Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

State and local lawmakers may not be able to outright ban women’s access to safe, legal abortion, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying. States across the country have enacted 51 new abortion restrictions in the first six months of 2015 — despite the fact that Americans overwhelmingly support a woman’s right to access safe, legal abortion without government interference, according to data released yesterday from the Guttmacher Institute.


All these anti-abortion laws follow an avalanche of abortion bans and restrictions across the last five years: States enacted 282 restrictions on abortion since 2010, many under the false guise of safety — when they actually jeopardize women's health and safety.

Let’s Review: Abortion is Safe

Abortion is one of the safest procedures performed in the U.S. Data, including from the CDC, has shown abortion has a 99% safety record. Restrictions passed in the states don't support women's health.In fact, delays and restrictions hurt women by reducing access to safe abortion, as well as the means to prevent unintended pregnancies.

The Guttmacher report highlights multiple statewide trends in the first half of 2015, including an influx of medically unnecessary restrictions including:

  • Forced delay periods,

  • Politically motivated facility requirements,

  • Restrictions on abortion after the first trimester, and

  • The administration of medication abortion.

Several of these laws have recently been temporarily blocked by the courts.

Impact on Women

What all this means: In large parts of this country, women have the right to safe, legal abortion — but politicians are preventing them from exercising that right.

“The millions of women who come to Planned Parenthood and other women’s health care providers each year are not coming to make a political statement. They’re coming because they need access to high-quality, affordable, and compassionate health care. Layering on medically unnecessary restriction after restriction just leaves women with fewer and fewer trusted places to turn,” said Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards.


Fighting Back

This avalanche of restrictions has given rise to millions more women, men, and young people stepping up to fight back. Thanks to an outpouring of support, Planned Parenthood has been able to open new health centers across the country. Women’s health advocates beat back bad bills, and pushed forward new laws that increase women’s access to care.

Lawmakers be warned: There’s a new generation of women leading this fight. They’re storming state capitols and protesting outside of Governor’s mansions. And they’re making sure their voices won’t be ignored.

What Doctors Say

Leading medical groups including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose laws intended to restrict access to safe, legal abortion — because they pose a risk to women’s health by reducing access to safe medical care.

Public Support for Abortion Access

For more than 40 years, ever since Roe, more than two-thirds of the public has supported that decision and said abortion should remain safe and legal. Two recent Gallup polls found increases in support for abortion access and increases in people who say abortion is morally acceptable:

  • The percentage of the public that think abortion is morally acceptable is higher than it’s been in 14 years.

  • Only 19% of the public wants to ban abortion. Americans increasingly consider themselves “pro-choice.”

68% of Millennials don't want to see Roe overturned,and 72% of Republicans think abortion should be available.

VOX/PerryUndem in March also found that:

  • 87% of poll respondents said that a woman seeking an abortion should receive medically accurate information.

  • 70% of respondents said women shouldn't have to drive more than 60 miles to get an abortion.

  • 70% also said a woman should be able to access abortion without added burdens.

In November, when voters had the chance to vote directly on anti-women’s health measures, they rejected them soundly. Voters in Colorado and North Dakota rejected “personhood” measures with large majorities.  Voters defeated a key state house sponsor of the North Dakota personhood legislation, as well as one of the bill’s most outspoken advocates.

Tags: Abortion, State Fights, Abortion restrictions, Guttmacher Institute, Report

Is Abortion Still Legal in My State?

Learn about abortion access changes in your state.

Get the Facts

Planned Parenthood Action Fund Will NEVER Back Down

Know this: our right to abortion is not debatable. We will rebuild and reclaim the freedom that is ours.


Sign Up for Email

Sign Up

Explore more on


This website uses cookies

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors use cookies and other tools to collect, store, monitor, and analyze information about your interaction with our site to improve performance, analyze your use of our sites and assist in our marketing efforts. You may opt out of the use of these cookies and other tools at any time by visiting Cookie Settings. By clicking “Allow All Cookies” you consent to our collection and use of such data, and our Terms of Use. For more information, see our Privacy Notice.

Cookie Settings

Planned Parenthood cares about your data privacy. We and our third-party vendors, use cookies, pixels, and other tracking technologies to collect, store, monitor, and process certain information about you when you access and use our services, read our emails, or otherwise engage with us. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences, or your device. We use that information to make the site work, analyze performance and traffic on our website, to provide a more personalized web experience, and assist in our marketing efforts. We also share information with our social media, advertising, and analytics partners. You can change your default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our Necessary Cookies as they are deployed to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information, please see our Privacy Notice.



We use online advertising to promote our mission and help constituents find our services. Marketing pixels help us measure the success of our campaigns.



We use qualitative data, including session replay, to learn about your user experience and improve our products and services.



We use web analytics to help us understand user engagement with our website, trends, and overall reach of our products.