Abortion laws are changing on a near-daily basis amid a volley of petitions from Republican attorneys general asking courts to allow their state bans to take effect and abortion-rights advocates hoping to have the prohibitions stalled or blocked.
The patchwork of state laws and barrage of court filings means that for roughly half the country, the legal status of abortion remains uncertain nearly two weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe.
Nine states have banned abortions either in almost all cases, unless necessary to save the life of the pregnant person, or after six weeks of pregnancy — a point at which many people don’t yet know they’ve conceived. Four have abortion bans poised to take effect in the coming days and weeks. And eight states have abortion bans on their books that have been blocked by the courts.
In some of those states, the legal status of abortion has flipped back and forth multiple times since the Supreme Court’s decision last month.
In Kentucky, the state’s abortion ban, which took effect on June 24, was temporarily blocked by the court on June 30 and is now scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday.
In Ohio, the state’s six-week abortion ban took effect after a court lifted an injunction on the law on June 24. It was challenged in court on June 29, but was denied an emergency stay by the Ohio Supreme Court on Friday as litigation against it proceeds.
In Texas, the state’s pre-Roe abortion ban was allowed to take effect under an order from the state Supreme Court on Friday, though the ban can only be enforced civilly, not criminally. Abortions had been allowed until fetal cardiac activity is detected, usually around the sixth week of pregnancy.
In Florida, the state’s new 15-week abortion ban, which took effect on Friday, was briefly paused Tuesday by a judge before the state immediately appealed — triggering an automatic stay of the injunction and allowing the law to go back into effect.
And in Mississippi, the state’s abortion ban was certified by the Republican attorney general on June 27, setting the trigger ban in motion to take effect on Thursday. Abortion-rights proponents tried to stop the law from taking effect, but a judge ruled against them on Tuesday.
“The state of play is changing by the hour,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU. “To state the obvious, the Supreme Court decision has plunged this country and the court itself into a historic crisis.”
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the Supreme Court’s decision has “paved the way for pro-life leaders across America to act swiftly on the will of the people.”
“Lives are being saved immediately, and thousands will be saved in the coming weeks and months,” Dannenfelser said.
Explore the map below for more information about the status of abortion in each state as of Tuesday evening.