serious risk of impairment to the pregnant woman—30 days following circumstances in which the authority to prohibit abortion is restored to the states.
Texas Prohibited Tex. Health Code Ann. § 170A.001 et seq. (2021) A person who knowingly performs, induces, or attempts to perform an abortion commits a criminal offense—unless the abortion is necessary to prevent a life-threatening condition, risk of death, or serious risk of substantial impairment— 30 days following circumstances in which the authority to prohibit abortion is restored to the states.
U.S. Virgin Islands Permitted 14 V.I.C. § 151 An abortion may be performed with written consent of the pregnant female by a physician licensed to practice medicine in the Territory.
Utah Prohibited Utah Code Ann. § 76-7a-101 et seq. (2020) A person who performs an abortion—except when necessary to avert the death or serious risk of substantial bodily impairment of the pregnant woman, when two qualified physicians concur a fetus has a lethal defect, or when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest—is guilty of a felony immediately upon circumstances in which a court of binding authority has held that a state has the authority to do so.
Vermont Permitted Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 18 § 9493 et seq. (2019) The state recognizes the fundamental right of every individual who becomes pregnant to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion. A public entity shall not deny or interfere with this right.
Washington Permitted Wash. Rev. Code § 9.02.110 (1992) The state may not deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion prior to viability or protect her life or health.
Wyoming Prohibited

Wyo. Stat. § 35-6-102 ( HB0092 2022)

An abortion shall not be performed except when necessary to preserve the woman from a serious risk of death or of substantial physical and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function. This statute will go into effect five days following circumstances in which the authority to prohibit abortion is restored to the states.
West Virginia Prohibited† W. Va Code § 61-2-8 (1882) Any person who shall administer to, or cause to be taken by, a woman, any drug or other thing, or use any means, with intent to destroy her unborn child, or to produce abortion or miscarriage, and shall thereby destroy such child, or produce such abortion or miscarriage, shall be guilty of a felony.
Wisconsin Prohibited† Wis. Stat. § 940.04 (1849) Any person, other than the mother, who intentionally takes actions to cause an abortion—unless when necessary to save the life of the mother—is guilty of a felony.

* Permitted:  Abortion is permitted under state law.
Prohibited:  Abortion is prohibited under state law, contingent upon states receiving the authority to prohibit abortion at any stage of pregnancy in the absence of Roe v. Wade.
† The state has a currently unenforced law enacted before Roe v. Wade that remains in statute.
‡ The state has laws that were enacted both before and after Roe v. Wade.