In the year since the monumental US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate the federal constitutional right to abortion nationwide, more than a dozen US states have banned or severely restricted access to the procedure. Abortion remains legal in seven states that were expected to ban abortion after Roe was overturned — bans are held up in courts in six of those states. In the seventh, Michigan voters approved a measure to enshrine abortion rights in their state constitution.
State courthouses have since emerged as the battleground for both restricting and expanding access to abortion. Forty lawsuits challenging abortion bans have been filed in 22 states, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University and the Center for Reproductive Rights as of June 9.
Months before the court heard arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Clinic Organization, 26 states were likely or certain to ban abortion if Roe were overturned, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization focused on sexual and reproductive health that supports abortion rights.
But one year later, abortion remains legal in seven of those 26 states as courts debate whether old — and new — bans should take effect.
Overall, 14 states have now banned or severely restricted access to the procedure, and six have set gestational limits.
“Bans have eliminated access to all or some abortions in 20 states, with more to come — leaving one in three women, as well as more trans and nonbinary people, without access to this fundamental right,” said Ianthe Metzger, director of state advocacy communications at Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
As of February, 24.5 million women of reproductive age live in states with abortion bans, according to abortion advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Of the 24 states that were unlikely to ban abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, North Carolina was the one state that ended up passing a ban.
When a longtime Democratic representative defected to the other side of the aisle in April, Republicans took unexpected supermajority control in both chambers of the state legislature. The GOP-led assembly then had the power to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a 12-week abortion ban.
Abortion is currently legal until 20 weeks of pregnancy in North Carolina — until July 1, when the 12-week ban goes into effect.
Before the Dobbs ruling, 22 states had laws or constitutional amendments already in place that would make them certain to attempt to ban abortion as quickly as possible, if Roe were weakened or overturned, according to Guttmacher.
Thirteen of those states had restrictive “trigger” bans — laws that would go into effect when Roe was overturned — on the books when the Dobbs decision was issued.
Wyoming is the only one of the states with trigger bans where abortion is currently legal until viability. In March, a district judge temporarily blocked a strict ban that would prohibit abortion in most circumstances a few days after it took effect. Wyoming was also the first state to pass legislation explicitly banning access to abortion pills, though a district judge temporarily blocked the ban on Thursday, days before it was supposed to take effect.
Ahead of the Dobbs ruling, several states had passed bans or extreme limits on abortion that could be enforceable without Roe. Among those states were Iowa, Ohio and South Carolina. Yet abortion remains legal in all states, as judges have temporarily or indefinitely blocked efforts to ban abortion.
Nine states had banned abortion before Roe was in place and were expected to restrict access again after the Dobbs decision. All but one did.
Michigan was the only state to repeal its pre-existing ban, which would have gone into effect in Roe’s absence and was originally enacted in 1931 with no exceptions for rape or incest. Now, the procedure is legal in Michigan through fetal viability, typically 24 weeks into a pregnancy.
Following the Supreme Court decision, some states have moved to enshrine abortion rights while others have moved to curb the procedures. Thirteen states have laws protecting the right to abortion until viability. Ten of those states, including Illinois and Massachusetts, also have “shield laws” protecting providers and patients from investigations by other states, according to Guttmacher.
Most recently, a committee of the Maine legislature advanced one of the most lenient abortion laws in the country that would make abortion legal past fetal viability.
What’s next: Courts will decide future of abortion access
In most states where abortion was expected to be banned but remains legal — including Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Ohio, South Carolina and Wyoming — legal battles have put restrictive policies on hold there.
Following the Dobbs decision, Iowa’s Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds asked a state court to revive a six-week abortion ban that had previously been halted in 2019. The legal battle made its way to the Iowa Supreme Court, which recently issued a split decision meaning abortion remains legal up to 20 weeks.
In Indiana — the first state post-Roe to pass a law banning most abortions — Senate Bill 1 was blocked by a state judge one week after it went into effect, allowing abortions up to 20 weeks after fertilization, or 22 weeks after the mother’s last menstrual period, to resume.
Voters have been drawn to the polls since Dobbs, and in November ballot measures in California, Michigan and Vermont to protect abortion rights were approved. In last year’s primary election, Kansas voters turned out in record numbers to defeat a constitutional amendment that said there was no right to abortion in the state.
Other states, like Colorado and New Mexico, have declared themselves safe havens for people living in surrounding states with restrictive policies.
“In the year since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, every state legislature in the county took action on abortion in some way. As a result, the abortion landscape has become even more fractured,” Metzger told CNN.
Legislation regulating abortion access has been introduced in all 50 state legislatures in the past year, according to a CNN review of LegiScan data.
“There is this continuing story of states where abortion is protected are moving beyond protection to recognize that legality alone is not enough. But those states that have been able to ban abortion, they are doubling down and going farther,” said Kelly Baden, vice president for public policy at the Guttmacher Institute.
-CNN’s Tierney Sneed contributed to this report.
This story has been updated with additional developments.