Statutory and Constitutional Right to Abortion

Although Roe v. Wade (1973) currently protects the right to an abortion at the federal level, some states have enacted additional legal protections for individuals seeking abortion. Some states have laws prohibiting any interference with a woman exercising her right to obtain an abortion prior to viability, or when necessary to protect the life and health of the woman. Additionally, there are state court opinions that interpret provisions of their state constitution to similarly protect the right to an abortion up to viability. However, no states have an explicit constitutional provision that specifically protects a woman’s right to seek an abortion.

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).

**Please note** This dataset is currently undergoing an active update, and will be rereleased by October 2019. Please consult the downloadable data file, found to the right under Data, for the most accurate information in the interim. If you have any questions about the information provided here, please contact LawAtlas@temple.edu

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