Over the past few weeks, states with already restrictive abortion laws have exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to further limit or outright ban abortion care. Under the guise of protecting public health and reserving medical resources and personnel for the pandemic, state governors, attorneys general, and state departments of health have issued orders that label abortion care as elective and non-essential. Some high profile battles over reproductive rights are well documented, but abortion availability remains unclear in most parts of the country.

We believe that all forms of reproductive healthcare are essential. We also believe that it is a person’s right to know whether abortion services are available and safely accessible in their state. This website aims to provide clear and up-to-date information regarding abortion access during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have produced three maps that illustrate the impact of restrictive abortion laws since the outbreak (1), the initial definition of abortion services as essential or non-essential in executive orders and early statements (2), and the current status of abortion availability (3). Although many states have started to reopen, we believe that continuous tracking of abortion availability and accessibility is vital.

The COVID-19 Abortion Restriction Score is a composite score indicating the number of medically unnecessary restrictive laws enacted in each state. The effects of these restrictions on access to abortion care are amplified in the context of the pandemic. A Center for Reproductive Rights article provides an extensive list of these laws and their potential impacts. We isolated the four restrictive laws that most affected abortion access during the COVID-19 pandemic and combined them to form the composite score. Those include:

  1. Two trip requirement for an abortion.

    Some states require a person to travel to the abortion clinic twice – once for counselling and in some cases tests or ultrasounds, and another for the procedure itself. This increases a person's risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Furthermore, the arrangements necessary to attend two in-person appointments, place an increased burden on a person seeking abortion services in pandemic conditions (e.g. restrictions on travel, difficulty arranging and affording childcare, a place to stay, fear of placing family at risk of contracting COVID-19, etc.).

    A state received a score of 3 if they require two trips for an abortion and a score of 0 if they do not have this requirement. Data for this restriction were acquired from the Guttmacher Institute’s data on Counseling and Waiting Periods for Abortion.

  2. Telemedicine ban for abortion.

    When telemedicine is banned, people are unable to access abortion services from home and are required to come to the clinic in person. This increases the risk of contracting and spreading the virus. The arrangements necessary to attend an in-person appointment place an increased burden on a person seeking abortion services in pandemic conditions (e.g. restrictions on travel, difficulty arranging and affording childcare, a place to stay, fear of placing family at risk of contracting COVID-19, etc.).

    A state received a score of 3 if telemedicine banned for abortion and a score of 0 if telemedicine is legal. Data for this restriction were acquired from the Guttmacher Institute’s Hostilility Index for Abortion.

  3. Restrictions limiting ability of providers to delegate tasks.

    Some states require that the attending physician be present throughout the entirety of a patient’s care cycle, including counseling appointments. This diverts essential capacity that could be directed towards the care of other patients to the delivery of medically unnecessary consultations. This further diminishes already reduced clinic capacity brought about by COVID-19 policy changes.

    A state received a score of 3 if counselling and state mandated counselling has to be provided by the attending or referring physician. A state received a score of 2 if counselling has to be done by an attending or referring physician but state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional or online. A state received a score of 1 if counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional. Finally a state received a score of 0 if no biased counselling is required. Data for this restriction were collected from NARAL Pro Choice.

  4. Medication abortions must be administered in the presence of a physician.

    Some states require that medication abortions be administered under the supervision of the attending physician. This requirement prevents a person from accessing abortion services from home and instead requires her to come to the clinic in person. This increases her risk of contracting and spreading the virus. Furthermore, this law diverts essential physician capacity away from the care of other patients.

    A state received a score of 3 if medication abortions need to be administered in the presence of a physician and a score of 0 if this is not required. Data for this restriction were acquired from the Guttmacher Institute’s data on Medication Abortion.

To calculate the composite COVID-19 Abortion Restriction Score, we first weighted the values for the variables assessing the restrictions limiting providers to delegate tasks and the requirement of a physician to be present for the administration of medication abortion by 0.5. We decided to weight these values as we believe that the other two variables have a more significant impact on a person's ability to access care during a pandemic, while the provider restrictions have more of an impact on facility capacity to provide services. We then added the weighted values of the restrictions for each state. Abortion services are more difficult to access in states with higher COVID-19 restriction scores than in states with lower scores. Though the restrictions used in the composite score were enacted to restrict abortion access before the pandemic, the effects of these restrictions are amplified in pandemic conditions.

The data for this map were collected using state government executive orders, press releases, and other news articles and analysis tracking whether abortion services are considered essential services during COVID-19. We classified each state into the following four categories according to the language used in their initial government order or official statement to the press in which essential and non-essential services were designated.

  1. Explicitly defines abortion services as non-essential
  2. Does not explicitly define abortion services as essential or non-essential but leaves the decision up to the medical provider
  3. Does not explicitly define abortion services as essential or non-essential
  4. Explicitly defines abortion services as essential

This map demonstrates the necessity for explicit language indicating that abortion services are essential. Any ambiguity around this definition can be used by anti-abortion activists and government officials alike to restrict abortion access during the pandemic. We recorded each state’s designation in their initial government order, regardless of whether amendments to this designation were made. Initial designation highlights the level of priority given to reproductive health services and rights.

The data for this map were collected using news articles tracking the availability of abortion services across the US, abortion clinic websites, and abortion access fund and network pages. According to this data we classified each state into the following four categories:

  1. Abortion services (surgical and medication) are unavailable or banned
  2. Surgical abortion is banned or extreme abortion restrictions exist
  3. Abortion services are available but under threat or their availability is unclear (initially banned but was blocked and/or relevant history of anti-abortion actions)
  4. Abortion services are available

For some states, no reliable data was found regarding the availability of abortion services. We classified these states as unclear and in the same category as states where abortion services are available but under threat. A lack of clear messaging regarding abortion service availability greatly impacts a person’s ability to access these services. This map provides up-to-date information regarding the availability of abortion across the US and draws attention to states where, although abortion might currently be available, access to care is under threat.



Map 1: COVID-19 Abortion Restriction Score

Maps 2-3: Definition and Availability of Abortion Services

How were abortion services defined in initial COVID-19 executive orders and statements?
Explicitly defines abortion services as essential
Does not explicitly define abortion services as essential or non-essential but leaves decision up to the medical provider
Explicitly defines abortion services as non-essential
Has no specific language about abortion care
Are abortion services available?                           
Abortion services are available
Abortion services are available but under threat or their availability is unclear (initially banned but was blocked and/or relevant history of anti-abortion actions)
Surgical abortion is banned or extreme abortion restrictions exist
Abortion services (surgical and medication) are unavailable or banned

State-Specific Information



Alabama 

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5 [medium].

Abortion was initially defined as a non-essential service during COVID-19 and an abortion ban was included as part of Governor Kay Ivey’s order to ban nonemergency procedures on March 19. This ban was blocked by the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on April 23.

The state’s stay-at-home order expired on April 30. The state plans to continue to lift restrictions over the coming weeks.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Alabama that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
0 3 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5

Last updated 11 May 2020

Alaska  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 2 [medium].

On April 7, Governor Mike Dunleavy initially defined procedural abortion as a non-essential and elective medical procedure that should be delayed during COVID-19. The governor reversed this policy after a week, allowing non-urgent and elective medical procedures to resume.

The governor began lifting stay-at-home restrictions on April 24, allowing businesses and restaurants in most parts of Alaska to reopen with restrictions. As of May 22, all businesses are permitted to operate at full capacity.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Alaska that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
0 0 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 2

Last updated 12 June 2020

Arizona  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 8.5 [high].

Arizona does not define abortion as essential or non-essential, but leaves this decision up to the provider.

Arizona began to open up the state in stages starting May 8. The stay at home order expired on May 15.

A high abortion restriction score indicates that there are medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Arizona that are exacerbating the already difficult circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes Yes Counselling done by physician or referring physician; state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional or online Yes
3 3 2*(.5) 3*(.5) = 8.5

Last updated 15 May 2020

Arkansas  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 8 [high].

Arkansas defines abortion as a non-essential service during COVID-19. The only clinic providing procedural abortions in the state was ordered to stop providing services during the pandemic. A federal appeals court upheld this ban on most abortions on April 22.

Despite plans to start reopening salons and other services in the state on May 6, the state issued an order, stating that those seeking elective surgeries must have at least one negative COVID-19 NAAT test within 48 hours prior to the beginning of the procedure. On May 7, a federal judge denied the request from the only clinic able to provide abortions to block this testing rule. Due to the lack of test availability, the ruling effectively bans access to abortion in the state. As of May 27, the clinic has dropped the lawsuit, but the scarce availability of tests makes access to surgical abortions in the state uncertain.

Arkansas’ testing rule has been recently modified, now requiring a negative test within 72 hours of the procedure instead of within 48 hours, as previously required. Despite a federal judge’s May 7 denial of the clinic’s request that the abortion clinic be exused from this rule, the Little Rock Family Planning Services clinic is still requesting a permanent injunction.

A high abortion restriction score indicates that there are medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Arkansas that are exacerbating the already difficult circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
3 3 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 8

Last updated 15 June 2020

California  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

The California health department does not define abortion as essential or non-essential, but leaves this decision up to the provider. However, the state’s attorney general provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected during the pandemic.

On May 4, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a lifting of certain stay at home restrictions, including lifting of some restrictions on retailers and beaches.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in California. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 11 May 2020

Colorado  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

Colorado defines abortion care as an essential service, along with other procedures where “there is a risk of metastasis or progression of staging of a disease or condition if the surgery or procedure is not performed." Although the governor does not explicitly reference abortion care in his statement, the state’s attorney general provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected during the pandemic.

On June 8, a Colorado group called Due Date Too Late gathered enough signatures in support of their initiative to make abortions past 22 weeks illegal. Colorado voters will vote on the initiative in November. The state is currently one of the only states without a gestational age limit.

On April 24, Governor Jared Polis announced a lifting of Colorado's stay at home order instituting a “safer at home approach.” This enables the lifting of restrictions on retail business and, since May 1, personal care businesses.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Colorado. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 15 June 2020

Connecticut  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

Connecticut’s list of essential businesses that are not subject to the governor’s March 20 order to suspend all in-person operations includes “walk-in-care health facilities,” but makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. Despite this, Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health care clinics have been able to continue providing services. Furthermore, Connecticut’s attorney general joined other Democratic attorneys general with his statement that reproductive health is a “fundamental human right that cannot be cancelled during a crisis.”

Connecticut started to reopen select businesses on May 20. However, restrictions on large gatherings and other services will be in place until June 20.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Connecticut. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 20 May 2020

Delaware  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0.5 [low].

Delaware defines abortion care and all reproductive health care services as essential services during the crisis. Furthermore, the state’s attorney general provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected during the pandemic.

Delaware’s stay at home order was in effect until May 31. As of June 1, Governor John Carney has allowed the reopening of most businesses.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Delaware. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided Yes
0 0 0*(.5) 3*(.5) = 0.5

Last updated 12 June 2020

District of Columbia  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

D.C. defines abortion care and all reproductive health care services as essential services.

D.C.’s stay-at-home order expired on May 29. Mayor Muriel Bowser lifted restrictions on most businesses at that time.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in the District of Columbia. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 12 June 2020

Florida  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 3 [medium].

Florida does not define abortion as essential or non-essential, but leaves this decision up to the provider. Although abortion care is available, anti-choice activists have been urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to ban abortion care during the pandemic. The governor has a history of opposition to abortion, but has yet to pass any executive orders to ban abortions in Florida. The law took effect on July 1. This law was previously overturned by the Florida Supreme Court in 1989.

Florida began re-opening with restrictions on May 4.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Florida that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No Counselling and state mandated counselling has to be provided by physician or referring physician Yes
0 0 3*(.5) 3*(.5) = 3

Last updated 6 July 2020

Georgia  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 2 [medium].

Georgia’s Executive Order to Ensure a Safe and Healthy Georgia makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. Their list of Critical Infrastructure includes businesses, establishments, corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This list of essential critical infrastructure also does not make specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. Despite this, Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health care clinics' websites indicate that they are continuing to provide services. On May 12, Gov. Brian Kemp made an executive order that limits legal liability for Georgia’s hospitals and medical orders. Kemp specifically blocked healthcare workers that provide abortions, however, from having these legal protections, claiming that “abortion providers are undeserving of enhanced liability protections because they are doing nothing to fight COVID-19 in Georgia.”

A federal judge may re-evaluate Georgia’s restrictive abortion law that was signed by Governer Brian Kemp last year within the next few weeks. The law, introduced as House Bill 481, would ban most abortions once fetal cardiac activity is detected, or around 6 weeks post-conception. In October, the law was temporarily blocked by District Judge Steve C. Jones. The ACLU is urging Jones to make this a permanent injunction and is suing the state, claiming the law is unconstitutional.

Georgia was one of the first states to begin re-opening, with Governor Brian Kemp lifting restrictions for certain non-essential businesses on April 24.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Georgia that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
0 0 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 2

Last updated 15 June 2020

Hawaii  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

Hawaii defines abortion care and all reproductive health care services as essential services. Furthermore, the state’s attorney general provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected during the pandemic.

Governor David Ige announced a plan on May 5 to begin to lift certain stay-at-home restrictions in phases. Hawaii’s stay-at-home order expired on May 31. On May 22, Governor David Ige allowed most businesses to reopen.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Hawaii. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 12 June 2020

Idaho  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 3 [medium].

Idaho’s stay at home order and extreme emergency declaration make no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. When asked for clarification, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare stated that no policies around providers who offer abortion services have been explicitly changed due to COVID-19. However, on March 24, Idaho’s Governor signed into law a bill that would ban all abortions if Roe v. Wade were overturned. Additionally, Idaho’s attorney general is one of 18 co-signers on an amicus brief supporting Texas’ COVID-19 abortion ban. Although COVID-19 has not eliminated access to abortion care in the state, the overturn of Roe poses a significant and looming threat.

Idaho is currently in Stage 4 of the governor’s reopening plan, after beginning to re-open on May 1.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Idaho that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No Counselling and state mandated counselling has to be provided by physician or referring physician Yes
0 0 3*(.5) 3*(.5) = 3

Last updated 12 June 2020

Illinois  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

Illinois’ COVID-19 Executive Order No. 8 defines “reproductive health care providers” as essential services. However, Planned Parenthood announced in late March they would be consolidating to temporarily work out of six clinics, rather than its usual 11 in the state.

Illinois’s stay-at-home order expired on May 29. The state is now in Phase 3 of reopening, allowing most businesses to reopen.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Illinois. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 12 June 2020

Indiana  

The extent to which abortion care is available in Indiana is currently unclear. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 8 [high].

Indiana’s COVID-19 executive order signed on March 30 directs suspension of elective or non-urgent procedures, and a spokesperson for Indiana’s Joint Information Center confirmed abortions fit the description of a non-essential procedure. Furthermore, Indiana’s attorney general signed an amicus brief supporting Texas’ efforts to ban abortion care during COVID-19. No legal challenges have been filed against the abortion ban. Despite the executive order and amicus brief, abortion clinic websites indicate that they are continuing to operate and provide services. Due to the pandemic, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists brought a lawsuit against the FDA that calls for the authorization of dispensing mifepristone, an abortion-inducing drug, through mail. Indiana is leading a coalition of 10 states that defends the FDA’s current in-person dispensing requirement of mifepristone.

On June 10, the Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit challenging the 2019 Illinois Reproductive Health Act that requires employee health insurance plans to cover abortions.

On May 4, Governor Eric Holomb announced the easing of stay at home restrictions in all but three counties. As of May 18, all Indiana counties are in stage 2 of reopening, which allows close-contact businesses, restaurants, and other businesses to operate.

A high abortion restriction score indicates that there are medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Indiana that are exacerbating the already difficult circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
3 3 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 8

Last updated 15 June 2020

Iowa  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 2 [medium].

Governor Kim Reynolds confirmed on March 29 that abortion would be considered elective and thereby non-essential under Iowa’s COVID-19 executive order. In response to a lawsuit, Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson clarified that the ban would take into account medical factors and timing of the pregnancy. The state clarified on April 1 that Reynolds’s proclamation only suspends “non-essential” abortions, but “essential” abortions can continue. The abortion may be considered “non-essential” if the surgery can be delayed without causing harm to the patient. According to their websites, reproductive health care facilities in Iowa are continuing to provide services.

On June 13, Iowa lawakers passed an amendment that establishes a 24-hour waiting period before getting an abortion. According to Rep Jo Oldson, “[the legislators have] kept this plan secret for weeks and released it on a Saturday night, so they didn't have to hear from Iowans.” On June 30, the new law was temporarily blocked by a Johnson County judge.

Governor Reynolds began to lift restrictions on certain businesses, such as restaurants, fitness centers, and enclosed malls in most counties on May 1. On May 15, restaurants, salons, bars, and other businesses were permitted to reopen in all counties. Governor Reynolds will be lifting the 50% capacity limit for most businesses on June 12.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Iowa that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
0 0 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 2

Last updated 6 July 2020

Kansas  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5.5 [medium].

Kansas’s COVID-19 executive orders make no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. However, in response to the Sedgwick County Commission request and recommendation to ban abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Laura Kelly stated that “women’s reproductive health is considered an essential need and all healthcare clinics will fall under that category.” Reproductive health care clinics are continuing to see patients.

Kansas’s stay-at-home order expired on May 3. Kelly has allowed reopening at the discretion of individual counties. The state entered Phase 3 of reopening on June 8.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Kansas that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No Yes Counselling done by physician or referring physician; state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional or online Yes
0 3 2*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5.5

Last updated 12 June 2020

Kentucky  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5 [medium].

Kentucky does not define abortion as essential or non-essential, but leaves this decision up to the provider. Attorney General Daniel Cameron has pushed for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to certify that abortion providers are in fact violating Governor Andy Beshear’s executive order banning elective procedures. If issued, this certification would shut down Kentucky’s only abortion clinic. Additionally, legislators in Kentucky voted to pass a bill that would allow the attorney general to ban abortion services in Kentucky during the pandemic, but Governor Andy Beshear vetoed the bill.

On June 2, a federal appeals court rejected a Kentucky law that sought to ban all second-trimester abortions. On June 18, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron requested that an appeals court revisit a 2018 law that would have prohibited a common second-trimester abortion procedure. The law was blocked in 2019. Cameron stated, “we’re exhausting every possible option to ensure that this law continues to be defended and is ultimately enforced.”

Kentucky began a staged reopening on May 11. As of May 20, restaurants, retail stores, and other businesses have been operating at 33% capacity.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Kentucky that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes No Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
3 0 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5

Last updated 23 June 2020

Louisiana  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 8 [high].

Louisiana does not define abortion as essential or non-essential, but leaves this decision up to the provider. However, Attorney General Jeff Landry has been working to convince the Louisiana health department that abortions are elective procedures that should be banned during the COVID-19 crisis. Attorney General Landry’s efforts have not been successful. Hope Medical Group for Women, one of Louisiana’s three abortion clinics, filed a lawsuit against the state after Attorney General Landry targeted the clinic with an inspection, with the goal of shutting down services. However, abortion clinics are able to provide the full suite of abortion services after the Center for Reproductive Rights, counsel for the clinic, came to an agreement with the state on May 1.

By the end of June, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on a major abortion case — June Medical Services v. Russo — that will, if passed, force two of the three remaining abortion clinics in Louisiana to shut down.

Governor John Bel Edwards has extended Louisiana’s stay at home order until May 15, but has lifted restrictions on certain businesses and organizations, such as churches and businesses that can offer outdoor seating. As of June 5, places of worship, restaurants, gyms, and other businesses can operate at 50 percent capacity.

A high abortion restriction score indicates that there are medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Louisiana that are exacerbating the already difficult circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
3 3 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 8

Last updated 18 June 2020

Maine  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

Maine’s COVID-19 executive order makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. However, the state’s attorney general provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected during the pandemic. Reproductive health care facilities in Maine are continuing to provide services. On June 9, A federal judge in Maine dismissed Maine Family Planning’s challenge to the Trump administration’s “gag rule”, which prohibits Maine family planning service providers that receive taxpayer money from referring clients for abortions. These centers are still required to physically and financially separate their abortion and counseling services.

Governor Janet Mills has extended Maine’s stay at home order through May 31, though some businesses were able to reopen on May 1. On June 1, all counties were permitted to reopen restaurants and retail stores.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Maine. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 15 June 2020

Maryland  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0.5 [low].

Maryland’s COVID-19 Interpretive Guidelines of Businesses, Organizations and Facilities makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. However, reproductive health care facilities in Maryland are continuing to provide services, and have received a directive from the Maryland Department of Health that “medical care necessary for the health of the patient is essential, and not elective.”

Governor Larry Hogan released Maryland’s reopening plan on April 24, which announces phases for reopening. As of May 6, the governor has announced that elective procedures could begin to take place and certain outdoor activities could resume.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Maryland. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided Yes
0 0 0*(.5) 3*(.5) = 1.5

Last updated 11 May 2020

Massachusetts  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

The original list of essential businesses in Massachusetts did not mention reproductive health centers and abortion clinics. Health officials later clarified that abortion services were essential in a memorandum, but the decision to move forward with care would belong to individual physicians. Massachusetts’ attorney general provided an additional statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected during the pandemic.

On May 18, Governor Charlie Baker issued an order outlining the phased reopening of workplaces and non-essential businesses.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Massachusetts. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 20 May 2020

Michigan  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 2 [medium].

Michigan’s list of essential health care workers and services did not make specific mention of reproductive health care services. However, the state’s attorney general provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that Michigan will not interfere with the doctor/patient relationship, leaving reproductive health service provision decisions up to providers.

Michigan's stay-at-home order expired on May 28, though some businesses were able to reopen on May 22. The state is currently in Phase 4 of reopening.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Michigan that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
0 0 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 2

Last updated 19 May 2020

Minnesota  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 2.5 [low].

Minnesota’s COVID-19 emergency executive order defines abortion care and all reproductive health care services as essential services. Furthermore, Minnesota’s attorney general provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected during the pandemic.

The governor began to lift business restrictions on May 4, when retail businesses could open for delivery and curbside pickup. Other restrictions, such as those on elective surgeries, are to be lifted in the coming weeks.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Minnesota. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No Counselling done by physician or referring physician; state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
0 0 2*(.5) 3*(.5) = 2.5

Last updated 11 May 2020

Mississippi  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 8.5 [high].

Mississippi issued an executive order on April 10, banning all “elective” procedures and explicitly defining abortion care as a non-essential and elective service. Mississippi’s ban on abortion services was lifted on April 27, when Governor Tate Reeves replaced the original stay-at-home order with a “Safer at Home” order allowing “elective” procedures to continue. On June 23, the state House passed a bill that would ban abortions based on the race, sex, or any genetic anomalies of the fetus.

Governor Reeves’ “Safer at Home” order ended on May 11, allowing more businesses to resume operations.

A high abortion restriction score indicates that there are medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Mississippi that are exacerbating the already difficult circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes Yes Counselling done by physician or referring physician; state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional or online Yes
3 3 2*(.5) 3*(.5) = 8.5

Last updated 23 June 2020

Missouri  

The availability of abortion care is currently available, though under threat. Reproductive healthcare is under threat in Missouri. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 9 [high].

Missouri’s COVID-19 civil emergency order makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. Although the state has not explicitly defined abortion care as non-essential, Missouri’s attorney general signed an amicus brief supporting Texas’ efforts to ban abortion care during COVID-19. Missouri’s only abortion clinic is providing abortion services, though the availability of the full range of abortion services remains unclear. On May 29, after a year-long licensing battle with the state, an administrative commission ruled that Missouri’s last abortion clinic will remain open.

On June 25, the Missouri Health Department issued a new license to perform abortions to the state’s only abortion clinic. The license was revoked by regulators a year ago, but the clinic was allowed to remain open while the case was being reviewed.

Governor Mike Parson began reopening Missouri on May 4. All businesses are now able to reopen, with some social distancing restrictions. Parson announced on June 11 that as of June 16 the state will be fully reopened with no statewide health order, and all statewide restrictions will be lifted.

A high abortion restriction score indicates that there are medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Missouri that are exacerbating the already difficult circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling has to be provided by physician or referring physician Yes
3 3 3*(.5) 3*(.5) = 9

Last updated 29 June 2020

Montana  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

Montana’s COVID-19 executive order defines “reproductive health care providers” as essential services.

Governor Steve Bullock lifted the stay-at-home order for individuals on April 26 and for businesses on April 27.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Montana. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 11 May 2020

Nebraska  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5 [medium].

Nebraska’s COVID-19 executive order makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. Although the state has not explicitly defined abortion care as non-essential, Nebraska’s attorney general signed an amicus brief supporting Texas’ efforts to ban abortion care during COVID-19. According to their websites, reproductive health clinics in Nebraska continue to provide services.

Nebraska did not issue a statewide stay-at-home order. On May 4, Governor Pete Ricketts began to lift some of the restrictions on businesses, including restaurants and religious organizations. He later announced on June 15 that the state will allow elective surgical procedures to resume on June 22, while also further lifting restrictions on public gatherings.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Nebraska that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
0 3 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5

Last updated 16 June 2020

Nevada  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0.5 [low].

Nevada’s COVID-19 Division of Emergency Management order makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. Reproductive health clinics in Nevada continue to provide services.

Governor Steve Sisolak began lifting stay-at-home restrictions on May 9, with businesses such as restaurants opening with social distancing restrictions.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Nevada. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided Yes
0 0 0*(.5) 3*(.5) = 0.5

Last updated 11 May 2020

New Hampshire  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

New Hampshire’s COVID-19 Emergency Order #17 makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. According to their websites, reproductive health clinics in New Hampshire continue to provide services.

The state’s stay-at-home order expired on June 15, allowing for businesses to resume normal operations.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in New Hampshire. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 16 June 2020

New Jersey  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

New Jersey’s COVID-19 order to suspend all elective surgeries has a specific exemption for “family planning and termination of pregnancies,” thereby defining abortion as an essential service.

Governor Phil Murphy lifted the statewide stay-at-home order on June 9. As of July 13, New Jersey is paused in Phase 2 of reopening, and the governor has mandated the use of face masks in public places.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in New Jersey. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 13 July 2020

New Mexico  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

New Mexico’s COVID-19 stay-at-home essential business list makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. However, reproductive health clinics in New Mexico continue to provide services.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s stay-at-home order expired on May 31. Phase 2 of New Mexico’s reopening plan has been put on hold as coronavirus cases rise, and the governor has ordered restaurants to restrict indoor dining beginning on July 13.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in New Mexico. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 13 July 2020

New York  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

New York’s COVID-19 executive order makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. On April 7, Governor Cuomo issued a health advisory clarifying that all sexual and reproductive health services will be considered essential during the pandemic. New York’s attorney general also later provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected. Planned Parenthood has confirmed that the state’s clinics will remain open.

In early May, Governor Cuomo released a reopening plan that outlines phases of reopening in New York, based on specific metrics. Different regions of the state are expected to open at different times depending on meeting these metrics. The stay-at-home order expired on June 13 . New York City was the last region of the state to enter Phase 4 of reopening on July 20, moving the entire state of New York into this stage of the reopening plan.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in New York. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 3 August 2020

North Carolina  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5 [medium].

North Carolina’s COVID-19 Executive Order No. 121 makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. However, reproductive health clinics in North Carolina continue to provide services.

Governor Roy Cooper ordered the first stage of reopening in North Carolina to begin May 8. The state will continue to open in three phases. North Carolina’s stay-at-home order was in effect until May 22. North Carolina has paused its reopening plan due to an increase in coronavirus cases and Governor Cooper has mandated that residents wear face coverings when out in public. he state will remain in Phase 2 of its reopening plan until at least August 7.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in North Carolina that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
0 3 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5

Last updated 3 August 2020

North Dakota  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5.5 [medium].

North Dakota’s stay at home order does not define abortion as essential or non-essential. A health department official stated that the state is leaving health care decisions up to the provider.

Governor Doug Burnum allowed certain businesses to begin reopening on May 1. A task force has been created to address coronavirus hotspots in the state, but no further restrictions have been imposed on state residents by the governor.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in North Dakota that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No Yes Counselling done by physician or referring physician; state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional or online Yes
0 3 2*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5.5

Last updated 3 August 2020

Ohio  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5 [medium].

Ohio defines abortion as a non-essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic. In early March, Attorney General Dave Yost ordered abortion clinics to cease “nonessential and elective” abortion procedures. Attorney General Yost also signed an amicus brief supporting Texas’ efforts to ban abortion care during COVID-19. However, Judge Michael Barrett granted an injunction on April 23 that is keeping abortion available in Ohio, despite the continuous efforts to ban services in the state. On May 6, the Ohio House added an amendment that would limit the power of the public health orders Governor Mike DeWine and his health advisor, Amy Acton. Anti-abortion activists are urging the House to reject this proposal, as it could make closing abortion clinics more difficult.

Ohio’s stay-at-home order expired on May 29. In mid-May, Governor Mike DeWine allowed the reopening of restaurants, retail stores, and other businesses. DeWine mandated the use of face masks for the whole state beginning on July 23, and is imposing other restrictions on a county-by-county basis.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Ohio that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes No Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
3 0 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5

Last updated 3 August 2020

Oklahoma  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5 [medium].

Oklahoma defines abortion as a non-essential service during COVID-19. Governor Kevin Stitt’s April 7 executive order would have banned both medication and surgical abortions. However, the courts have ruled in favor of abortion rights groups in a lawsuit against the ban. On April 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit allowed a lower court ruling to stay in place that allows for abortion care to continue in Oklahoma during the pandemic. Though accessible, reproductive health care remains under threat in Oklahoma. The state’s attorney general signed an amicus brief supporting Texas’ efforts to ban abortion care during COVID-19.

Governor Kevin Stitt allowed certain businesses to begin reopening on April 24. Phase 3 of reopening began in late June when all restrictions on businesses and group gathering size were lifted.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Oklahoma that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
0 3 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5

Last updated 13 July 2020

Oregon  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

Oregon’s COVID-19 emergency order halting elective surgeries included some exemptions, for surgeries that pose a risk of “progression of staging” and are “time sensitive.” Oregon’s attorney general clarified that essential abortion care was included in this exemption. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected during the pandemic.

Governor Kate Brown has allowed elective surgeries to take place in health care settings that meet safety guidelines, starting May 1. Phase 3 of Oregon’s reopening plan is now on pause until September at the earliest due to an increase of coronavirus cases.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Oregon. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 13 July 2020

Pennsylvania  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0.5 [low].

Pensylvannia’s COVID-19 list of essential businesses makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. Despite the lack of classification, and according to their websites, reproductive health clinics in Pennsylvania continue to provide services. However, access to abortion services is under threat in Pennsylvania. Senate Republicans have been using the pandemic to attempt to ban medication abortion. On April 20, Governor Tom Wolf vetoed a telemedicine bill that would have banned doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing pills via video appointments.

Governor Tom Wolf is reopening Pennsylvania in three stages, the first of which began on May 8. Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order expired June 4. As of July 3, all of the state was in the last stage of reopening, and the use of a face mask has been mandated in all public spaces.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Pennsylvania. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided Yes
0 0 0*(.5) 3*(.5) = 0.5

Last updated 3 August 2020

Rhode Island  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0.5 [low].

Rhode Island’s COVID-19 guidelines on essential businesses make no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. However, abortion clinics in Rhode Island continue to provide services. Governor Gina Raimondo has worked to protect reproductive rights, signing a bill last June that would protect abortion access in the event of a Roe v. Wade reversal.

Governor Raimondo began reopening the state on May 8. Phase 3 of Rhode Island’s reopening plan began on June 30 and will extend through the end of August.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Rhode Island. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional No
0 0 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 0.17

Last updated 23 June 2020

South Carolina  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5 [medium].

South Carolina’s COVID-19 executive order makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. Although the state has not explicitly defined abortion care as non-essential, South Carolina’s attorney general signed an amicus brief supporting Texas’ efforts to ban abortion care during COVID-19. According to their websites, reproductive health clinics in South Carolina continue to provide services.

Governor Henry McMaster began lifting certain COVID-19 business restrictions on April 20. The state’s stay-at-home order became voluntary on May 4. The remaining business restrictions were lifted in late May, with close-contact businesses reopening on May 18 and public attractions on May 23.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in South Carolina that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
0 3 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5

Last updated 10 June 2020

South Dakota  

Abortion care is currently available, though it is currently unclear to what extent services are available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 8 [high].

Governor Kristi Noem never issued a stay-at-home order or ordered businesses to close. On April 28, Noem announced social-distancing guidelines for residents and businesses to follow. Governor Noem’s executive order regarding COVID-19 guidelines makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. Although the state hasn’t explicitly defined abortion care as non-essential, South Dakota’s attorney general signed an amicus brief supporting Texas’ efforts to ban abortion care during COVID-19. Furthermore, South Dakota’s only reproductive health clinic depends on out of state abortion providers, and their travel has been scaled back due to the pandemic. Despite this, the clinic website indicates that they are continuing to provide services, though the extent to which they are operating remains unclear.

A high abortion restriction score indicates that there are medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in South Dakota that are exacerbating the already difficult circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
3 3 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 8

Last updated 3 August 2020

Tennessee  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 9 [high].

Tennessee defines abortion as a non-essential service during COVID-19. Governor Bill Lee required healthcare providers to halt “elective and non-urgent” procedures, including surgical abortion services in this classification. The state’s attorney general also signed an amicus brief supporting Texas’ efforts to ban abortion care during COVID-19. However, the courts have blocked the abortion ban in Tennessee. A federal judge issued an emergency order on April 17 allowing abortions to remain accessible in the state during the pandemic. On April 24, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld an injunction allowing abortion clinics in Tennessee to provide surgical abortions during the pandemic.

On July 13, Governor Bill Lee signed an extremely restrictive abortion bill into law. It bans all abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected (around 6 weeks), with no exceptions for rape and incest victims. Shortly after it was signed, the law was halted by a federal court.

Tennessee’s stay-at-home order expired on April 30. All counties are in some phase of reopening; in most counties, restaurants and retail stores can operate with no capacity restrictions. Though the state attempted to overturn the ruling that prevented the COVID-19 abortion ban from going into effect, on May 14 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th circuit declined to revisit the decision, allowing abortion care to continue in the state without challenge.

A high abortion restriction score indicates that there are medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Tennessee that are exacerbating the already difficult circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling has to be provided by physician or referring physician Yes
3 3 3*(.5) 3*(.5) = 9

Last updated 3 August 2020

Texas  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 8.5 [high].

Texas has been at the forefront of the movement to restrict abortion during the pandemic. Governor Greg Abbott’s original March 22 executive order banned all non-essential medical procedures, classifying abortions as non-essential. As the order applied to all procedures requiring personal protective equipment, it effectively banned all abortions, including medication induced abortions. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the ban, though it expired on April 21.

Abortion is now available in Texas, as Texas’ new order has exemptions for providers that do not use hospital beds or request personal protective equipment, and the state has agreed that abortion providers fall into this category.

Governor Abbott began reopening certain businesses in the state on May 8. Due to a surge in cases in June, Governor Abbott reversed part of his reopening plan, reducing the capacity in restaurants to 50% and closing all bars.

A high abortion restriction score indicates that there are medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Texas that are exacerbating the already difficult circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes Yes Counselling done by physician or referring physician; state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional or online Yes
3 3 2*(.5) 3*(.5) = 8.5

Last updated 11 May 2020

Utah  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5 [medium].

Utah does not define abortion as essential or non-essential, but leaves this decision up to the provider. However, although care provision is the provider’s decision, Utah’s attorney general signed an amicus brief supporting Texas’ efforts to ban abortion care during COVID-19. According to their websites, reproductive health clinics in Utah continue to provide services.

Governor Gary Herbert started reopening businesses throughout the state on May 1.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Utah that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes No Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
3 0 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5

Last updated 3 August 2020

Vermont  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

Vermont’s COVID-19 executive order makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. However, Vermont’s attorney general provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected during the pandemic.

Governor Phil Scott started gradually reopening businesses on May 4. On August 1, Governor Scott implemented a face mask requirement for both indoor and outdoor public spaces.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Vermont. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 19 May 2020

Virginia  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5 [medium].

Virginia’s COVID-19 executive order defines abortion and reproductive health services as essential, stating that the state’s order to halt nonessential surgeries did not apply to the “full suite of family planning services and procedures.” Furthermore, Virginia’s attorney general provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected during the pandemic.

Governor Ralph Northam started reopening businesses on May 15. All counties in the state were in Phase 3 of reopening by July 1.

A medium abortion restriction score indicates that there are some medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Virginia that are exacerbating the circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes No Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
3 0 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5

Last updated 3 August 2020

Washington  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 0 [low].

Washington’s COVID-19 original executive order did not make specific mention of reproductive health services. However, in later amendments and statements to the press, officials in Washington have confirmed that the state defines abortion services as essential. Furthermore, Washington’s attorney general provided a statement included in a press release from the Democratic Attorneys General Association assuring that access to abortion care would be protected during the pandemic.

On May 26, Governor Jay Inslee started reopening businesses. All counties are now in some phase of reopening, but on July 14, Governor Inslee paused all further reopening until further notice.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Washington. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided No
0 0 0*(.5) 0*(.5) = 0

Last updated 3 August 2020

West Virginia  

Abortion care is currently available, though under threat. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 5 [medium].

West Virginia’s COVID-19 executive order makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. However, when asked about abortion access during COVID-19, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey stated that there’s “no categorical exemption for abortion.” Attorney General Morrisey also signed an amicus brief supporting Texas’ efforts to ban abortion care during COVID-19. Despite these threats to access, West Virginia’s only abortion provider has stated that it has continued and will continue to provide services.

On May 4, Governor Jim Justice’s stay-at-home order became voluntary for West Virginians. Businesses restrictions were lifted throughout the month of May.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No Yes Counselling and state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional Yes
0 3 1*(.5) 3*(.5) = 5

Last updated 3 August 2020

Wisconsin  

Abortion care is currently available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 8.5 [high].

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 executive order makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. Although the state has not explicitly defined abortion care as non-essential, Republican lawmakers wrote a letter to the Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm, demanding that abortion clinics close for the remainder of the governor’s executive order. Despite this, abortion clinic websites indicate that they continue to provide services, though it remains unclear the extent to which clinics are providing abortion services.

Governor Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order was struck down by the state Supreme Court on May 13 and the state has gradually reopened since. Governor Evers has not implemented a state-wide reopening plan since his last proposal was rejected, allowing each county to reopen at their own discretion.

A high abortion restriction score indicates that there are medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Wisconsin that are exacerbating the already difficult circumstances under which one can access abortions within the context of the pandemic.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
Yes Yes Counselling done by physician or referring physician; state mandated counselling can be done by any health professional or online Yes
3 3 2*(.5) 3*(.5) = 8.5

Last updated 3 August 2020

Wyoming  

Abortion care is currently available, though it is currently unclear to what extent services are available. The state has a COVID-19 abortion restriction score of 1.5 [low].

Wyoming’s COVID-19 executive order makes no specific reference to reproductive health care clinics or abortion care. Despite this, abortion clinic websites indicate that they continue to provide services, though it remains unclear the extent to which clinics are providing abortion services.

Wyoming did not have a statewide stay-at-home order in place. Restaurants, bars, and other businesses started reopening on May 15. On July 1, Governor Mark Gordon made gatherings up to 250 people legal in the state.

A low abortion restriction score indicates that there are few or no medically unnecessary restrictions around the provision of abortion in Wyoming. The lack of medically unnecessary restrictions makes abortion services more accessible in a pandemic environment.

Two trips required for abortion Telemedicine banned for abortion Restrictions limiting the ability of abortion providers to delegate tasks (scaled by .5) Medication abortions must be performed by a licensed physician (scaled by .5) Composite Score of COVID-19 Key Restrictions
No No No biased counselling provided Yes
0 0 0*(.5) 3*(.5) = 1.5

Last updated 3 August 2020