More bans take effect tomorrow in Tennessee, Texas, and Idaho
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today marks two months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the federal constitutional right to abortion. Now, 16 states, nearly one-third of U.S. states, have abortion bans in effect. Nine states have eliminated access completely: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. On August 25, two more states — Idaho and Tennessee, which already have six-week bans in effect — will join that list when laws triggered by the Supreme Court’s decision take effect. Texas’s trigger ban will also take effect tomorrow, though abortion is already outlawed there under the state’s pre-Roe ban.
This is a public health crisis. According to a Washington Post analysis, 1 in 3 women, plus more transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people who can become pregnant, have lost access to most or all abortion care.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“We are living in a public health crisis. Two months after the Supreme Court eliminated the federal constitutional right to abortion, nearly a third of this country is without meaningful access to care. The people living in these states have fewer rights than those who live where abortion remains legal. They have been robbed of their fundamental right to decide what is best for their own bodies, lives, and futures. Pregnant people who seek abortion have been forced to flee their communities for care, at great expense and sacrifice to themselves and their families. Those who cannot afford to do so face life-altering consequences, including poorer outcomes for themselves and their children.
“There is no way to sugarcoat how dark this time is, and the devastation that is unfolding,” McGill Johnson added. “But know this: People are fighting back for their rights. Abortion providers, funds, and support networks have doubled down on their mission to help people access care. Advocates have shown up at capitol buildings, court houses, and in the streets to demand that politicians keep their bans off our bodies. And people have continued to voice their support for abortion rights, to tell their abortion stories, and to be unafraid to show up for their communities. Planned Parenthood stands with the thousands of people who will seek abortion this year, the providers who will serve them, and the communities that will support them. We will never stop fighting to protect everyone’s ability to access this essential health care.”
With abortion bans in effect in some contiguous states, patients must now often travel hundreds or thousands of miles to access abortion care. Those who cannot afford the journey will be forced to carry their pregnancies and take on the medical risks and life-changing consequences that come with it. And even with “exceptions” for life and health, patients are finding themselves unable to receive urgent and, in some cases, life-saving care.
Already, the consequences have been devastating:
- From Idaho to Florida, physicians have been forced to delay care and send patients out-of-state.
- Pharmacists are hesitant to dispense common forms of medication to treat cancer, arthritis, and ulcers for fear that they can also be used to end or interfere with pregnancies.
- One woman in Texas reported that her physician was forced to delay her abortion — necessitated by her water breaking at 19 weeks — until she developed a life-threatening infection.
- A woman in Louisiana, told that her baby would not survive more than a week after birth, had to continue carrying her pregnancy until an out-of-state appointment became available weeks after her heartbreaking diagnosis.
- In Ohio, a young girl who had survived sexual assault could only receive abortion in neighboring Indiana — and the physician who cared for her found herself under attack by the state’s attorney general for providing safe, legal health care.
These are just a few of the horrific stories unfolding nationwide. Across the country, supporters of reproductive rights continue to fight back. Abortion providers in access states like Illinois and California have expanded their capacity to care for out-of-state patients forced to travel for abortion. Pro-abortion rights lawmakers, from state houses to the White House, have also stepped up by leveraging legislation and executive orders to protect access to reproductive health care. Their efforts have included measures to bolster patients’ and providers’ ability to access and give care and increasing funding for abortion access.
As anti-abortion rights politicians tried to advance new bans, thousands have rallied in protest at state capitols in West Virginia, Indiana, and South Carolina. And in Kansas, voters resoundingly rejected a constitutional amendment that would have eliminated the right to abortion in the state and opened the door to a total abortion ban.
16 states currently have abortion bans in effect. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, along with partners including the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights, has challenged abortion bans in more than a dozen states. As of August 23, states with bans include:
- Alabama: total ban
- Arkansas: total ban
- Florida: 15-week ban
- Georgia: 6-week ban
- Idaho: 6-week ban
- Kentucky: total ban
- Louisiana: total ban
- Mississippi: total ban
- Missouri: total ban
- North Carolina: 20-week ban
- Ohio: 6-week ban
- Oklahoma: total ban
- South Dakota: total ban
- Tennessee: 6-week ban
- Texas: total ban
- Utah: 18-week ban
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.