FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2017
13 States Have Laws that Will Criminalize Abortion if Roe Is Overturned
A new 50-state report from NARAL Pro-Choice America finds that reproductive-health-care access is severely restricted in a majority of states, raising serious concerns for the future of reproductive freedom under a Trump presidency. In Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States, NARAL analyzes laws related to reproductive freedom passed in state legislatures across the country and shows the choice composition of every state legislature. In the last year, no state achieved a rating of “total access” to reproductive-health care, and access is “severely restricted” in 26 states.
The report shows just how precarious abortion access is in many states and just how dangerous it could become if Donald Trump and anti-choice Republicans appoint anti-choice Supreme Court justices who succeed in overturning Roe v. Wade. Eleven states have unconstitutional and currently unenforceable criminal bans on abortion (AL, AZ, AR, DE, LA, MA, MI, MS, NM, OK, WV) and four states have laws that would impose near-total criminal bans on abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe (LA, MS, ND, SD)—all of which could criminalize abortion immediately upon the reversal of Roe’s protections.
“This report paints a grim picture of the current status of reproductive freedom in the United States, and if Donald Trump succeeds in appointing Supreme Court justices who overturn Roe v. Wade, our data shows that women will be even worse off.” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Seven in 10 Americans believe abortion should be legal and accessible, and reject the anti-choice policies pushed by Donald Trump and anti-choice Republicans in Congress and at the state level. Our mission now is to fight for the America we and a majority of Americans believe in by organizing and mobilizing pro-choice voters and our one million member activists against the extreme agenda being pushed by anti-choice politicians.”
In 2016, 26 states enacted 56 anti-choice measures, bringing the total number of anti-choice measures enacted since 1995 up to 932. The most prominent trends in anti-choice legislation continue to be abortion bans, restrictions on biomedical research, counseling and referral bans, laws barring abortion providers from participating in public health-care programs, and laws targeting the regulation of abortion providers (“TRAP” laws).
Key findings from the report include:
- 11 states have unconstitutional and unenforceable near-total bans on abortion (AL, AZ, AR, DE, LA, MA, MI, MS, NM, OK, WV)—at risk if Roe falls.
- Four states have “trigger” bans, which would impose near-total criminal bans on abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade (LA, MS, ND, SD).
- 26 states enacted 56 anti-choice measures in 2016 (AK, AL, AR, AZ, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, UT, WI, and WV).
- Louisiana enacted the most anti-choice legislation in 2016, with seven anti-choice measures.
- 25 states have both anti-choice governors and legislatures (AL, AK, AZ, AR, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MS, MO, NE, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WI, and WY).
- A majority of states have anti-choice legislatures or governors.
- 30 states have anti-choice governors (AL, AK, AZ, AR, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MI, MS, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NM, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WI, and WY).
- 32 states have anti-choice legislatures (both House and Senate) (AL, AK, AZ, AR, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WV, WI, WY).
- 16 states and the District of Columbia enacted 30 pro-choice measures in 2016 (AZ, CA, CO, DC, DE, HI, IL, LA, MD, MO, NH, NM, NY, TN, UT, VT, and WA).
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”