Factbox: Abortion conflicts to watch in 2023 in U.S. state capitals

By Gabriella Borter; Edited by News Gate Team

[1/2] Pro-abortion demonstrators march to the State Capitol to mark the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that had established a right to abortion until it was overturned last year, in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. January 22, 2023.
[2/2] Anti-abortion demonstrators take part in the annual “March for Life” for the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade abortion decision, in Washington, U.S. January 20, 2023.
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Reuters, February 9 – After the US Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last year, arguments over how much to limit or increase access to abortion are intensifying in state legislative buildings around the United States.

Here is a summary of state laws that would either restrict or guarantee access to abortion in 2023.

FLORIDA: Republican state lawmakers have stated they are considering pursuing stronger measures, such as a 12-week ban. This is despite the fact that the 15-week abortion restriction signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis last year is currently being contested in court. DeSantis declared last week that if the Republican-controlled legislature approves a bill banning abortions before six weeks of pregnancy, he will sign it.

KANSAS: Despite Kansans’ support for abortion rights on a ballot issue last year, Republican lawmakers have suggested measures such as an almost complete ban on abortion and restrictions on telemedicine prescriptions for abortion medication.

IDAHO: Legislators in Idaho have proposed a bill that would make it unlawful to assist a child in getting an abortion in another state without the consent of the kid’s parents or legal guardians. The penalty for violators is two to five years in prison. The state is presently imposing a complete prohibition on abortion.

MONTANA: Republican legislators have presented a bill to overturn a 1999 decision by the state’s highest court, which determined that the state constitution guaranteed the right to an abortion. This decision has stopped the conservative state’s legislators from limiting abortion beyond the current 24-week restriction. This year, lawmakers also sponsored a bill that would restrict Medicaid patients’ access to abortions.

Republican legislators in Nebraska’s unicameral 50-seat legislature have proposed a six-week abortion ban. With 29 sponsors, the bill only needs 33 votes to succeed without a filibuster. Currently, the state allows abortions up to 22 weeks.

NORTH DAKOTA: The state supreme court is expected to issue a decision about a challenge to a trigger ban, a complete abortion ban that was put into force as soon as Roe was reversed but has since been temporarily blocked while the case is being heard. To clarify the prohibition, Republican senators are advancing a bill that would permit abortions in rape and incest instances prior to six weeks of pregnancy.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Republicans have proposed a near-total abortion ban and a 6-week ban this year, despite the fact that the state high court just overturned a six-week abortion ban in a 3-2 decision. The outcome of the state’s appeal of the supreme court ruling may determine whether or not that legislation is successful.

A law that forbids the use or prescription of abortion drugs has cleared the Senate in Wyoming and is now headed to the House of Representatives. While a state court considers a challenge to a nearly complete trigger ban, abortion is lawful up until viability, or about 24 weeks.

MICHIGAN: In the November 2022 election, proponents of abortion rights made significant gains in Michigan, winning a Democratic majority in the legislature and ensuring the protection of abortion rights in the state constitution. A Democratic-sponsored bill to overturn a prohibition on abortion from 1931 is likely to pass.

ILLINOIS: Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a measure defending abortion clinics and out-of-state clients from legal challenges brought by other states in January.

MINNESOTA: A statute enshrining abortion rights, as well as a right to contraception and fertility treatment, was passed by the Minnesota legislature’s new Democratic majority in January. On January 31, Democratic Governor Tim Walz approved the bill.

A bill that would write abortion and contraceptive rights into the state constitution has been submitted by lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled legislature in Washington. It would need to be approved by two-thirds of the members of both chambers as well as the majority of voters in a general election in order to pass.

By Gabriella Borter; Edited by News Gate Team

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