The state's abortion laws today

When does California guarantee the right to abortion?

  • If the fetus cannot survive outside the womb, a pregnant person can seek an abortion for any reason.
  • After viability, only if continuing the pregnancy threatens the life or health of the pregnant person.

When is a fetus considered viable?

  • It’s up to a physician’s “good faith medical judgement” — in practicality, most doctors consider a fetus viable at 24 weeks or once a fetus weighs 500 grams.

Can someone refuse to provide an abortion?

  • Yes, individual medical professionals can, but someone seeking an abortion may request another provider.
  • Only religious non-profit hospitals and clinics can have blanket bans.
  • No. Case law in California established that minors may obtain an abortion without parent or guardian consent.

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