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Supreme Court Rules Abortion is No Longer a Constitutional Right: State-by-State Abortion Laws Breakdown

The United States Supreme Court ruled that abortion is no longer a constitutional right when it released its long-awaited opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The opinion, which closely matched the draft opinion leaked in May, states that the availability of abortion would now be determined by the laws of the individual states. The issue in question was not about whether abortion was legal. Under federalism, there is a particular order that takes place when there are two bodies of government. In this opinion, the Court determined that the right to an abortion is not found in the Fourteenth Amendment’s reference to “liberty.” The opinion also states that the right to obtain an abortion is “not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition.” Finally, the Court determined that Roe v. Wade and other cases improperly claimed authority over abortion regulation from the states. Therefore, anything having to do with the legalization of abortion and its corresponding rights and services are now determined by state law.

The effects of the Dobbs decision will likely impact group health insurance for years to come. Because of this decision, health insurers and employers, especially those with employees in many different states, will need to be aware of the abortion laws of each state. Do note, many states are expected to change their laws in response to this decision. Employers and health insurers are strongly encouraged to keep track of this ever-changing landscape.

The Supreme Court determined that anything having to do with the legalization of abortion, and its corresponding rights and services, would revert to state law. The list below is current, as of the decision in Dobbs, and applies only to elective abortions. Exceptions for therapeutic abortion vary by state.

For information on how the Dobbs decision could impact the decisions employers make about their group health plans, see How Your Health Plans May Be Impacted by Dobbs v. Jackson.
Get the most up-to-date information by registering for the upcoming session: Employer Considerations in Light of Dobbs Decision.

Note: In many states abortion is legal “until viability.” Generally, “viability” is defined as the ability of a developing fetus to survive independent of a pregnant woman’s womb. Plan sponsors should look to each state’s specific law to see how “viability” is defined.

Each State's Abortion Laws

State Prohibited Restricted Uncertain Legal
Alabama X
Alaska X
Arizona X (Total ban after 15 weeks expected to take effect in 90 days; Update 7/6/22: State Attorney General claims a law banning abortion is in effect)
Arkansas X
California X (Until viability)
Colorado X
Connecticut X (Until viability)
Delaware X (Until viability)
District of Columbia X
Florida X (Total ban after 15 weeks; Update 7/6/22: State law remains in effect pending appeal)
Georgia X (Total ban after 22 weeks, but court case for ban after 6 weeks is pending)
Hawaii X (Until viability)
Idaho X
Illinois X (Until viability)
Indiana X (Total ban after 22 weeks; Update 8/10/22: Beginning 9/15/22 - Total ban with exceptions for rape, incest, fetal anomalies, and life of the mother)
Iowa X (Total ban after 22 weeks; Update 7/6/22: Ban after 6 weeks is pending)
Kansas X (Total ban after 22 weeks)
Kentucky X (Update 7/6/22: Complete ban and 6-week ban is temporarily blocked; current law is a ban after 20 weeks)
Louisiana X (Update 7/6/22: Complete ban has been temporarily blocked; State has a law banning abortion after 15 weeks and after 22 weeks, unclear which applies)
Maine X (Until viability)
Maryland X (Until viability)
Massachusetts X (Until 24 weeks)
Michigan X (Law before Roe bans nearly all abortions. Governor says law will not be enforced)
Minnesota X (Until viability)
Mississippi X
Missouri X
Montana X (State has ban after 20 weeks, enforcement uncertain)
Nebraska X (Total ban after 22 weeks)
Nevada X (Until viability)
New Hampshire X (Until 24 weeks)
New Jersey X
New Mexico X
New York X (Until viability)
North Carolina X (State has ban after 20 weeks, enforcement uncertain)
North Dakota X
Ohio X (Update 8/10/22: Total ban after 6 weeks)
Oklahoma X
Oregon X
Pennsylvania X (Total ban after 24 weeks)
Rhode Island X (Until viability)
South Carolina X (Update 7/6/22: Ban after 6 weeks has taken effect, per court order)
South Dakota X
Tennessee X
Texas X
Utah X (Update 7/11/22: Complete ban has been temporarily blocked; State has a law banning abortion after 18 weeks still applies)
Vermont X
Virginia X (Until viability)
Washington X (Until viability)
West Virginia X
Wisconsin X (Update 8/10/22: Abortion is banned at 22 weeks)
Wyoming X

Due to this decision, there will likely be many changes in state law. For the most up-to-date information, register for the upcoming session:Employer Considerations in Light of Dobbs Decision. If you have specific questions about how this decision impacts your plan, contact your OneDigital consultant.

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