Abortion Bans

Restrictions on abortion are most often accomplished by prohibiting abortions at specific gestational limits, usually defined in state law by either a certain number of weeks post-fertilization, or from a woman’s last menstrual period (LMP). Further limitations on abortions in state-level regulation include restrictions based on a woman’s reason for seeking an abortion, and bans on certain types of procedures used in late-term abortions. When a law includes more than one gestational limit, the earliest gestational limit is coded in this dataset. All other gestational limits in the law, including a state’s total ban on abortion, were captured in the caution note field for the respective questions.

This dataset explores abortion regulations in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in effect as of December 1, 2018, as well as case law and attorney general opinions that affect the enforceability of these laws.

This dataset is a part of a suite of 16 datasets created by the Policy Surveillance Program of the Center for Public Health Law Research in collaboration with subject matter experts from the Guttmacher Institute, Resources for Abortion Delivery (RAD), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), National Abortion Federation (NAF), and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), who conceptualized and developed the Abortion Law Project. If you need broader contextual information on state laws and policies, national level information, or data and evidence related to abortion and other reproductive health issues, please contact the Guttmacher Institute at info@guttmacher.org.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice. If you have questions regarding your legal rights or obligations, contact an attorney. If you are an abortion provider seeking legal compliance guidance, the following collaborating organizations may be able to assist you: ACLU, CRR, PPFA (for affiliated health centers), NAF, and Regulatory Assistance for Abortion Providers (a project of RAD).

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