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  • Writer's pictureHer Health Women's Center

What are the abortion laws in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota?

Updated: May 24, 2023

With Roe v. Wade being overturned on June 24, 2022, the right to create abortion laws was returned to the states. Because of this, each state has its own rules and guidelines when it comes to legal abortions. Below are the current abortion laws in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota as of September 2022. The following information pertains to elective abortion only. Medical care is still provided legally in the event of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.


In Iowa, abortion is legal up to 22 weeks of gestation (based on first day of last menstrual period; 20 weeks post-fertilization). Abortion past 22 weeks is only permitted as a life-saving measure. Before having an abortion, a woman must receive an ultrasound, be offered a picture from the ultrasound, receive counseling explaining the abortion and the impacts, and wait 24-hours before the abortion can be performed. If the patient is a minor, her legal guardians must be informed before an abortion can be performed. Abortion must be provided by a licensed medical doctor.


Nebraska allows abortion through 12 weeks. Later term abortions are only permitted when the mother’s life is in danger, or in the case of rape or incest. Additionally, medication for a chemical abortion can not be prescribed via telehealth or mail order. Minors must get consent from their guardian before an abortion can be performed, and there is a mandatory 24-hour waiting period. The abortion provider must be a licensed medical doctor.


Abortion is not allowed in South Dakota except when necessary to preserve the life of the mother. In a case of life endangerment, a patient must receive counseling explaining the process and risks, a minor’s guardian must be informed, and the patient must wait a mandatory 72-hours. The use of telemedicine to prescribe a chemical abortion is outlawed. South Dakota law states that anyone who prescribes or obtains medicine, drug or substance for a pregnant woman, or uses an instrument or other means with intent for abortion, unless there is a medical reason to preserve the life of the pregnant female, is guilty of a Class 6 felony.


Abortion laws are continuing to shift and change as states work to change and establish laws in their state. It is important to stay up to date, especially if you are considering having an abortion.

If you are experiencing an unintended pregnancy, Her Health Women's Center is here for you. All of our services are free, confidential, and non-judgmental. We will give you an ultrasound to see how far along you are and to make sure the pregnancy is viable. We will also discuss all of your options with you so you can make an informed choice. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 712-224-2000 or schedule an appointment online at


*Disclaimer: The sources cited for this blog are found to be reliable, however, Her Health Women’s Center can not endorse or oppose the entire content of the websites listed. The content of this blog is meant to be used for informational purposes and is not a substitute for medical care.

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