State Study

Three states were chosen to represent the variations across the current and future state-based landscape those seeking a safe and legal abortion must navigate.




Washington is historically very supportive of reproductive rights. In 1991, Washington voters passed by ballot initiative a recognition of a women’s right to abortion[1]. In 2018, the state passed the Reproductive Parity Act, requiring insurance companies that offer maternity care to also cover abortion and contraception[2]. On March 17, 2022, Governor Jay Insee enacted a law blocking a Texas-style ban from affecting Washington citizens. Because Idaho has recently passed a copycat ban, this law would protect Washington citizens from civil action if they seek or help facilitate and abortion. However, a significant portion of the hospitals in Washington are Catholic-owned or affiliated. Washington law allows both individual and institutional partners to refuse to participate in abortions[3]. Washington does not require any parental involvement for minors seeking abortions.


The majority of Washington’s population is centralized around the Puget Sound, however the state also contains large swaths of sparsely populated land.




Idaho is hostile to reproductive rights. The state has a 24-hour waiting period after counseling and recently passed a copycat Texas-style ban[4]. Public funds are limited to cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest, and legislation has been passed to limit private insurance coverage. Idaho requires parental consent in cases of minors seeking an abortion.


Idaho has several mid-sized cities near the center of the state. The shape of the state means the closest metropolitan center for much of Idaho’s rural population is in another state.




Wyoming has historically been neutral to hostile in its approach to reproductive rights. The state has no legislative restriction on abortion except for viability and limits state funds to cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest. Notably, the state has only one abortion clinic that only provides services up to 11 weeks. Parental consent and notification is required for minors seeking abortions. Wyoming has recently passed a trigger ban that outlaws abortions after the repeal of Roe[5].


Wyoming has the lowest population of any US state, and has no large metropolitan centers.
Bans and Trigger Laws

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1. Abortion Rights Measure Wins, Barely, in Washington State, The New York Times, (November 22, 1991).
2. Democrats push Reproductive Parity Act through state Senate, The Spokesman-Review, (February 1, 2018).
3. Guttmacher Institute, An Overview of Abortion Laws, (June 24, 2022).
4. Kate Zernike, Idaho Is First State to Pass Abortion Ban Based on Texas’ Law, (March 14, 2022).
5. Governor Signs ‘Trigger Ban’ Abortion Bill, Wyoming Tribune Eagle, (March 19, 2022).