Restrictions Vs. Protections: How States Are Taking Sides On Abortion

April 5 (Reuters) – This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to roll back constitutional protections for abortion that have been in place since the 1973 Roe v. Wade landmark ruling.

Conservative states are swiftly passing abortion restrictions in anticipation of the court’s decision, while liberal states are seeking to protect and expand abortion rights. Here are some bills gaining traction this year:


ARIZONA: Republican Governor Doug Ducey in March signed a bill banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The measure makes exceptions in cases of medical emergency, but not for rape or incest. It will take effect in late summer if not blocked in court.

FLORIDA: The legislature in March passed a 15-week abortion ban, which allows exceptions for medical emergencies or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality. It awaits the signature of Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, who has signaled support for the bill. 

IDAHO: Republican Governor Brad Little signed a six-week abortion ban in March that allows family members of the fetus to sue providers who perform abortions past that point, similar to a Texas law enacted last year. The Idaho law is due to take effect in late April if not blocked in court.

KENTUCKY: The legislature has passed several abortion restrictions, including a 15-week ban, a requirement that fetal remains be cremated or interred, and a requirement that a combination birth-death or stillbirth certificate be issued for each abortion. If Democratic Governor Andy Beshear vetoes the bill, the Senate’s Republican supermajority could override him.

OKLAHOMA: The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill banning abortion except in medical emergencies and penalizing providers who violate the law with up to $100,000 in fines and 10 years in prison. The bill, approved by the Senate last year, heads to Republican Governor Kevin Stitt for signing. Read full story

The House also approved a bill in March that would ban all abortions except in cases of medical emergency, rape or incest. It would rely on private citizens to sue providers and any person who “aids or abets” abortions to be enforced, similar to Texas’ six-week ban. The Senate is considering the legislation. 

SOUTH DAKOTA: Republican Governor Kristi Noem signed a bill in March requiring women to make three in-person doctor’s visits to complete a medication abortion. The legislation’s implementation depends on the outcome of a federal court case. 


COLORADO: Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat, signed a bill on Monday codifying the right to have an abortion. The measure immediately took effect.

MARYLAND: The legislature approved a bill in March that expands the definition of who can provide abortions to any “qualified provider,” establishes a state-funded abortion provider training program and requires most insurance plans to cover the cost of abortions. It awaits Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s signature to take effect on July 1. If he vetoes it, the Senate might override him.

VERMONT: The Democratic-led legislature in February passed a constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to abortion. It will be on the ballot for voters to approve in November. 

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter;Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Aurora Ellis)

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Written by Reuters


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