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What legal restrictions on abortion have states enacted?

Several measures have been enacted in various states to restrict abortion both before and after the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling. These measures include:

Abortion Bans with Exceptions: A handful of states have banned nearly all abortions, while allowing limited exceptions. These include exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, threats to the health or life of the mother, and cases of severe fetal anomaly.

Gestational Limits: Other states have restricted abortion after the fetus has reached a particular gestational age, starting as early as 6 weeks after the mother’s last menstrual period. These laws all allow abortions in some exceptional cases, such as rape, incest, threats to the health or life of the mother, and severe fetal anomaly.

Late Term Abortion Bans: Many states have restricted abortion after fetal viability or when the fetus can likely feel pain. These limits range from 22 to 25 weeks after the mother’s last menstrual period, and all include exceptions to preserve the health or life of the mother.

Parental Involvement: Parental notification statutes require that one or both parents be notified of their minor daughter’s desire to have an abortion, while parental consent statutes go further and require that one or both parents actually consent to the abortion.

Waiting Periods: Numerous states have enacted waiting periods ranging from one to 24 hours before an abortion can be performed.

Informed Consent: Sometimes known as “Right to Know” laws, informed consent measures require a woman to be provided with important, relevant information before an abortion is performed. This information ranges from offering a woman an ultrasound and thoroughly explaining how the abortion will be performed to merely making pamphlets available that explain the procedure.

Partial Birth Abortion Bans: In addition to a federal law banning partial birth abortion, several states have laws prohibiting the practice.

See also When can a fetus feel pain?, At what point in pregnancy does the fetus become viable?, How is a D&X or “partial birth” abortion performed?, What is “late term” abortion?,  and What is the legal status of abortion in the United States


Guttmacher Institute. “Interactive Map: US Abortion Policies and Access After Roe.” Accessed December 19, 2023. https://states.guttmacher.org/policies.

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