Abortion is now banned in these states. See where laws have changed.

Access to abortion in roughly half the country has changed swiftly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Providers, patients, lawyers and state officials are scrambling to interpret a cascade of confusing and often conflicting antiabortion legislation, some of it written a century ago.

Thirteen states had “trigger bans” designed to take effect shortly after Roe was struck down. At least eight states banned the procedure the day the ruling was released. Several others with antiabortion laws blocked by the courts are expected to act, with lawmakers moving to activate dormant legislation. A handful of states also have pre-Roe abortion bans that could be reactivated, and others moved immediately to introduce new legislation. Judges have temporarily blocked some state bans.

Indiana became the first state to pass a near-total abortion ban after the fall of Roe. The ban went into effect on Sept. 15, but was temporarily blocked on Sept. 22.

In Kansas, voters rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have eliminated protections for abortion. If passed, it would have allowed the state’s conservative legislature to enact a near-total ban on abortion.

In 20 states and the District of Columbia, abortion is legal, widely available and likely to be protected.

Arizona is one of several Republican-controlled states that is pointing to a century-old law as the rationale to roll back access to abortions. (Video: Julie Yoon, Joshua Carroll/The Washington Post)

Some governors have expressed interest in convening special legislative sessions to pass additional antiabortion laws — or to remove antiabortion laws already on the books. Abortion access in other states will depend on the midterm elections.

States with abortion bans that will take effect imminently

Among this first wave, the antiabortion laws slated to take effect — the “trigger bans” — all work a little differently. Some activated immediately or as soon as a designated state official certified the court’s decision. Others were set to take effect 30 days after the June 24 decision was announced, or in a set period after the decision was certified.

How Washington Post readers feel about the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling

Most laws do not include exceptions for rape and incest. And exceptions for the life of the mother are vague and will leave many physicians wondering whether they must choose between breaking the law or breaking their oath, they told the Post.

Other states without “trigger bans” have pre-Roe abortion bans that — in the absence of Roe — have come back into effect.

States with bans recently blocked by courts

Bans in several states are currently blocked by courts while various legal challenges proceed. Abortion rights groups and providers have challenged some prior laws as antiquated and lacking necessary clarity.

Abortions in U.S. rose in 2020, ending decades-long decline, report says

States where abortion is legal but could be under threat

In Pennsylvania and Michigan, Democratic governors have been a firewall against antiabortion legislation proposed or passed by Republican-led legislatures. The future of abortion access will depend on the upcoming midterms: If antiabortion Republicans win those governors’ mansions, Republican lawmakers will have a clearer path to banning abortion.

A race to teach abortion procedures, before the bans begin

In Virginia, just hours after the Supreme Court’s decision, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin said he had tasked four state lawmakers — all antiabortion Republicans — with writing legislation to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

While Florida has passed a 15-week abortion ban, which would allow over 90 percent of abortions to continue, lawmakers in the Republican-led state might try to go further in the coming months or years.

States where abortion is legal and likely to be protected

Many states have passed laws that explicitly protect the right to abortion, with several adding those protections this year in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision. Elsewhere, state courts have protected abortion access through state constitutions and past court decisions.

New Mexico and New Hampshire lack those explicit protections, but their state legislatures are not likely to move to ban the procedure.

Judging by current legislation, signals from lawmakers and interviews with experts, here’s the latest on how we expect the court’s decision to play out, state by state:

correction

A previous version of this graphic incorrectly stated that the governors of Pennsylvania and North Carolina are up for re-election. They are term-limited.

Bonnie Berkowitz and Eugene Scott contributed to this report.

About this story

Weeks of pregnancy are calculated since the last menstrual period. Fetal viability is generally considered to be around 23 or 24 weeks, but there’s no universal consensus. Life endangerment is defined differently in different states. Medical emergencies can include cases of severely compromised health, endangerment or physical health conditions.

Sources: Post reporting; Elizabeth Nash, principal policy associate for state issues at the Guttmacher Institute; Center for Reproductive Rights. Edited by Kevin Uhrmacher and Peter Wallsten. Copy edited by Carey L. Biron.

Roe v. Wade and abortion access in America

Roe v. Wade overturned: The Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade, which for nearly 50 years has protected the right to abortion. Read the full decision here.

What happens next?: The legality of abortion will be left to individual states. That likely will mean 52 percent of women of childbearing age would face new abortion limits. Thirteen states with “trigger bans” will ban abortion within 30 days. Several other states where recent antiabortion legislation has been blocked by the courts are expected to act next.

State legislation: As Republican-led states move to restrict abortion, The Post is tracking legislation across the country on 15-week bans, Texas-style bans, trigger laws and abortion pill bans, as well as Democratic-dominated states that are moving to protect abortion rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade.

How our readers feel: In the hours that followed the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Washington Post readers responded in droves to a callout asking how they felt — and why.

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