On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, eliminating nearly 50 years of constitutionally protected reproductive rights for women and handing over the power to legislate abortion policy to each state. 

This immediately triggered bans and severe restrictions across the country. The consequences have created chaos, confusion and barriers to abortion access, disrupted healthcare and ended safeguards to women’s freedom, bodily autonomy and equality. 

Map of the United States indicating abortion policies per state after SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022
Current policies as of May 29, 2024. Via Guttmacher Institute

Young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had. … The majority’s refusal even to consider the life-altering consequences of reversing Roe … is a stunning indictment of its decision.

Portion of the dissenting opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization by U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer

Some stats since the end of Roe v. Wade

  • 22 million people of reproductive age—about 2 in 5 American women—live in states with abortion bans or severe restrictions.
  • 14 states totally ban abortion (after conception.)
  • Five states restrict abortion access. 
  • Six states’ bans are on hold (some temporarily).
  • 25 states (and Washington D.C.) provide legal and protected abortion care.
  • Only 13% of voters support abortion bans. 
  • 62% to 85% of Americans say abortion should be legal in some or most cases. 
  • 69% – 73% of Americans disapprove of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case.

In many states, performing an abortion is a felony. Penalties can include fines from $1,000 to $100,000, loss of license, and incarceration ranging from months/years to a life sentence.

In Texas it’s illegal to “aid and abet” an abortion, which is aimed at clinic or hospital staff, those who give financial support, and even helpers who offer transportation. The vigilante-style process allows people to reap a reward of $10,000 if they report someone that they suspect is involved with an abortion. 

Investigations of self-managed abortions have charged people with concealment of a birth or even homicide, seizing phones and tablets for evidence in texts, emails and browser history.

Abortion laws prevent providers from giving care to women experiencing miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and other health complications during pregnancy or delay treatment.

Dozens of clinics are closing, with doctors fleeing restrictive states over fear of legal penalties. States like New Mexico and Illinois—which border states with bans—are seeing an influx of women seeking abortions. This means costly changes to staff and hours to accommodate patients, and extended waiting time for appointments. Mobile clinics travel to cities in states like Colorado, which has six neighboring states with abortion bans.

The average distance to an abortion clinic is now 300 miles — a sharp increase since 2014 when it was less than 25 miles. New Mexico is one of several likely destinations for women needing abortions.

Read the full report from National Partnership for Women & Families
Read our medication abortion tipsheet

Abortion is health care. Recent state restrictions, coupled with ongoing efforts to curtail access to medication abortion pills nationwide, are an attempt to interfere with the delivery of evidence-based health care and control pregnant people’s bodies.

Suzanne Bell
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

SOLUTIONS


The Future of Abortion video featuring actor and women’s rights advocate Alyssa Milano
Learn more about solutions for the future of abortion

We’ve come a long way from TRAP laws (Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers) ordering that doorways be as wide as ambulatory surgical centers and other unnecessary medical requirements designed to shutter clinics. Reproductive rights are now in the hands of legislators, governors and judges across the country. As a woman’s freedom of choice turned political, participation at the local level is vital to protecting rights. 

Abortion stories matter. The health of millions is at risk in states that prohibit abortions. TV storylines portraying abortion experiences can inform viewers and reduce stigma.

Links to Resources