State of Abortion

In May, Republican members of Congress asked each state to provide answers about how they regulate and monitor abortion services. The requests came from members of two congressional committees—the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Judiciary Committee—and were sent to state health departments and attorneys general, respectively.

RH Reality Check sent requests to the health departments and attorneys general in every state, asking them to provide us with the same answers they gave to the congressional committees. To learn more about what this database contains, check out our methodology.

With answers now received from nearly every state, the results confirm our earlier analysis: that abortion is already policed and regulated aggressively, the opposite of the notion posited by anti-choice campaigners, who wrongly claimed that the medical procedure was putting women at risk.

How You Can Use This Database

The documents in this site will be useful to reporters, advocates, lawyers, campaigners, providers, and all those interested in reproductive health.

Search this site to find information on how many clinics exist in each state and how frequently those clinics are inspected, and view the actual forms that must be filled out by those who wish to open an abortion clinic.

See what kinds of action the state health authorities take when they identify compliance failures. Use the information to drill down into what actually constitutes a compliance failure: they can include issues as minor as failing to have a clinic’s ID number posted on the homepage of its website.

Learn how each state categorizes the types of facilities where abortions are provided. For instance, some states have a tiered system that imposes different licensure requirements for clinics that want to perform surgical abortions, or solely to provide medication abortions. And in other states, licensure is only required for facilities that provide more than a specified number of procedures in a given period of time.

Last updated October 31, 2013

Note: Where we have not yet received a response, we have indicated that we are “awaiting response.” Where we have been told that the attorney general or health department has not yet replied to the congressional committee, or does not intend to do so, we have indicated that there are “no responsive documents.” See the methodology for more.

Alabama

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3]

Alaska

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1]

Arizona

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1]

Arkansas

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4]

California

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2]

Colorado

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2]

Connecticut

Attorney General: no responsive documents

Department of Health: no responsive documents

Delaware

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: awaiting response

District of Columbia

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4] · [5]

Florida

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: no responsive documents

Georgia

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4] · [5]

Hawaii

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1]

Idaho

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1]

Illinois

Attorney General: no responsive documents

Department of Health: no responsive documents

Indiana

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2]

Iowa

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: awaiting response

Kansas

Attorney General: [1] · [2]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4] · [5] · [6] · [7]

Kentucky

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1]

Louisiana

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4] · [5] · [6] · [7] · [8] · [9]

Maine

Attorney General: no responsive documents

Department of Health: awaiting response

Maryland

Attorney General: awaiting response

Department of Health: [1]

Massachusetts

Attorney General: no responsive documents

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4] · [5] · [6] · [7] · [8] · [9] · [10] · [11] · [12] · [13] · [14] · [15]

Michigan

Attorney General: [1] · [2]

Department of Health: no responsive documents

Minnesota

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4] · [5] · [6] · [7] · [8] · [9] · [10]

Mississippi

Attorney General: no responsive documents

Department of Health: awaiting response

Missouri

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4] · [5] · [6] · [7]

Montana

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1]

Nebraska

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4] · [5] · [6] · [7] · [8] · [9] · [10] · [11]

Nevada

Attorney General: no responsive documents

Department of Health: [1]

New Hampshire

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: awaiting response

New Jersey

Attorney General: awaiting response

Department of Health: awaiting response

New Mexico

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4]

New York

Attorney General: awaiting response

Department of Health: awaiting response

North Carolina

Attorney General: [1] · [2]

Department of Health: [1]

North Dakota

Attorney General: no responsive documents

Department of Health: [1] · [2]

Ohio

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4]

Oklahoma

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1]

Oregon

Attorney General: no responsive documents

Department of Health: awaiting response

Pennsylvania

Attorney General: no responsive documents

Department of Health: [1] · [2] (very large file)

Rhode Island

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1]

South Carolina

Attorney General: no responsive documents

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3]

South Dakota

Attorney General: [1] · [2]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] (sent by South Dakota with missing pages) · [3]

Tennessee

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4] · [5] · [6] · [7] · [8] · [9] · [10] · [11] · [12] · [13]

Texas

Attorney General: awaiting response

Department of Health: [1]

Utah

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2]

Vermont

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] · [4] · [5] · [6] · [7]

Virginia

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2] · [3] (large file)

Washington

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: awaiting response

West Virginia

Attorney General: no responsive documents

Department of Health: [1]

Wisconsin

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: [1] · [2]

Wyoming

Attorney General: [1]

Department of Health: awaiting response

Methodology

RH Reality Check submitted requests to the health departments and offices of the attorney general in each of the 50 states, asking for copies of whatever documents those offices had sent to the congressional committees in response to letters seeking information about abortion.

Our initial requests were sent in mid-May. We have now received final responses from 48 state attorneys general and 41 state health departments. Those responses include instances where states either did not respond to the congressional requests, have not responded yet, or say they did not receive the congressional requests. In those instances, we have indicated that there are “no responsive documents.” Where we have not yet received a final response, we have indicated that we are “awaiting response.”

In most cases, however, the states provided us with copies of the substantive responses they sent to the congressional committees. New York is the only state from which we have not received any final response at all.

Our analysis was based on a review of answers from more than half of the states, received by August’s publication deadline. We will continue to report the findings from these documents as part of our State of Abortion series. We ask those who use these documents in their work to link to us and to credit RH Reality Check appropriately.