United States

Abortion in the United States, who facilitates it and who defends life?

U.S. legislation varies from state to state, which has a special impact on the issue of abortion. Depending on the territory, termination of pregnancy is either prohibited or freely available.

Paloma López Campos-April 8, 2024-Reading time: 2 minutes
right to life

A pro-life activist holds a toy baby (CNS photo / Jonathan Ernst, Reuters).

The complex legislative framework in the United States means that the laws of the abortion are not unified. Each state in the nation has a different law regarding the defense (or attack) of life.

When the Supreme Court declared that abortion is not a constitutional right, the machinery of each territory began to move to enact different laws. While some laws were adapted to defend life, other states tried to become "safe places" for women, shielding abortion and facilitating its practice.

Florida is one of the latest states to take a real step forward. As of May 1, abortion will be prohibited from 6 weeks of pregnancy, that is, from the moment when the heartbeat of the fetus can be detected. However, there is also an initiative in Florida that could completely undo this advance and that, if approved, will shield the "right" to abortion throughout the state.

Pro-life states

On many websites they advertise the places where access to abortion is free. Against that, here is a list of states where legislation defends life and considers abortion illegal:


-North Dakota

-South Dakota











-West Virginia

Abortion in numbers

On March 25, the Pew Research Center published a report on the report with statistical data on abortion in the United States. Some figures are behind the times, for example, the latest year for which data on the number of abortions nationally is available is 2020, when there were 930,160 abortions in the United States.

Despite this data, the trend in the use of these interventions has been downward since the 1990s, with a slight increase since the year of the pandemic. This is indicated by both the Guttmacher organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the country.

As for the type of abortions, more than half are performed using drugs, while interventions are less common. This is because it is the least invasive method during the first trimester, which is when most women want to terminate the pregnancy. On the other hand, clinics facilitate more abortions than hospitals, where approximately 3 % of pregnancy terminations are performed, either through medication or interventions.

The Pew Research Center notes that most women seeking abortions are in their twenties. In addition, 87 % of mothers who have abortions are not married.

Abortion in elections

With elections coming up in the United States at the end of 2024, the two most talked-about candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, frequently allude to the issue of abortion. While the former claims that his mandate will defend life, the latter insists that he will fight for women's "reproductive rights".

It is interesting to note this difference between the two politicians, as the states in which most support Trump, on the Republican side, are where abortion is usually prosecuted, while the territories that vote for Biden, on the Democratic wing, want abortion to be a constitutional right.

The debate is open and looks set to surface steadily throughout 2024, also at the local level with changes made independently by each state.

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