Which 14 states have abortion bans?

Which 14 states have abortion bans?

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Texas-led challenge to the abortion medication mifepristone on Thursday. But state-by-state abortion restrictions remain, with many states passing trigger bans following the 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which ended the constitutional right to an abortion.

We review the 14 states where abortion bans are currently in effect.

Alabama

Pro-choice supporters protest in front of the Alabama State House as the State Senate votes on the strictest anti-abortion bill in the United States in Montgomery, Alabama on May 14, 2019.
Pro-choice supporters protest in front of the Alabama State House as the State Senate votes on the strictest anti-abortion bill in the United States in Montgomery, Alabama on May 14, 2019.

In Alabama, abortion is banned in almost all cases except when the mother’s life is at risk. Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, there has been a notable drop in OBGYN residencies within the state. Earlier this year, Alabama’s State Supreme Court made national headlines when it issued a ruling that might have banned IVF, but later reversed course with legislation safeguarding the practice.

Arkansas

In Arkansas, abortion is prohibited under almost all conditions except to save the mother’s life. This November, voters may consider a ballot initiative regarding constitutional protections for abortion. The organizers behind the initiative are careful to frame the abortion ban as government overreach, and is less aggressive than what's endorsed by many national abortion rights organizations.

More: Map: Tracking abortion-related ballot measures in the upcoming election

Idaho

Idaho’s abortion ban, which criminalizes abortion except in cases where a physician can prove a threat to the mother’s life, was brought before the U.S. Supreme Court this spring. The court is expected to rule on its constitutionality. The state’s abortion laws have faced criticism from professors with free speech concerns and medical professionals worried about OBGYN shortages.

An anti-abortion activist holds a placard on the day the Supreme Court justices hear oral arguments over the legality of Idaho's near-total abortion ban in medical-emergency situations in Washington, D.C. on April 24, 2024.
An anti-abortion activist holds a placard on the day the Supreme Court justices hear oral arguments over the legality of Idaho's near-total abortion ban in medical-emergency situations in Washington, D.C. on April 24, 2024.

Indiana

In Indiana, abortion is prohibited in almost all situations, with exceptions allowed up to 10 weeks for instances of rape or incest, fetal anomalies, or to safeguard the mother’s life. The ban’s wording has faced criticism by doctors in the Hoosier State, and in 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court dismissed a legal challenge against the ban initiated by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

Kentucky

In Kentucky, abortion is prohibited under almost all conditions except to save the patient’s life or prevent a disabling injury. A woman contested the state’s abortion prohibition in 2023, and Kentucky voters rejected a constitutional amendment in 2022 that would have abolished the right to abortion. A January 2024 report estimated there have been 3,000 pregnancies resulting from rape since the enactment of Kentucky’s abortion ban.

Louisiana

Abortion is banned nearly across the board in Louisiana, with exceptions for the life of the mother or a nonviable pregnancy. In May, the state legislature voted to classify mifepristone and misoprostol as controlled substances and doubled down on rejecting rape and incest exceptions for pregnant children. The state also drew scrutiny from the Shreveport Times for giving an anti-abortion non-profit a multi-million dollar state contract.

Mississippi

Abortion is almost entirely off the table in Mississippi, with exceptions for rape and the life of the parent. Surrounded by states with similar laws, Mississippians told USA TODAY that the ban has forced them to face difficult choices.

Missouri

In Missouri, abortion is prohibited in nearly all cases, except for medical emergencies, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The state’s laws came under scrutiny in 2022 when a woman carrying a nonviable fetus was forced to seek medical care outside Missouri. By May, activists had gathered over 380,000 signatures to propose a constitutional amendment for abortion rights on the November ballot.

North Dakota

In April 2023, Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed one of the country’s most restrictive abortion measures into law. The bill bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy, allowing exceptions only within the first six weeks for cases of rape, incest, or medical emergencies.

Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, abortion is prohibited in nearly all cases, without exceptions for rape or incest. In 2023, the State Supreme Court permitted abortions only when the woman’s life was at risk, overturning the criminalization of the procedure. Elective abortions remain unapproved unless they are to save the life of the pregnant woman.

South Dakota

Abortion is largely banned in South Dakota, except to save the life of the parent, with no exceptions for rape or incest. In February, the state legislature of South Dakota approved a bill to develop a video explainer. This resource is intended to guide healthcare providers on the procedures permitted under South Dakota law.

Additionally, South Dakota will join other states in putting the constitutional right to an abortion to a vote this November.

Tennessee

In Tennessee, most abortions are banned with limited exceptions for parent health. There’s a lawsuit challenging the ban, claiming that women had to leave the state for necessary terminations. The state has also seen decreased medical residency applications, particularly in obstetrics and gynecology.

Abortion rights (in orange) and anti-abortion advocates (in blue) rally in the rotunda of the State Capitol, as the state Senate meets to consider legislation restricting abortion rights in Austin, Texas on July 12, 2013.
Abortion rights (in orange) and anti-abortion advocates (in blue) rally in the rotunda of the State Capitol, as the state Senate meets to consider legislation restricting abortion rights in Austin, Texas on July 12, 2013.

Texas

Abortion is almost entirely prohibited in Texas, with an exception for “life-threatening conditions.” The Texas Supreme Court recently struck down a challenge against the Lone Star State’s abortion laws. Among the plaintiffs were a woman who was forced to carry to term a fetus developing without a brain, and another who had to travel out of state because her pregnancy posed a risk to her fertility

West Virginia

Abortion is banned with limited exceptions in the Mountain State, with slim exceptions for medical emergencies, “nonmedically viable fetuses,” and ectopic pregnancies.

Cy Neff reports on Wyoming politics for USA TODAY. You can reach him at cneff@usatoday.com or on X, formerly known as Twitter, @CyNeffNews

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: States with abortion bans still in effect