Jun 9, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Charted: The uneven landscape of abortion laws

Choropleth map showing the status of abortion restrictions by state as of May 30, 2024. There are 14 states where abortion is banned and three states where there is a limit on abortions after six weeks. Iowa, Arizona, Ohio, Utah, Montana and Wyoming have stricter restrictions on abortion that are currently blocked by courts.
Data: KFF, Guttmacher Institute, Axios research; Map: Axios Visuals

Half the states have imposed limits on abortion in the two years since the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a federal right to the procedure.

Why it matters: The severity of those limits varies significantly; in general, the harshest restrictions are in the South and the Midwest.

  • Court battles over restrictions are ongoing in several states.

President Biden has said he wants to codify the abortion rights under Roe v. Wade into federal law, but he hasn't had the votes in Congress to do so.

  • Former President Trump and Republican leaders have said they have no plans to impose a national ban on abortion if Trump is elected, saying regulation should be left to the states.
  • Abortion-rights activists are skeptical of that claim.

Today, 17 states have full bans on abortion or allow the procedure only up to six weeks of pregnancy.

  • In six states — Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Iowa and Ohio — courts are blocking efforts to impose stricter rules.

What to watch: State-level legislative fights over abortion access continue.

  • In 2023, state legislatures introduced 754 provisions to protect or expand access to abortion care, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
  • 129 were enacted.
  • 675 provisions were introduced to restrict access, and 80 were enacted.
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