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Abortion laws are changing in US; here's a state-by-state guide

Charles Duncan, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in News & Features

A "near-total abortion ban" passed by the Alabama Senate this week is part of a movement in some parts of the country to create restrictive new laws on abortion.

Alabama's bill, which does not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest, now heads to the state's Republican governor, who has not said publicly if she will sign it.

Some say the bill is the most restrictive anti-abortion measure passed since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.

But the Alabama bill is part of a broader effort among some conservative states to restrict abortion in recent years, including proposals and new laws in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and others around the South and Midwest.

"At least 15 states, ranging from Maryland to Texas, are considering versions of 'heartbeat' legislation in 2019," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Here's an update on major abortion legislation passed or considered recently by states:


ALABAMA: The bill banning essentially all abortions passed the state's House and Senate, and is now on the governor's desk for her signature. The legislation makes "it a felony for doctors to perform or attempt to perform an abortion in the state," reports. The only exception is for cases where a mother's life is at risk.

ALASKA: In February, the Alaska Supreme Court blocked two laws that would have restricted "how Medicaid can be used to pay for abortions," according to the Anchorage Daily News.

ARKANSAS: Lawmakers in Arkansas passed nine new bills in their most recent session restricting access to abortion, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. The bills, according to the newspaper, "make the procedure illegal after 18 weeks of pregnancy; ban it entirely if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the 1973 decision that legalized it; ban it in the event of a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis; and ban state funding for abortions and abortion-related services for inmates."

GEORGIA: Gov. Brian Kemp signed Georgia's "heartbeat" law earlier this month. It bans abortions after doctors detect a heartbeat on a fetus, normally about six weeks into a pregnancy, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


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