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States Adopt New Laws Following the Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization

September 28, 2022 (1 min read)

By: The Lexis Practical Guidance Healthcare Team

A flurry of new laws and trigger laws went into effect following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 3057
(S. Ct. June 24, 2022).

IN A 6–3 DECISION, THE DOBBS COURT REVERSED THE LOWER court’s holding and upheld the Mississippi law at issue, which prohibited abortions after 15 weeks. The Court determined that the doctrine of stare decisis did not support the rule previously established in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), and continued in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), that a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy extends to the viability of the fetus. A smaller 5–4 majority of the Court, excluding Chief Justice Roberts, voted further to overrule both Roe and Casey in their entireties.

As a result, Dobbs eliminated the federal constitutional right to obtain an abortion and returned the right to enact laws regarding reproductive healthcare to the states. The following visual shows each state’s current status regarding the legality of abortion post-Dobbs.

Legality of Abortion by State

The legality of abortion services varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. But even in those states that restrict or prohibit abortion, each state’s law currently allows a healthcare provider to terminate a pregnancy to prevent the risk of death or serious harm to the pregnant woman.

Practical Guidance includes a tracker organized by jurisdiction. It provides the current legal status of abortion in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. It then highlights notable or significant news stories, press releases, executive orders, agency guidance, court cases and decisions, and proposed and enacted legislation regarding the legal evolution of reproductive healthcare in each jurisdiction. This tracker does not, however, attempt to document every state law—whether proposed or enacted—regarding reproductive health services (e.g., parental consent, waiting periods, medication abortion, or types of procedures permitted or prohibited), nor does it track every news story or statement on the topic.

For more information on the Dobbs decision and its impact on healthcare, employee benefits, labor and employment, and insurance, see Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Resource Kit. 

To find this article in Practical Guidance, follow this research path:

RESEARCH PATH: Healthcare > Trackers