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Maps of Access to Abortion by State


Update (May 19, 9:41 a.m.): Some readers have asked why viability limits are not included in the third map, “Gestational limits on abortion except when necessary to protect a woman’s life or health.” It’s a fair question, but I wanted these maps to highlight the newer, generally more restrictive laws that prohibit abortions after a specific number of weeks, many of which are unconstitutional. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 21 states have a “constitutional limit on abortion after viability.”

More generally, the grey-shading in the maps above doesn’t mean those states don’t have any abortion restrictions. There are many abortion-related laws not covered in these maps, and some laws are related to the ones I cover here. In New Jersey, for instance, women seeking an abortion after the 14th week of pregnancy must go to a “licensed hospital” or a “licensed ambulatory care facility.” I didn’t include New Jersey in the “Abortion facilities must meet structural standards equivalent to those for surgical centers” map because New Jersey’s law is tied to gestation, the other laws apply to all abortion facilities.

On Tuesday, the Missouri Senate passed a bill that would extend the waiting period between counseling and abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours. Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon must decide whether to sign the legislation. Many other states have passed so-called TRAP laws (targeted regulation of abortion providers) this year, and legislatures have enacted more laws restricting access to abortion in the past three years than from 2000 to 2010.

The maps show where seven such laws (not a comprehensive list) have been enacted. Permanently enjoined means the court cannot enforce the restriction.

Allison McCann is a former visual journalist for FiveThirtyEight.