Mapped: How late in pregnancy you can have an abortion in each state (2024)

The landscape of US abortion law has been revealed in a interactive map.

More than 17 states — mostly in the South — have enacted abortion bans that prohibit virtually all procedures, as the law only permits it before the six week mark — when most women aren't aware they are pregnant.

At the other end of the scale, nine states — Alaska, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New MexicoOregon and Vermont — place no legal restrictions on abortions.

Meanwhile, 18 states allow abortion up to 26 weeks, or just shy of six months.However, most doctors will not perform them after 21 weeks unless there is a serious medical reason.

At around 24 weeks, some healthy fetuses can survive outside of the womb.

The above map shows states by their abortion restrictions. It reveals a divide along party lines and regions, with the South being most likely to restrict abortions

The surge in legislation came after the overturn of Roe v Wade — the landmark 1973 legal case that protected the right of women in every state to have an abortion until 2022.

Despite the shift, data suggests abortions in the US are rising — and last year hit their highest level since 2014.

A total of one million abortions were estimated to have been carried out in 2023, an 11 percent increase since 2020. However this figure is still lower than the all-time high set in 1990, of 1.6million in a year.

Experts say the recent increase has been fueled by the introduction of rules that allowed for abortion-inducing pills to be sent to patients via post, without the need for an appointment with a physician.

The move came about in December 2021 in response to the pandemic, which stopped Americans from being able to access in-person healthcare.

The medications are only available on prescription and must be taken in the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

In an early-stage medication abortion, patients take two drugs; mifepristone, and then a second drug called misoprostol about 24 to 48 hours later.

More than nine in ten abortions carried out in the US take place before week 13, with less than one percent happening after week 21. A typical pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks.

Doctors say abortions are only rarely performed after the 21 week mark, and normally only take place after this point due to fetal anomalies or if the mother's life is in danger.

Critics say that abortion bans below six weeks are too early for women to find out they are pregnant and take action (Picture of abortion-rights protect in Washington in March)

Data suggests abortions are rising in the US, with a million carried out in 2023 - the latest year available - the most since 2014

Abortion restrictions by state were revealed by the Guttmacher Institute, a New York City-based think-tank which campaigns for greater abortion access.

Researchers compiled information on abortion limits by state via news reports and legislation within each state's house and senate.

Read More 'Have an abortion with me!' Women take to TikTok to share their at-home, medical terminations as pills become more available in blue states

The map shows a major division in abortion along party lines — with Democrat states mostly protecting abortion up to 24 weeks and Republican states mostly seeking to ban it altogether.

Southern states, where those making legislation tend to be more religious, are much more likely to virtually ban abortion compared to other areas.

One of the most restrictive states was Alabama, where abortions are virtually impossible — banned from the moment an egg is fertilized.

Many other Republican states — including Arkansas, Mississippi and North Dakota — also follow this rule.

Others included Florida, South Carolina and Georgia, which have put in place a six-week abortion ban.

This is based on claims that a fetal heartbeat can be detected from six weeks, although doctors say a developing embryo doesn't actually have a heart at this point.

It is unclear at what point exactly a heart starts to beat.

On the other hand, laws are much less restrictive in states like Oregon — where legislators have placed no restriction on 'abortion based on gestational age' — instead leaving it to doctors to make a judgement call.

Three US states — Arizona, Nebraska and North Carolina — also set the abortion limit at 12 to 15 weeks — which they argue gives women enough time after finding out they are pregnant to take action.

Utah is currently the only state with an abortion ban from 18 weeks of pregnancy, which was settled on by lawmakers.

And Kansas and Ohio have set earlier limits of 22 weeks, which they say is when a fetus is viable outside the womb.

Some US states often compare their laws to Europe, pointing to countries like the UK and the Netherlands which allow abortions up to 24 weeks on the basis that this is when a fetus becomes viable outside the womb.

But these nations are outliers in the continent, with most — including France and Germany — setting an abortion limit at 12 to 15 weeks.

This does come with multiple medical exceptions, however, including for fetal malformations, harm to mother's health and psychological or economic distress.

Mapped: How late in pregnancy you can have an abortion in each state (2024)


Mapped: How late in pregnancy you can have an abortion in each state? ›

Choropleth map showing that 17 states ban abortion at six weeks or earlier and eight states ban abortion at 12 to 22 weeks. 18 states allow abortion up until 24 weeks or later and eight states have no gestational limit on abortion.

Is abortion legal in New York? ›

New York made abortion legal in 1970 – three years before Roe v. Wade. In 2019, New York passed the Reproductive Health Act to protect access to reproductive rights throughout the state and make the right to abortion found in Roe v. Wade part of state law.

What states have reproductive rights? ›

In general, reproductive rights are strongest in the Mid-Atlantic region, New England, and the West. In addition to Oregon, the top ten jurisdictions include California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Washington.

What are the shield laws for abortion? ›

These laws allow nurse practitioners, doctors, and midwives to prescribe abortion pills to patients in states where abortion is restricted or banned. The laws vary from state-to-state, but in general they protect abortion providers and patients from legal attacks by prosecutors in antiabortion states.

What are the abortion laws in Illinois? ›

In Illinois, you can have an induced abortion for any reason until fetal viability, around 24-26 weeks of pregnancy.

Is abortion legal in Michigan? ›

Abortion is legally recognized as a protected right in Michigan, and you have a right to abortion services in this state. Planned Parenthood of Michigan (PPMI) offers unbiased, accurate information about the options available for pregnancy termination.

Is abortion legal in Pennsylvania? ›

Abortion is an available reproductive health option through the 23rd week of pregnancy, and after that time, in certain cases when the health of the pregnant person is in danger. Both medication and in-clinic procedure abortions continue to be legal and available in Pennsylvania.

What are the 12 reproductive rights? ›

– The Right to Life – The Right to Liberty and Security of the Person – The Right to Health – The Right to Decide the Number and Spacing of Children – The Right to Consent to Marriage and Equality in Marriage – The Right to Privacy – The Right to Equality and Non-Discrimination – The Right to be Free from Practices ...

What are the three reproductive rights? ›

Reproductive rights include prenatal services, safe childbirth, and access to contraception. They also include access to legal and safe abortion.

Does California have reproductive rights? ›

In California, you have the legal right to privacy, including the right to choose abortion care, to choose or refuse birth control, and to access reproductive health care, free from harassment and discrimination. As we face an unprecedented reproductive health care crisis nationwide, I am here with you and for you.

Is abortion covered by insurance in Massachusetts? ›

This law constitutionally preserves and protects reproductive and gender-affirming health care in the Commonwealth, including for individuals who travel from out of state and the providers who serve them. In addition, this law requires Masshealth, GIC, and commercial health insurance to cover abortion-related care.

Which of the following states has the greatest protection for freedom of the press? ›

Which of the following states has the greatest protection for freedom of the press based on the information on the map? The map shows that New York (NY) has a shield law that protects journalists' sources without exception.

What is an example of a shield law? ›

Shield laws are laws that allow reporters to conceal a source's identity. Some states, such as Colorado, have statutes that make communications between reporters and informants confidential, allowing reporters to protect the identity of any person who reveals information to them.

Is Illinois a safe haven abortion law? ›

The Illinois General Assembly in 2019 passed the Reproductive Health Act to give residents a fundamental, state right to abortion care. That protected abortion access even after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Are abortions legal in Texas? ›

According to Texas law, abortions are illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected with exceptions for medical emergencies. The law doesn't require there to be a medical emergency to perform a D&C if there's no cardiac activity, like in Hamilton's case. "The conversation is not what's best for my wife.

What is the abortion law in Indiana? ›

The court ruled that the state constitution protects a woman's right to an abortion if it is “necessary” to protect her life or from a serious health risk, but it does not protect a fundamental right to the procedure in all circ*mstances.

Are abortions covered by insurance in New York? ›

In New York State, health insurance, including Medicaid, may cover the cost of an abortion. Learn more about Medicaid Family Planning Services. Enroll in a health insurance plan through the NY State of Health exchange. Abortions are a covered benefit in New York.

Can you get an abortion in New York in 2024? ›

In New York, you can get an abortion for any reason up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, or later if your health is at risk or your pregnancy will not survive.

What is the Reproductive Health Act in NY? ›

The Reproductive Health Act is a New York statute enacted on January 22, 2019, that expanded abortion rights, decriminalized abortion, and eliminated several restrictions on voluntary abortions in the state. The RHA repealed §4164 of the state Public Health Law. The law has received national media attention.

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