People protesting abortion bans
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Certain States Criminalize Abortions — And Impose Harsh Punishments

Jennifer Farrington - Author

Aug. 10 2022, Published 10:22 p.m. ET

After the Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade, it gave each state the power to decide how it wanted to handle abortions. While some have made it clear they will continue to uphold a woman’s reproductive rights, others keep pushing to evoke it.

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Although laws are continuously changing, some states have criminalized abortions. Keep reading to learn about the specific states and what criminalization means.

Certain states have issued abortion bans that make it illegal to have the procedure performed.

Map of U.S.
Source: Getty Images


Alabama’s 2019 full abortion ban law went into effect on June 24, following the Supreme Court ruling, according to The Washington Post. Alabama only allows abortion when the life of the mother is in danger.

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Arizona had an abortion ban in effect prior to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Arizona’s Republican attorney general announced that he plans to get the injunction removed from the 1901 law so that it can be enforced.


Arkansas had a trigger ban in place that took effect following the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 24. Abortions can only be performed when it is necessary to save the woman’s life.


Georgia’s 2019 abortion ban law was reinstated on July 20, according to The Washington Post. The law only allows for abortions to be performed within six weeks after the LMP (last menstrual period).


The Idaho abortion ban takes effect on August 25, 2022.

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On Aug. 5, Indiana passed an abortion law that makes the procedure illegal unless one of the following circumstances exists: rape, incest, or lethal fetal anomaly. The law takes effect on September 15, 2022.


Currently, Kentucky bans abortions from conception.

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Louisiana’s trigger law bans abortions, listing lethal fetal anomalies as the only exception.


Abortions are considered illegal in Mississippi unless they're performed before six weeks and in the case of rape, incest, or lethal fetal anomaly.


Missouri’s trigger ban took effect following the June 24 ruling, with few exceptions.


Ohio currently has a six-week ban in place, meaning abortions can only be performed before cardiac activity has been detected.

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Oklahoma had an abortion ban in effect prior to the June 24 ruling along with a trigger ban following it. The law makes it illegal to receive an abortion before six weeks. NPR says after that, it's considered a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

South Carolina

South Carolina considers abortion to be a criminal act if it's performed after six weeks. The law identifies the following as exceptions to the ban: rape, incest, and lethal fetal anomaly.

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South Dakota

It's illegal to receive an abortion in South Dakota thanks to the state's trigger law that took effect following the June 24 ruling. The only exception South Dakota recognizes is a lethal fetal anomaly, which means pregnancy can be terminated if a healthcare provider determines having the child puts the mother at risk of death.


Tennessee has an abortion ban in place that only permits the procedure before six weeks.


Abortions are currently illegal in Texas, with no exceptions.

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Utah had a trigger ban in place that took effect following the June 24 ruling. However, the law, which bans nearly all abortions except for those that stem from rape, incest, or lethal fetal anomaly, was blocked by a state court judge on June 27, according to The Washington Post.

Until the trigger law takes effect, abortions can be performed in Utah up until 18 weeks. After that, the procedure can't be performed.

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West Virginia

Although a judge blocked West Virginia’s 150-year abortion ban, allowing some clinics to continue with the procedure up until 22 weeks, it isn't clear how long the temporary block will hold. If the temporary block gets lifted, receiving an abortion would be considered a felony.


Because Wisconsin’s laws are a bit unclear, healthcare providers have paused performing abortions. While the state did have a trigger law in place that bans the procedure, the Guttmacher Institute says abortions are legal up until 22 weeks since the LMP.

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Both North Dakota and Wyoming have trigger laws in place that ban nearly all abortions. However, the laws were blocked by federal judges, essentially putting them on pause.

Seek advice from a professional before getting an abortion.

Because some states are halting abortion procedures until the law can be further clarified, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer or healthcare facility to find out if getting an abortion is a violation of criminal law in your state.


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