What happens to abortion laws in states across the US?

A law signed by Gov. Oklahoma’s Kevin Stitt pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a maximum of 10 years in prison for performing an abortion in the state. It is the latest in a cascade of restrictive abortion legislation proposed in Republican states across the country.

The measure, Senate Bill 612, which comes into force in August, allows only one exception “to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.”

The bill comes after Oklahoma became a haven for Texans seeking abortion after Texas last fall imposed a ban on most procedures, the most far-reaching abortion restrictions that have been in effect since the Supreme Court ruling in 1973 in Roe v. Wade. It’s also because the Supreme Court is preparing to rule later this year on a case that Roe v. Wade.

Here are answers to some common questions about legislation nationwide.

In 30 states, almost total abortion bans have been introduced this year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. Prohibitions have passed at least one legislature in seven states: Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia. They are established in four of those states: Oklahoma, Arizona, Idaho and Wyoming.

“What we are currently seeing is the building of decades where state legislators have adopted restriction after restriction, and now they are moving to adopt prohibition after prohibition,” said Elizabeth Nash, state policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute. She said the legislation reflects the efforts of increasingly conservative state lawmakers who are moving to take advantage of legal shifts in the courts.

Several states already have so-called trigger bans, which will make abortion illegal if Roe is reversed or scaled back. All legislation proposed so far will probably be introduced, Ms. sei Nash. But some efforts may face court challenges: In Idaho, for example, an abortion ban model on that of Texas was set to take effect on April 22, but was temporarily blocked by the Idaho Supreme Court on Friday. Planned Parenthood said Tuesday that it would “challenge any abortion ban imposed in Oklahoma.”

Mei Roe v. Wade’s future uncertain, many states push legislation that protects the right to an abortion. About 30 states and the District of Columbia are considering measures that protect and expand access to abortion, according to Ms. Nash. Laws protecting the right to an abortion already exist in at least 16 states and the District of Columbia.

Some states have gone further: Lawmakers in Vermont voted in February to move forward on an amendment to the state constitution that would guarantee the right to an abortion.

A comprehensive package of bills in California seeks to make the state a “refuge” for women seeking abortion. The bills would make it easier for clients to access abortion services and for providers to pay.

A proposal released late last year with the support of Gov. Gavin Newsom and the leaders of California’s two legislatures are calling for increased funding for abortion providers, reducing administrative barriers to access to abortion, and strengthening legal protections for abortion patients. In March, Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, signed legislation to eliminate the cost of abortion for abortion services.

An “almost total” ban typically refers to a law restricting abortion, except in cases where a patient’s life is in danger, Ms. said. Nash of the Guttmacher Institute. Legislators consider two major types of near-total bans. One is a ban on Texas’ model, which deputies private citizens to bring a lawsuit against anyone who performs an abortion or a “aids and abets” procedure. Texas law prohibits abortions once cardiac activity is detected in the embryo; Such activity typically occurs around the sixth week of pregnancy, before many are even aware that they are pregnant.

A bill on the floor of the Senate in Oklahoma would go further, allowing citizens to enforce a ban on any abortion that takes place after conception. That law would enter into force immediately.

Other states are considering a 15-week ban. These do not constitute an “almost-total” ban, but are still a major reversal of Roe, which protects the right to an abortion until a fetus is viable outside the womb, normally considered around 23 weeks.

According to a 2017 census of abortion providers performed by the Guttmacher Institute, the largest portion of the state of abortions was performed in California, at 15.4 percent. The second-highest share was executed in New York State, with 12.2 percent. The third-highest state was Florida with 8.2 percent.

Abortion ban applies to both surgical abortions and medical abortions, which are performed with a combination of two medications of mifepristone and misoprostol. Medical abortions accounted for more than half of all abortions in the United States by 2020, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Additional bans on the use of medical abortion pills have been proposed in at least eight states this year and have passed at least one room in both South Dakota and Wyoming. Prohibitions on the supply of medical abortion pills have been proposed in at least seven states this year, and passed in at least one chamber in both Georgia and Kentucky.

Kate Zernike contributed reporting.


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