Here’s What States Are Doing to Abortion Rights in 2023

In the first full legislative session after Roe v. Wade was overturned, states across the country are looking to further restrict or better protect abortion rights. ProPublica looked at what abortion legislation is on the table in 2023.

by Megan Rose
Feb. 8, 2023

For 50 years, Roe v. Wade shut down the biggest ambitions of the anti-abortion movement. Last summer, the Supreme Court overturned that decision, unleashing a flurry of abortion legislation across the nation. And anti-abortion advocates have eager partners in Republican-controlled legislatures across the country.

“It’s exciting because our hands have been untied,” Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said. “We’re going to see what we can do and do it.”


EXPLAINER: Undoing of Roe quickly shifts abortion in states

By Geoff Mulvihill, The Associated Press
Tue., Dec. 20, 2022

Anti-abortion groups hoped and strategized for decades for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that was delivered in June, ending a court-protected right to abortion after nearly 50 years. The fallout was immediate and far-reaching — and it’s not over yet.

The midyear ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established the right to abortion, shaped the national political agenda for the rest of the year and put abortion access in flux. The shifts are expected to keep coming as lawmakers, voters and judges weigh in.


California passes ‘historic’ legislative package protecting or expanding abortion access

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Fri September 2, 2022

The California Legislature this week passed about a dozen bills in what proponents call a "historic" legislative package to protect and expand abortion access in the state, as its Democratic leaders seek to make California a "reproductive freedom" state.

Lawmakers approved the bills in the final days of their legislative session, which ended Wednesday. The legislation now goes to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has been supportive of abortion rights, for his signature.


Tracking new action on abortion legislation across the states

By Caroline Kitchener, Kevin Schaul and Daniela Santamariña
Updated April 14 (originally published March 26, 2022)

Two states this week approved bills that ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, the latest actions as Republican-led states move swiftly to restrict abortion access. Kentucky’s ban, passed by the Republican-led legislature over the Democratic governor’s veto, took effect immediately. Florida’s governor signed a ban this week that is set to take effect in July.

While a lot of the bills this year look similar to bills we’ve seen before, the stakes are completely different. In recent years, the most restrictive bans were blocked by the courts, ruled unconstitutional because they violated Supreme Court precedent established in Roe v. Wade, which has protected the constitutional right to abortion for nearly 50 years.


Abortion access under renewed threat in Oklahoma and Missouri

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Sun April 10, 2022

(CNN)While abortion rights advocates could secure several victories in US states in the coming days, they're sounding the alarm about an Oklahoma bill that would ban nearly all abortions that's likely to be signed into law. Here are some of this week's moves in state legislatures and by state leaders you may have missed.

Oklahoma sends near-total ban on abortion to governor
Oklahoma legislators passed a bill on Tuesday that would make performing an abortion illegal in the state, except to save the life of the pregnant woman in a medical emergency.


The right to abortion in Colorado is now guaranteed under state law

April 5, 2022

Colorado just enacted a law that enshrines the right to have an abortion in the state, the latest left-leaning state that's taken action to protect reproductive rights as the practice faces renewed efforts by conservatives to restrict its access.

The so-called Reproductive Health Equity Act affirms that pregnant people in Colorado have the right to continue a pregnancy and give birth or have an abortion, and it blocks public entities from denying or restricting that right.


USA – The States Poised to Be the New Abortion Battlegrounds

MAR. 19, 2022
By Ed Kilgore

It’s likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse or severely curtail federal constitutional abortion rights in its upcoming decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization this spring or early summer. In that event, some states are already poised to enact new laws (some of it “trigger” legislation that goes into effect automatically) that severely curtail reproductive rights. These state actions could help mobilize Americans on both sides of the abortion-policy barricades for the November midterms. But the biggest political battles are likely to break out in states where lawmakers hell-bent on banning some, if not all, abortions collide with constituencies in which a majority favor maintaining the status quo.

At Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Louis Jacobson endeavored to identify such abortion battlefields, choosing states with four criteria:


States move to front lines in battle over abortion rights with Supreme Court decision looming


Washington — With the Supreme Court poised to issue a decision in the coming months that could reshape the landscape for abortion care in the country, state lawmakers returning to their capitals this month are moving to the front lines in the fight over reproductive rights.

Republican-led legislatures are preparing to impose more restrictions on abortions or ban the procedure outright, while Democrat-controlled state houses are moving to enshrine the right to an abortion into state law. But the future of abortion access is less predictable in states with divided governance, where activists are pursuing a multi-pronged offensive to protect abortion rights in their states.


State legislatures in U.S. poised to act on abortion rights

Wilson Ring, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, December 28, 2021

MONTPELIER, VT. -- Early in the new year, the Vermont House of Representatives is due to begin debate on an amendment that would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution and send the question to voters in the fall.

Because the process began two years ago, it's a coincidence that Vermont lawmakers will be considering the Reproductive Liberty Amendment while the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case that could severely erode a right that has stood for half a century.


State Policy Trends at Midyear 2021: Already the Worst Legislative Year Ever for U.S. Abortion Rights

Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
Sophia Naide, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: July 1, 2021

In the first six months of the year, many state legislatures engaged in an assault on many civil rights, including abortion, voting and transgender rights. More abortion restrictions—90—have already been enacted in 2021 than in any year since the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down in 1973. Many of these actions took place in the beginning of the year, despite the need for state legislatures to address critical issues ranging from racial equity to the COVID-19 response and pandemic-related health care.

In addition to their relentless attacks on abortion, several state legislatures have focused on measures that target transgender youth by banning gender-affirming care or restricting their participation in sports. These laws are part of a new wave of restrictions that build on transphobic legislation from previous years, including “bathroom bills” that require individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds to their sex as assigned at birth and bills to ban puberty blockers, which give young people time to make a decision about transitioning.