NARAL Pro-Choice America

Shortcut Navigation:

Get Email Updates


Donate now to keep abortion safe and legal

Your contribution will help protect the right to choose and defend against anti-choice attacks.

Donate Now

Abortion Bans Throughout Pregnancy

Take Action

Supreme Court will Hear Case on Abortion Restrictions

The Supreme Court announced that it will take up a once-in-a-generation case on abortion access. Say you'll stand on the side of reproductive freedom as this case heads to the highest court in the land.

Featured Efforts

Fighting discrimination in Washington D.C.

For the first time in 23 years, anti-choice members of Congress, led by Ted Cruz, are trying to overturn two non-discrimination laws passed by the D.C. City Council. Learn More »



We were told our two options: we could terminate the pregnancy or carry the baby to term and see what happened. I asked point blank about the chances of a miracle. They had no optimistic outcome to share with us.

Jeni, 34

At almost 21 weeks, Scott and I went to our appointment with the specialist. The sonogram operator asked us to be quiet, immediately changing the mood of the room.

Anti-choice politicians and groups want to outlaw abortion regardless of the woman’s situation. They want bans on safe abortion methods without exceptions and are trying to ban abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy or earlier—even if the woman’s health is threatened. As long as Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, they will try again and again to test Roe in the courts. They want to chip away at it until there is nothing left of the law.

The Challenge

Some types of abortion bans harm women in heart-breaking circumstances. Something may have gone wrong late in her pregnancy. Or maybe her doctor told her that going forward with the pregnancy will endanger her health. Abortion bans take choices away from women.

The Federal Abortion Ban, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003, is a criminal ban on a safe abortion method. It is the first federal law ever to make safe medical procedures a crime.

  • It has no exception to protect a woman's health.
  • Doctors and medical groups oppose it.
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America does not oppose restrictions on abortion after a certain point in the pregnancy as long as there is an exception to protect the woman’s health. However, this bill lacked such an exception. It does not leave the decision of viability to a doctor.

Our Solution

The decision whether to have an abortion should be made by a woman, with her doctor and her loved ones. Politicians should play no part in this decision.

Still, it's certain that similar attempts to reverse Roe v. Wade will continue.

We must not take Roe v. Wade for granted. We must work to ensure that politicians don't overstep. We must fight back when they do.

Laws About Abortion Bans Throughout Pregnancy

Summary of State and Federal Laws

Near-Total Abortion Bans

13 states have unconstitutional and unenforceable near-total criminal bans on abortion: AL, AZ, AR, DE, LA, MA, MI, MS, ND, NM, OK, WV, WI.

  • 2 of these bans was enacted after Roe v. Wade: LA, ND.

4 states have laws that would impose near-total criminal bans on abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade (sometimes known as "trigger" bans): LA, MS, ND, SD.

Abortion Bans Throughout Pregnancy

13 states ban abortion after 20 weeks without an adequate health exception: AL, AZ*, AR, GA, ID, IN, KS, LA, MS, NE, ND, OK, TX.

1 state has an unconstitutional and unenforceable ban on abortion after 12 weeks without an adequate health exception: AR*.

*Note: Borth Arizona's and Arkansas’ law are written in such a way that it could apply two weeks earlier than is written in the statute.

Bookmark and Share

©2015 NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation   Copyright Information