How abortion laws will change in states surrounding Utah

Jun 24, 2022, 4:05 PM
Abortion-rights and Anti-Abortion rights activists fill first street in front of the U.S. Supreme C...
Abortion-rights and Anti-Abortion rights activists fill first street in front of the U.S. Supreme Court after the announcement to the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Court's decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health overturns the landmark 50-year-old Roe v Wade case and erases a federal right to an abortion. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health removes the right to abortion at the federal level, which has been in place for almost 50 years.

As laws surrounding abortion shift to the state level, access will vary widely.

Abortion in Utah will now be illegal in most cases. Here’s a look at how laws will change in surrounding states.


Previous law: Abortion legal up to fetal viability.

Trigger law: Bans abortion with exceptions for sexual assault, incest or “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of major bodily function” to the mother with no exceptions for fetal birth defects.

Currently, the Wyoming Attorney General has 30 days to review the SCOTUS opinion and report to the Joint Judiciary Interim Committee and governor.

Minors must have written consent from parents to have an abortion performed, and parents must have written notification 48 hours in advance of the procedure.

Penalties for those performing an illegal abortion face a felony charge and up to 14 years in prison.


Previous law: Abortion legal up to 20 weeks gestational age.

Trigger law: Bans abortion with exceptions for sexual assault, incest and threat of health of mother. Sexual assaults must be reported to law enforcement and a copy of the police report given to the providing physician.

Idaho has a 24-hour waiting period requirement between the consultation and procedure. The woman must be provided with a photo of the fetus, description of gestational development in two week intervals, other options besides abortion, description of procedure at various stages of gestational development, all foreseeable risks and complications from abortion procedure, and information on medical abortion and its possible reversal.

Those who provide illegal abortions in Idaho can be charged with a felony.

Currently, a recent law outlawing abortion after six weeks gestational age has been tied up in the Idaho Supreme Court. This law would also allow the would-be family of the unborn fetus to sue the abortion provider for damages, at a minimum of $20,000, within four years of the abortion. It is unclear as to whether this lawsuit will be dropped.


Current law: Abortion legal up to 24 weeks gestational age. Abortions after that are limited to situations where the mother’s life is endangered.

Trigger law: None.

Nevada codified its abortion laws 30 years ago through a ballot initiative that passed with two-thirds approving the law.

A law forbidding minors from seeking an abortion without parental consent was deemed unconstitutional and has not been enforced. The status of that law now is not clear.


Current law: All abortions are legal.

Trigger law: None.

Colorado also codified abortion in April 2022 with the Reproductive Health Equity Act. Parents of minors seeking abortions must be notified before the procedure.


Current law: Abortion legal up to 15 weeks with no exception for rape or incest.

Trigger law: None, however, there are territorial laws still on the books which make forced miscarriages punishable with imprisonment for women. Some now question whether that would be currently valid now the Roe v. Wade decision has been overturned.

Physicians performing illegal abortions could be charged criminally with a felony and have their license revoked if convicted. They may also be sentenced to two to five years in prison.

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How abortion laws will change in states surrounding Utah