Abortion Bans: 8 States Have Passed Bills to Limit the Procedure This Year

Abortion Bans: 8 States Have Passed Bills to Limit the Procedure This Year
Missouri passed a bill on Friday to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, making the state the eighth this year to pass abortion restrictions that could challenge the constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade. Earlier this week, Alabama legislators voted to ban abortions in nearly all cases.
Alabama’s bill is the first outright ban on abortion; other measures limited the procedure to earlier in pregnancy. Here is how limits on abortion have changed across the states this year:
Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio stopped short of outright bans, instead passing so-called heartbeat bills that effectively prohibit abortions after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, when doctors can usually start detecting a fetal heartbeat. Utah and Arkansas voted to limit the procedure to the middle of the second trimester.
Most other states follow the standard set by the Supreme Court’s Roe decision in 1973, which says abortion is legal until the fetus reaches viability, usually at 24 to 28 weeks.
The latest bans are not yet in effect (Kentucky’s was blocked by a judge), and all are expected to face lengthy court battles — indeed, their proponents are hoping they will reach the Supreme Court.
“Some sponsors evidently want to set up a test case to challenge Roe v. Wade,” said Clarke D. Forsythe, a lawyer for Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion advocacy group.
In recent years, Republican legislators successfully pushed bills to restrict abortion by targeting providers, for example through mandating waiting periods for patients or hospital admitting privileges for doctors. Many states limited the procedure to 22 weeks, but until this year, six-week bans were largely seen as too extreme; two that passed, in Iowa and North Dakota, were later struck down in court.
Abortion rights advocates say limiting the procedure to before six weeks in pregnancy is effectively a complete ban, since most people do not learn they are pregnant until later.
https://www.nytimes.com/…/2019/us/abortion-laws-states.html… @ United States