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These are the post-Roe abortion laws in states neighboring Illinois

Crain's Chicago Business

Tuesday, November 22, 2022  |  Column  |  Katherine Davis

Almost five months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, many of Illinois' immediate neighbors have banned or tightly restricted abortions, and abortion laws and regulations now vary from state to state across the Midwest.

Abortion in Illinois remains legal, thanks to a 2019 law that made the procedure a fundamental right in the state and requires Medicaid to pay for it. But as a result, Illinois has seen a dramatic increase in the number of women from other states coming to Illinois for the procedure.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois, one of the state's largest abortion providers, told Crain's earlier this fall that its 17 clinics around the state have seen an influx of out-of-state patients, a reality that was expected. Before Roe was overturned, PPIL saw about 100 out-of-state patients seeking abortions per month. But in the month after the Supreme Court's decision, the organization had about 800 out-of-state patients booked for abortion appointments.

In response to the overwhelming numbers of patients coming to the state, Chicago and Illinois government officials have tried to help alleviate the pressure on PPIL and other abortion providers. Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that Illinois' Medicaid program would pay more to cover the cost of abortion services as of Sept. 1, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office and the Chicago Department of Public Health awarded $250,000 each to PPIL and the Chicago Abortion Fund, which helps people pay for abortion services.

Data shows women from other states have long come to Illinois for abortions. Across all health care providers, about 46,000 abortions were performed in Illinois in 2020, the most recent data available, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Of those patients, more than 9,600 were women from out of state, up from about 7,500 in 2019 and 2,000 in 2015.

Here are the laws in states surrounding Illinois:

Missouri: Because of an immediate trigger law that was in place when Roe was overturned, abortion is completely banned in the state unless the mother is undergoing a specific medical emergency. The law has no exceptions for rape or incest. Even before Roe fell, very few abortions were provided in the state because of restrictive laws, according to the Guttmacher Institute. In 2020, 170 abortions were obtained in Missouri. Many women traveled to Kansas and Illinois for abortions.

Kentucky: Like Missouri, Kentucky has banned abortion in pregnancies over six weeks under nearly all circumstances, including rape and incest. Kentucky law allows abortion only under extreme medical emergencies. If physicians perform an abortion anyway, they face a Class D felony charge. However, Kentucky's Supreme Court is currently debating whether to keep the state's near-total ban on abortion in place or reinstate a preliminary injunction that would return abortion access up to 15 weeks, the Washington Post reports. A decision is expected to come later this month or in early December. According to Guttmacher, about 4,000 abortions were obtained in Kentucky in 2020.

Wisconsin: Like other states, Wisconsin had a trigger ban that came into place when Roe was overturned and immediately halted most abortions in the state. The law prohibits abortions unless the mother is undergoing a medical emergency that threatens her life. In the midterm election earlier this month, there was overwhelming support in many parts of Wisconsin for expanding abortion rights and repealing the state's 1846 abortion ban, according to a series of advisory referendums, reports Wisconsin Public Radio, but the ban is still in place. Nearly 7,000 abortions were obtained in Wisconsin in 2020, according to Guttmacher.

Iowa: Laws in the state prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy unless the procedure is needed to save a mother's life. To get the procedure, patients must make two trips to their physician—one for an in-person counseling session and another at least 24 hours later for the abortion procedure. Medicaid is banned from covering abortion in almost all circumstances, and parental consent or notice is required for a minor to receive an abortion. About 3,500 abortions were provided in Iowa during 2020, Guttmacher says.

Indiana: Abortion is currently banned at 22 weeks and later in Indiana, but that could change next year, reports Politico. The Supreme Court is considering whether new abortion restrictions proposed by Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita violate the state's constitution. Oral arguments for the case are scheduled for January. Nearly 7,900 abortions were provided in Indiana in 2020, according to Guttmacher.

Michigan: In the midterm elections, the Detroit News reported that Michigan voters adopted an amendment to the state constitution that scraps a 1931 ban on the procedure and keeps the current law in place, which allows for abortions before 24 weeks but forces patients to wait 24 hours for the procedure after a mandatory counseling session. According to Guttmacher, more than 31,000 abortions were provided in Michigan in 2020.