Most Abortion Bans Include Exceptions. In Practice, Few Are Granted.

Amy Schoenfeld Walker / The New York Times
Most Abortion Bans Include Exceptions. In Practice, Few Are Granted. Jackson Women's Health Organization in Mississippi. (photo: Gabriela Bhaskar/NYT)

Last summer, a Mississippi woman sought an abortion after, she said, a friend had raped her. Her state prohibits most abortions but allows them for rape victims. Yet she could not find a doctor to provide one.

In September, an Indiana woman learned that a fetal defect meant her baby would die shortly after birth, if not sooner. Her state’s abortion ban included an exception for such cases, but she was referred to Illinois or Michigan.

An Ohio woman carrying triplets faced a high risk of dangerous complications, including delivering too early. When she tried to get an abortion in September through Ohio’s exception for patients with a medical need, she was turned away.


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