Abortion is a safe, legal way to end an unwanted pregnancy. (If abortion isn’t right for you, remember you have other options, too.)
Ending a pregnancy isn’t just safe — it’s also very common. Nearly a quarter of people who become pregnant in the United States will have an abortion by the age of 45, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
In the United States, you no longer have a constitutional right to get an abortion. On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade— the landmark 1973 ruling that gave people the right to an abortion before fetal viability.
This means that individual states can decide their own abortion laws.
It may be a confusing time with so much upheaval. We are here to help. We will cover the facts on abortion timelines in the United States.
Outside the United States? At the end of the article, you will find some international abortion resources.
The information in this article was accurate and up to date at the time of publication, but it’s possible the information has changed since. To learn more about your legal rights, you can message the Repro Legal Helpline via a secure online form or call 844-868-2812.
First, we’d like to offer a word of caution about home remedies.
“If you don’t want to carry a baby to term but you worry you won’t be able to get an abortion in your area, you might consider home remedies.”
Home remedy options for ending a pregnancy might include:
- Teas and herbs.
- Alcohol and other substances.
- excessive exercise.
- It is possible for yourself to be harmed.
There is little scientific evidence that supports these methods as safe ways to induce abortion. They can have major health consequences for you, and they are unlikely to end a pregnancy.
Home remedies are always best avoided.
For some people, an unintended pregnancy can lead to emotional distress. You might feel frightened, anxious, and possibly even desperate.
If you live in a state where abortion is not allowed, you may be concerned about how you can end a pregnancy.
We want to make sure that you have options no matter where you are. There is no need to worry about your health.
The steps to determining how far along you are might seem very difficult at the best of times. This might present more of a task if you already feel stressed.
You need to know the last menstrual period date to calculate how many weeks you are pregnant. If you know the exact date you became pregnant, healthcare professionals will calculate your LMP.
If your periods are regular, you should count by week from the first day of your last period to today. How many weeks you are along will be determined by your answer.
“If your periods are irregular or you can’t remember when they were, it gets more complicated. If that is the case, you should immediately seek the assistance of a medical professional.”
A doctor or other healthcare professional can do an ultrasound to determine how many weeks pregnant you are before giving you more information about your options.
Medication abortion is a reliable option to terminate an early pregnancy.
The method called the “abortion pill” involves two different drugs and is usually used with a woman.
Before week 10 of pregnancy, this method is very effective, but it might not work for everyone. A healthcare professional will likely recommend a surgical abortion if you:
- Have an allergy to either medication.
- have an ectopic pregnancy
- have an intrauterine device (IUD) — a professional will need to remove it first
- have a bleeding disorder or a liver, kidney, or lung disease
- take blood thinners
- have taken corticosteroid medications for some time
By week 11 of pregnancy, its effectiveness drops to about 87 percent, according to The organization is called Planned Parenthood..
After the overturning of Roe v. Wade, several states’ abortion laws changed, with more scheduled to change in the coming weeks as a result of the likes of trigger laws or the lifting of temporary blocks on such trigger laws.
At least 10 states have banned abortion methods.
- The case of rape was not included.
- In the case of rape or incest, Oklahoma.
- South Dakota.
- The state of Wisconsin.
But medication abortion remains legal in most states and is predicted to remain legal in just under half.
Many states that allow medical abortion have restrictions on the procedure, requiring the clinician who gives the medication to be a doctor or a medical doctor and the person who gives the medication to be present.
Some states have more strict age restrictions.
Georgia and Ohio ban both medical and surgical abortions beginning at 6 weeks, meaning you can only get an abortion until the end of week 5 of pregnancy.
Medical and surgical abortions are banned in Idaho and Tennessee. Trigger laws banning nearly all abortions in both states will take effect on August 25, 2022,
Telehealth options for medical abortions
Many of the states with the most restrictive abortion laws have restricted access to ending a pregnancy by telehealth. But if the state you live in hasn’t restricted telehealth access, you may be able to get a medical abortion from the privacy of your own home during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Currently, these recognized organizations provide telemedicine abortion:
- Aid Access (can provide abortion pills to all states via European doctors if needed)
- There is an abortion on demand.
- Hey Jane (in California., Colorado., Illinois., New Jersey is located in the United States., New Mexico is located in the United States., New York., and Washington. state only)
Before and after the procedure, these organizations offer a consultation and support.
If you can travel to a state where abortion is legal, they may be able to help you.
After week 10 of pregnancy, doctors typically recommend a surgical abortion.
“Only a few states allow abortion at any point during a pregnant woman’s life.”
Many states that allow surgical abortion have restrictions in place that prohibit abortion after a certain point in the pregnancy. This currently includes.
- You can only get an abortion until the end of week 19 of the pregnancy in North Carolina.
- “You can’t get an abortion until the end of week 21 of the pregnancy, which is when Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, and West Virginia. ban it.”
- Indiana also has a ban on abortion at 22 weeks. A law banning nearly all abortions is set to take effect in September of 2022.
- “You can’t get an abortion until the end of week 23 of the pregnancy in Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.”
Some states have more strict gestational age restrictions.
- You can only get an abortion until the end of week 14 of the pregnancy, which is 15 weeks.
- Utah has a ban on abortion starting at 18 weeks and ending at the end of the 17th week of the pregnancy.
Currently, most states that allow abortion allow the procedure up to week 20 of pregnancy — but that doesn’t mean they make the process easy. Depending on where you live, you may have to navigate any number of restrictions, like lengthy waiting periods and limited abortion clinics, before the procedure takes place.
Trying to make sense of the limitations in your state? Our state-by-state guide to abortion restrictions can help.
“There are two different options for surgical abortion. These procedures are done at a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital.”
You can get this type of abortion up to week 16 of the pregnancy, which covers the first and second trimesters.
Dilation and evacuation (D&E)
You will get this type of abortion when you have passed week 14 of your pregnancy.
After 24 weeks of pregnancy, you can only get a D&E procedure or induction abortion.
Often, healthcare professionals will only recommend an induction abortion if you can’t get a D&E. That said, this is done on a case-by-case basis.
If you prefer an abortion that allows the fetus to be delivered intact, talk to a healthcare professional.
There are other reasons for getting an abortion.
- Which procedures are available at the hospital.
- The age of the baby.
- Your medical history.
- If you want to be under general anesthesia.
viability can be used to determine when you can get an abortion in some states.
Viability, in basic terms, means the age at which a fetus could survive outside the uterus. There’s no set date at which a fetus becomes viable, but experts generally agree this happens somewhere between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
These states have:
- Minnesota is located in the state of Minnesota.
- Montana is located in the state of Montana.
- New York.
- Rhode Island is located in the United States.
(Arizona used to be on the list, but is expected to ban abortion after 15 weeks in September 2022.)
If you continue a pregnancy in the above states, you will only be able to end it if it poses a threat to your life or physical health. A threat to your health can be serious or irreversible.
Some states allow abortion after 24 weeks or past the point of viability under other circumstances, such as in the case of a fatal fetal anomaly in Delaware. and Maryland..
A healthcare professional can offer more compassionate guidance in the case of a fetal abnormality or when the pregnancy threatens your health.
Do all states limit when you can get an abortion?
The states and districts that do not have age restrictions on abortion are.
- New Jersey is located in the United States.
- New Mexico is located in the United States.
- Washington., D.C.
If you are a minor, these locations may have other limitations.
If you live in one of these areas, a healthcare professional can give you more information about abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Many states have laws that require you to notify a parent or guardian or get their consent before having an abortion if you’re under the age of 18.
- You have to notify a parent or guardian in 9 states.
- In 27 states, you have to get the consent of your parents or guardian before you can end a pregnancy.
In Delaware., Maryland., and West Virginia., a healthcare professional can waive this requirement in some limited circumstances.
The availability of abortion varies by country.
The Center for Reproductive Rights offers more information on abortion laws worldwide, along with a map you can use to check the abortion laws in your country.
- If you live in Canada, you can call the The National Abortion Federation is a national organization. hotline at 877-257-0012 for a referral to a nearby clinic.
- If you live in the United Kingdom, British Pregnancy Advisory Services can offer more information about your abortion options. They also provide abortion services and support to international patients.
Recent and upcoming state restrictions may limit your power to make your own decisions, even if you know ending a pregnancy is right for you.
If you live in a different area, timely support can allow you to evaluate your options and find a professional who can help.
Before, during, and after abortion, these resources can offer more support.
- The abortion finder.
- All options.
- The National Abortion Federation is a national organization.
- There is a national network of abortion funds.
- The organization is called Planned Parenthood.
Crystal Raypole writes for Healthline and Psych Central. Her fields of interest include Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health, along with books, books, and more books. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues. She lives in Washington. with her son and a lovably recalcitrant cat.