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DIVIDED STATES OF ABORTION

These are all the states that have adopted anti-abortion laws so far in 2019

For America, it seems, this is a year of reckoning on the issue of abortion.

In the past few months, a slew of states have passed restrictive abortion laws, with the explicit intent to have them challenged in front of the Supreme Court. With Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh now on the bench, it is the anti-abortionists’ hope that one of these laws will be used to overturn Roe v Wade and take away constitutional protection of abortion rights.

These laws range from limiting the legality of certain procedures used to perform abortion, to making abortions illegal once a heartbeat is detected (with few exceptions), to criminalizing doctors who perform abortions. Further, some states have passed so-called “trigger laws” that would ban or severely limit abortion should Roe v Wade be overturned.

On the other hand, some state legislatures have moved the opposite direction, ensuring legal protections for abortion: New York has passed a law to decriminalize abortion, and Vermont is close to making abortion a fundamental right. Massachusetts, Illinois, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Maine, Nevada, and Hawaii are all in different stages of working on bills that would protect abortion rights.

Below are the states that have introduced anti-abortion regulations in the past couple of months, with a breakdown of what the law dictates and its status.

Alabama

What: Makes it illegal to perform an abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

When: Signed into law on May 15.

Status: ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit to challenge the law.

Arkansas

What: Ban after 18 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest, and medical emergency. Also has a trigger law to ban abortion in the pipeline in case the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade.

When: Signed into law on Mar. 15.

Status: Takes effect this summer.

Georgia

What: Bans abortion past fetal heartbeat—usually about six weeks into a pregnancy.

When: Signed into law on May 7.

Status: Pro-choice organizations promised lawsuits against the law. Businesses investing in Georgia (including Netflix and Disney) said they will reconsider their investments in the state if the law is enforced.

Indiana

What: Allows medical professionals to choose not to perform an abortion; bans dilation and evacuation, medical procedures used for second-trimester abortions.

When: Signed into law on Apr. 24.

Status: Takes effect in May.

Kentucky

What: Bans abortion past fetal heartbeat.

When: Signed into law on March 15.

Status: Blocked by federal court. 

Louisiana

What: A bill that bans most abortion after the fetus’s heartbeat is detected.

When: On the governor’s desk as of May 29; he is expected to sign it into law.

Status: The law will only go into effect if a Mississippi bill (see below) is upheld by a federal court.

Mississippi

What: Bans abortion past fetal heartbeat; ban on dilation and evacuation.

When: Signed into law on Mar. 21.

Status: Temporarily blocked by a federal court.

Missouri

What: Bans abortion after eight weeks.

When: Signed into law on May 24.

Status: Planned Parenthood challenged the law; all abortion clinics could close by May 31.

North Dakota

What: Ban on dilation and evacuation.

When: Signed into law on Apr. 10.

Status: May be challenged depending on a Court of Appeal’s decision on the similar Arkansas law.

Ohio

What: Bans abortion past fetal heartbeat.

When: Signed into law on Apr. 11.

Status: Slated to go into effect on July 11. ACLU and Planned Parenthood have filed a lawsuit to temporarily block the law from coming into effect while a federal judge makes a final decision on it.

Utah

What: Bans abortion after 18 weeks, with some exceptions.

When: Signed into law on Mar. 25.

Status: Blocked by a federal court.

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