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20+ States That Protect Abortion Rights—and Open Jobs in Each

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Nearly half a century after the Supreme Court struck down an abortion ban as unconstitutional and declared with its historic Roe v. Wade ruling that people in the United States have a right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, the nation’s highest court overturned that decision on June 24.

“There are occasions when past decisions should be overruled, and as we will explain, this is one of them,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion, a draft of which had been leaked several weeks in advance. In its final decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court held that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey [Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey] must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

What that means in practice is that individual states now have the power to determine whether abortion is legal. In some states, including Alabama, Wisconsin, and Missouri, bans are already in effect. In others, such as Mississippi and Wyoming, abortion will be banned within 30 days of the SCOTUS decision or sometime this summer. All in all, more than half of U.S. states are “certain or likely” to ban abortion in the absence of Roe, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization dedicated to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Meanwhile, other states—including California, New York, and New Jersey—have been preparing for the impending fall of Roe by touting existing protections as well as strengthening and expanding them.

Earlier this month, for instance, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy appealed to companies to move to New Jersey to protect their employees’ right to abortion: “The overturning of a woman’s right to bodily autonomy—and the chilling effect this decision will have on your ability to attract and retain top female talent by being located in a state which has refused to recognize women’s reproductive freedom—cannot be ignored,” he wrote in a letter to dozens of organizations located in conservative states.

Murphy’s message echoes what advocates for reproductive rights have been saying. “Make no mistake: Companies will have to respond to the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights,” Shantelle Dockett, Associate Director of Corporate Engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement to The Muse prior to the final SCOTUS decision. “Because employees, both now and in the future, are going to care where they stand and what types of benefits they provide.”

Some employees and job seekers have surely already considered not just employer policies but also state track records on abortion access among other factors when making decisions about where to live and work—and the end of Roe ups the stakes of these kinds of deliberations.

“It would be wise for anyone to consider their whole work-life flow when choosing where to live and work, and doing so in a way that aligns with their value system,” says Muse career coach Bryn Panee Burkhart, founder of Next Evolution Leadership Coaching & Career Management. “Certain states are currently crafting and passing legislation concerning abortion and gun control that can have a very real impact on the quality of life for individuals and families. It would be prudent to understand these things and take them into account in one’s decision-making.”

So where does that leave you? Not everyone has the privilege of being able to choose where to live or to pick up and move across the country in the wake of a court ruling. But if you do have some flexibility and abortion rights are a factor you’d like to consider in your job search, here are 20 states (plus the District of Columbia) where abortion is legal and likely to remain protected—along with open jobs in each.

Note: This list is based on Guttmacher Institute resources (this one updated as of June 1, 2022 and this one updated as of June 30, 2022), as well as this New York Times project updated as of June 30, 2022, with supporting information from various other sources. Some of these states do still have some restrictions on abortion and the absence of other states from this list doesn’t mean there is no abortion access there. In addition, the specifics of policies vary and are in flux, especially at this moment, so please check the details and most up-to-date information before making any decisions.


Oregon is the only state to earn Guttmacher’s “most protective” label, meaning it has most or all of the protective abortion-related policies on the list experts used to evaluate each state. Abortion is protected with no gestational limit, covered by state Medicaid funds and private insurance plans (which are required to cover abortion in Oregon), and can be provided by doctors as well as other qualified health professionals like nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The state also has measures in place to protect both patients and abortion clinic staff. In March 2022, the state legislature established the Reproductive Health Equity Fund backed by $15 million to “deliver on Oregon’s commitment to reproductive freedom by sending practical, meaningful support for people in our state—no matter what happens in Boise, Washington, DC, or anywhere else.” In response to Roe being overruled, Oregon joined forces with Washington and California to launch a “West Coast offense” to “defend access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion and contraceptives.”

Find open jobs in Portland, Salem, or Eugene


Unlike Oregon, the right to abortion in Washington is protected by state law only until fetal viability at about 24 to 26 weeks, and later only to protect the patient’s life or health. But other aspects of the states’ policies are similar—from state Medicaid and private insurance coverage to protections for patients and staff at abortion clinics to the ability of qualified healthcare professionals beyond doctors to provide abortions. In March 2022, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a bill that protects patients and their providers from legal action. In a statement issued on June 24, Inslee said that “Washington state remains steadfast in our commitment to protecting the ability and right of every patient who comes to our state in need of abortion care, and we will fight like hell to restore that right to patients all across the country.”

Find open jobs in Seattle, Spokane, or Tacoma


Abortion is protected in California prior to viability, and it boasts many of the same types of protections as Washington. The state is preparing to go further, however. “We’ll be a sanctuary,” if Roe is overturned, Governor Gavin Newsom declared back in December 2021. As of early June 2022, Newsom pledged $125 million to support a package of bills and efforts being considered to ensure the state supports access and helps mitigate costs of abortion. “With today’s Supreme Court decision to endanger the health and safety of millions of women across the country, California must do everything it can to protect the fundamental rights of all women—in California and beyond,” Newsom said in a statement on June 24.

Find open jobs in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, or San Francisco


Abortion in Nevada is protected until 24 weeks, with exceptions after that only when the patient’s life or health is endangered. State Medicaid funds are banned from covering abortion with limited exceptions, however, and only physicians can provide abortions. But an affirmative right to choose is written into state law with the Freedom of Choice Act regardless of Roe. Almost immediately upon the release of Alito’s draft decision, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford emphasized that “voters in Nevada are guaranteed a right to a legal abortion until 24 weeks of pregnancy.” He added: “We will protect your right to make decisions with your doctor about what is best for your health, your family, and your future.”

Find open jobs in Las Vegas, Henderson, or Reno


In Hawaii, abortion is protected prior to viability. Its Freedom of Choice act enshrines that protection into state law, affirming that “​​the State shall not deny or interfere with a female’s right to choose or obtain an abortion of a nonviable fetus or an abortion that is necessary to protect the life or health of the female.” State Medicaid funds do cover abortion in Hawaii. Governor David Ige said in a statement that “despite the ruling, I can assure you that women in Hawaiʻi will continue to have access to the healthcare they need, and that includes abortion.”

Find open jobs in Honolulu or Hilo


Abortion policies in Alaska—where the state’s high court recognizes a fundamental right to “reproductive choice” under the state constitution—do not restrict the procedures based on gestational age and they’re covered by state Medicaid funds, though doctors are the only healthcare professionals who can provide them. However, Alaska’s self-described “pro-life” governor Mike Dunleavy indicated in a statement following the SCOTUS decision that abortion rights will be up for debate in his state. “I believe this presents an opportunity for the people of Alaska, not a handful of elected officials or appointed judges, to decide the future of abortion in Alaska,” he said. “I will therefore be introducing a resolution for a proposed constitutional amendment to the legislature in the next session to answer the question whether abortion shall, or not be a constitutionally protected right.”

Find open jobs in Anchorage, Juneau, or Fairbanks


Though abortion is legal in Colorado with no gestational limit, state Medicaid coverage is banned in most cases and parents or guardians of minors need to be notified in advance. In April 2022, the state’s Reproductive Health Equity Act affirmed “the fundamental right of individual Coloradans to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions.” It stated that “a pregnant individual has a fundamental right to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion and to make decisions about how to exercise that right.” Following the SCOTUS decision, Governor Jared Polis said in a statement: “In Colorado, we will continue to choose freedom and we stand against government control over our bodies. State leadership matters now more than ever and in Colorado we will not retreat to an archaic era where the powerful few controlled the freedoms over our bodies and health decisions.”

Find open jobs in Denver, Colorado Springs, or Aurora

New Mexico

Abortion is accessible in New Mexico with no viability restriction and covered by state Medicaid funds. However, state law doesn’t explicitly protect abortion and neither have the courts determined whether the state’s constitution protects the right to abortion. But after Roe was overturned, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement, “I will continue to fight for the right to a safe, legal abortion in New Mexico and stand as a brick wall against those who seek to punish women and their doctors just because they seek the care they need and deserve.”

Find open jobs in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, or Rio Rancho


Illinois protects the right to abortion prior to fetal viability, with an affirmative right to choose enshrined in state law via the Freedom of Choice Act, which says that “every individual who becomes pregnant has a fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion, and to make autonomous decisions about how to exercise that right.” Like California, New York, and Oregon, it requires health insurance plans it regulates to cover abortion without cost-sharing. “In Illinois, we trust women,” Governor JB Pritzker said in a statement. “Despite the action of the Supreme Court today overturning Roe v. Wade, the right to safe, accessible reproductive healthcare is in full force in Illinois—and will remain so.” Pritzker also called for a special legislative session to expand reproductive rights.

Find open jobs in Chicago, Aurora, or Naperville


Minnesota protects the right to abortion until viability, with a state constitutional protection for the right to choose. And while state Medicaid funds do cover abortion, there are a number of other restrictions in the state, including parental notice for minors and a mandated 24-hour wait after receiving counseling and materials that NARAL deems biased. The day after Roe was overturned, Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order “to help protect people seeking or providing abortions in Minnesota from legal repercussions in other states.” He promised his constituents that “your reproductive freedom will remain protected in Minnesota as long as I am in office.”

Find open jobs in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, or Rochester

New York

Abortion is protected in New York until fetal viability, having codified the protections of Roe into state law with the 2019 Reproductive Health Act. On June 13, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of bills protecting not just New Yorkers but also folks from other states seeking abortions there and the providers who care for them. Democratic lawmakers expressed their hope that the state will “remain a safe haven for any person seeking abortion healthcare.” In the wake of the SCOTUS decision, Hochul said in a statement, “Let me be clear: the Supreme Court has failed us, but New York State will not,” and announced a public education campaign, Abortion Access Always, “to ensure that everyone knows that abortions remain safe, legal, and accessible here.”

Find open jobs in New York City, Buffalo, or Rochester

New Jersey

In New Jersey, abortion is legal with no gestational limit. It was codified into state law in January 2022 when Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation protecting the constitutional right to freedom of reproductive choice, including the right to terminate a pregnancy. Murphy has also said he’ll continue to push for free abortions and seek to establish a “reproductive health access fund.” In response to the court’s decision, Murphy emphasized, “Let there be no doubt, we will ensure that every woman in New Jersey has access to an abortion and to the full range of reproductive services they deserve as a matter of right.”

Find open jobs in Newark or Jersey City


Abortion isn’t restricted based on gestational age in Vermont. “It’s important to note, a woman’s right to choose is a principle we will uphold in Vermont,” Governor Phil Scott said in a statement in response to the SCOTUS ruling. “In 2019, I signed a law that affirmed the fundamental rights of all women and ensured reproductive health decisions remain between a woman and her healthcare provider. That does not change with this ruling.” The state is also on track to guarantee the right to abortion via a constitutional amendment; the House passed the Reproductive Liberty Amendment (Prop 5) in February 2022 and the proposed amendment will appear on the voter ballots as part of the November 2022 election.

Find open jobs in Burlington


The right to abortion is protected in Maine prior to viability as written into state law: “It is the public policy of the State that the State not restrict a woman’s exercise of her private decision to terminate a pregnancy before viability.” After viability “an abortion may be performed only when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.” Governor Janet Mills said in a statement following the court’s ruling: “In Maine, I will defend the right to reproductive healthcare with everything I have, and I pledge to the people of Maine that, so long as I am Governor, my veto pen will stand in the way of any effort to undermine, roll back, or outright eliminate the right to safe and legal abortion in Maine.”

Find open jobs in Portland

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, abortion is legal until 24 weeks with exceptions after that for fatal fetal diagnoses and the life of the pregnant person. State Medicaid coverage is banned with limited exceptions and the parents of those under 18 must be notified 48 hours in advance, unless a judge excuses a minor from the requirement. “Regardless of this Supreme Court decision, access to these services will continue to remain safe, accessible, and legal in New Hampshire,” Governor Chris Sununu said in a statement.

Find open jobs in Manchester, Nashua, or Concord


Abortion is protected in Massachusetts until 24 weeks with exceptions after that for fatal fetal anomalies and the physical and mental health of the pregnant person. These exceptions were passed with the ROE Act in 2020 as the state prepared for the possibility of Roe being overturned. That law also lowered the age until which parental consent is required from 18 to 16. In response to Roe being overruled, Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order to protect individuals from out of state seeking services in Massachusetts as well as the providers who care for them. 

Find open jobs in Boston, Worcestor, or Springfield


Abortion is protected in Connecticut until fetal viability, with exceptions after that “when necessary to preserve the life or health of the patient.” However, there are targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP) regulations in place around facilities and reporting. In May 2022, Governor Ned Lamont signed into law protections for medical providers and patients coming in from other states. The new law also expanded which healthcare professionals are able to provide abortion care. However, minors must get counseling that “includes discussion of the possibility of consulting [their] parents.” In a statement following the SCOTUS ruling, Lamont said, “I am grateful to live in Connecticut, where our laws make it clear that women have a right to choose. As long as I am governor, reproductive rights will be protected in Connecticut and I will do everything in my power to block laws from being passed that restrict those rights.”

Find open jobs in Bridgeport, New Haven, or Stamford

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, the right to abortion is protected prior to viability with exceptions after that, with the state Supreme Court having upheld the 2019 Reproductive Privacy Act in May 2022. However, Medicaid coverage of abortion is banned with limited exceptions, parental consent is required for minors, and it also has TRAP regulations in place around facilities and reporting. “Despite today’s ruling, Rhode Islanders still have the right to access abortion healthcare services in our state,” Governor Dan McKee said in a statement.

Find open jobs in Providence or Cranston


Abortion in Delaware is protected prior to viability and afterward only if there are fatal fetal anomalies or if the life or health of the patient is endangered. The affirmative right to choose written into its state law via the Freedom of Choice Act, which remains in place after Roe's fall. State Medicaid funds are banned from covering abortion with limited exceptions and parents of minors under 16 must be notified, though that requirement can be waived in certain situations. In May 2022, Governor John Carney signed a bill into law that will allow additional providers, such as physician assistants, to prescribe abortion pills. “Here in Delaware, a woman’s right to choose is protected under the law, as it should be,” Carney said in a statement in response to the court’s ruling.

Find open jobs in Wilmington, Dover, or Newark


In Maryland, abortion is protected prior to viability with exceptions afterward. However, a minor must notify one parent or guardian (with exceptions), only physicians can perform abortions, and there are TRAP regulations in place. The state’s Freedom of Choice Act explicitly says that “the State may not interfere with the decision of a woman to terminate a pregnancy.” More recently, Maryland passed the Abortion Care Access Act of 2022, which expands insurance and Medicaid coverage of abortion without cost-sharing and more.

Find open jobs in Baltimore or Columbia

Washington, DC

Abortion is legal with no gestational limit in Washington, DC, and minors don’t need permission from parents—or even to let them know—to get an abortion. However, Medicaid coverage is banned, with limited exceptions in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest. 

Find open jobs in Washington, DC

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