September 26, 2021

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What U.S. abortion access looks like, in graphics – NBC News

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States have also enacted the most restrictions in any single year since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion-rights research organization. This year, many of the laws ban abortion at a certain point in pregnancy, for a specific reason, or altogether.

Texas’ law is one of the most extreme passed this legislative session: It outlaws abortion after cardiac activity is detected, typically around six weeks of pregnancy, making it the largest state to ban the procedure before many people even know they are pregnant. It also allows private citizens to file lawsuits against doctors or anyone who helps someone get an abortion.

So far this year, 12 abortion bans have been enacted in nine states. A majority of the restrictions aren’t currently in place, however, either because they have not gone into effect yet, or they face legal challenges.

1. Arizona: Ban based on a genetic anomaly

When was the bill passed?

Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, signed the bill on April 27.

What does the law say?

It bans abortions if a fetus has or is presumed to have a genetic anomaly such as Down syndrome. Providers who terminate a pregnancy because of a fetal abnormality could face a felony charge and prison time of up to two years. The only exceptions are in the case of a medical emergency or lethal fetal conditions.

The bill also requires that fetal remains be buried or cremated.

What’s the status of the law?

The bill is projected to go into effect in September, however ​​Planned Parenthood has said it is still exploring all legal options to protect access to care in the state.

2. Arkansas: Near-total ban on abortion

When was the bill passed?

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, signed the bill on March 9.

What does the law say?

It outlaws all abortion procedures in the state unless the individual’s life is in danger. It doesn’t allow exceptions for rape or incest. Anyone who provides or attempts to provide an abortion could be found guilty of a felony and face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $100,000.

Hutchinson admitted the bill is unconstitutional but said he signed it because of its “overwhelming legislative support and my sincere and long-held pro-life convictions.”

What’s the status of the law?

A federal district court blocked the Arkansas law in July.

3. Montana: Ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy

When was the bill passed?

Gov. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, signed the bill on April 26.

What does the law say?

The bill bans abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, citing that it would protect fetuses capable of feeling pain. However, medical organizations — including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists — have said that a fetus cannot experience pain until at least 24 weeks of gestation.

What’s the status of the law?

The ban will take effect in October. Planned Parenthood has said it will protect the constitutional right to abortion in Montana, including standing up for patients in court.

4. Idaho: Ban abortions as early as six weeks of pregnancy

When was the bill passed?

Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, signed the bill on April 27.

What does the law say?

It requires providers to perform ultrasound tests to check for cardiac activity. If it is detected, an abortion can only be performed if a person’s life or physical health is in danger or in cases of rape or incest. Because cardiac activity can be detected as early as six weeks of gestation, the law effectively bans abortion before most people realize they are pregnant.

What’s the status of the law?

The bill will go into effect only if a federal court of appeals upholds a similar ban from another state. Planned Parenthood plans to sue in the event that a similar bill is upheld.

5. Oklahoma: Ban abortions as early as six weeks of pregnancy

When was the bill passed?

Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed the bill on April 26.

What does the law say?

The law requires ultrasound checks for cardiac activity and bans abortion if detected. An abortion procedure is allowed to avoid “death or avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function” to the individual, but not in the case of rape or incest.

What’s the status of the law?

The law is poised to go into effect in November; however, Planned Parenthood is “prepared to go to court to defend abortion access in Oklahoma if necessary,” said Emily Wales, chief operating officer and general counsel on litigation at Planned Parenthood Great Plains.

6. Oklahoma: Near-total ban on abortion

When was the bill passed?

Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed the bill on April 26.

What does the law say?

It bans all abortions in the state unless “necessary to prevent the death of the mother or to prevent substantial or irreversible physical impairment of the mother that substantially increases the risk of death,” but not in instances of rape or incest. If a provider continues to perform abortion procedures, they could lose their medical license.

What’s the status of the law?

The near-total ban will take effect in November, but Planned Parenthood says it is exploring all legal options to protect patients in Oklahoma.

7. Oklahoma: “Trigger” ban

When was the bill passed?

Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed the bill on April 27.

What does the law say?

The ban would outlaw abortion in the state if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

What’s the status of the law?

It will be added to the state statute in November, but it would only take effect if Roe v. Wade were to fall. If the state enforced the ban, reproductive rights groups would likely sue.

8. South Carolina: Ban abortions as early as six weeks of pregnancy

When was the bill passed?

Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, signed the bill on Feb. 18, making it the first state to pass an abortion ban this year.

What does the law say?

It requires doctors to perform ultrasounds to check for cardiac activity. If detected, an abortion can only be performed if the individual’s life is in danger, to prevent irreversible bodily impairment, or if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest.

Those who continue to provide abortions could be charged with a felony, sentenced up to two years in prison, and fined $10,000 if found guilty. Abortion providers could also have their medical licenses revoked and face civil lawsuits for damages.

What’s the status of the law?

Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights sued, preventing the measure from taking effect.

9. South Dakota: Ban abortions on Down syndrome diagnosis

When was the bill passed?

Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, signed the bill on March 25.

What does the law say?

The measure bans abortion procedures when testing indicates a fetus may have Down syndrome.

What’s the status of the law?

The law took effect in July.

10. Texas: Ban abortions as early as six weeks of pregnancy

When was the bill passed?

Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed the bill on May 19.

What does the law say?

It bans abortion once cardiac activity is detected, making it the largest state to outlaw abortions before many know they are pregnant. The law also prohibits state officials from enforcing the ban; instead, it allows anyone to sue an abortion provider or anyone who may have helped someone get an abortion after the limit and seek financial damages of up to $10,000 per defendant.

What’s the status of the law?

The Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas, and multiple Texas abortion providers, including Whole Woman’s Health, sued to block the law before it takes effect in September.

11. Texas: “Trigger” ban

When was the bill passed?

Abbott signed the bill on June 16.

What does the law say?

The ban would outlaw abortion in the state if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

What’s the status of the law?

It will be added to the state statute in September, but it would take effect only if Roe v. Wade were to fall. If the state enforced the ban, reproductive rights groups would likely sue.

12. New Hampshire: Ban abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy

When was the bill passed?

Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, signed a two-year state budget on June 25, which included a provision prohibiting abortion at a certain point in pregnancy.

What does the law say?

It outlaws abortions after 24 weeks gestation, except in the case of life endangerment or a severe physical heath condition. The ban includes no exceptions for rape or incest. Doctors who provide abortions beyond that point could face a felony charge and up to seven years in prison.

What’s the status of the law?

The ban will take effect in January 2022.

While states are ramping up efforts to curb abortion rights this year, access to the procedure already varies greatly around the country. Conservative lawmakers have significant leeway to regulate abortion in their states, and since Roe v. Wade, more than 1,300 abortion restrictions have been enacted.

From requiring patients to undergo waiting periods to state-mandated counseling and more, these laws often make abortion more difficult and expensive to obtain or entirely out of reach without explicitly banning it.

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