Efforts to Restrict Abortion Rights

American Oversight has filed dozens of public records requests in states across the country seeking communications and analyses about new or potential abortion restrictions in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade.

On May 2, 2022, Politico published a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade and reverse nearly a half-century of legal precedent upholding the constitutional right to abortion in the U.S. The decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, followed decades of conservative-led efforts to ban abortion and to criminalize people seeking or providing such care.

The Supreme Court officially overturned Roe that June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, opening the door for states to fully outlaw abortion. More than a dozen states had trigger bans in place that would prohibit or severely restrict abortion as soon as Roe was overturned. While courts blocked certain bans from going into effect, by the fall of 2022 abortion was fully illegal in 13 states, with legislators in other states pushing to implement their own total bans. According to an October report from the Guttmacher Institute, at least 66 clinics across 15 states had stopped offering abortions following the Dobbs decision, severely limiting the availability of reproductive care and forcing many abortion seekers to travel out of state. 

American Oversight is investigating what additional measures anti-abortion rights lawmakers might be pursuing, and what public health guidance or assessments — or lack thereof — they’re relying on to make such decisions. We filed public records requests in several states where severe abortion restrictions were being considered or were already in place — including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Wyoming — seeking any documents reflecting guidance on abortion-related public messaging, or assessments of the impact of any new abortion restrictions.

We also filed several requests seeking communications sent or received by top officials in multiple states — including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp — in the days surrounding both the leak of the draft opinion as well as the final decision.

Additionally, the Dobbs decision led to growing concerns about the potential use of digital surveillance to prosecute people who have abortions. In August, a Nebraska teenager and her mother faced criminal charges for procuring an abortion after law enforcement obtained the teenager’s Facebook messages, raising questions about abortion seekers’ privacy and ability to access online resources. American Oversight filed records requests to investigate whether state attorneys general in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah had been in contact with tech companies, app developers, or data brokers involved in the capturing of reproductive health data. So far, the attorney general offices in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah have told us they found no records that were responsive to requests. 

American Oversight will continue to investigate the impacts of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision, as well as the potential use of surveillance technology to identify and prosecute abortion seekers in certain states.

Related Documents

December 13, 2022

FOIA to HHS Seeking Projected Health Impacts of New Abortion Restrictions

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
December 13, 2022

FOIA to CDC Seeking Projected Health Impacts of New Abortion Restrictions

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
FOIA Request
December 13, 2022

FOIA to NIH Seeking Projected Health Impacts of New Abortion Restrictions

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - National Institutes of Health
FOIA Request
December 12, 2022

Records Request to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare for Records Reflecting Impacts of State’s Abortion Ban

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
FOIA Request
December 12, 2022

Records Request to Louisiana Department of Health for Records Reflecting Impacts of State’s Abortion Ban

Louisiana Department of Health
FOIA Request
December 12, 2022

Records Request to Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services for Records Reflecting Impacts of State’s Abortion Ban

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
FOIA Request
December 12, 2022

Records Request to Mississippi State Department of Health for Records Reflecting Impacts of State’s Abortion Ban

Mississippi State Department of Health
FOIA Request
December 12, 2022

Records Request to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Public Health for Records Reflecting Impacts of State’s Abortion Ban

Wisconsin Department of Health Services
FOIA Request
December 12, 2022

Records Request to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Office of Policy Initiatives and Budget for Records Reflecting the Impacts of the State’s Abortion Ban

Wisconsin Department of Health Services
FOIA Request
December 9, 2022

Records Request to Georgia Department of Public Health for Records Reflecting Impacts of State’s Abortion Ban

Georgia Department of Public Health
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Georgia Governor for Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Georgia Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Georgia Attorney General Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Georgia Attorney General
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Georgia Department of Public Health Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Georgia Department of Public Health
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Idaho Governor Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Idaho Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Idaho Lieutenant Governor Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Idaho Office of the Lieutenant Governor
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Idaho Attorney General Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Idaho Attorney General
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Louisiana Attorney General for Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Louisiana Attorney General
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Louisiana Department of Health for Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Louisiana Department of Health
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Missouri Governor Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Missouri - Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Missouri Attorney General Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Missouri Attorney General
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Mississippi Governor Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Mississippi Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Mississippi Attorney General Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Mississippi Attorney General
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Mississippi State Department of Health Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Mississippi State Department of Health
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to South Carolina Governor Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

South Carolina Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to South Carolina Attorney General Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

South Carolina Attorney General
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Texas Governor Commission Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Texas Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Texas Attorney General for Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Texas Attorney General
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Texas Health and Human Services Commission Seeking Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Texas Health and Human Services Commission
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Utah Governor for Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Utah Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
September 6, 2022

Records Request to Utah Attorney General for Communications from May 2-3 and June 24-25, 2022

Utah Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Utah Attorney General’s Office for Communications with Utah Governor’s Office Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Utah Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Idaho Attorney General’s Office for Communications with Idaho Governor’s Office Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Idaho Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Idaho Attorney General’s Office for Contracts, Records of Data Sales, and Other Transactions with Various Data Brokers, Tech Companies, and Reproductive Health Apps

Idaho Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Idaho Attorney General’s Office for Communications Containing Key Terms Regarding Reproductive Health Data

Idaho Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Idaho Attorney General’s Office for Communications Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Idaho Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Louisiana Attorney General’s Office for Contracts, Records of Data Sales, and Other Transactions with Various Data Brokers, Tech Companies, and Reproductive Health Apps

Louisiana Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Louisiana Attorney General’s Office for Communications Containing Key Terms Regarding Reproductive Health Data

Louisiana Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Louisiana Attorney General’s Office for Communications Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Louisiana Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Mississippi Attorney General’s Office for Communications Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Mississippi Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Mississippi Attorney General’s Office for Communications Containing Key Terms Regarding Reproductive Health Data

Mississippi Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Mississippi Attorney General’s Office for Contracts, Records of Data Sales, and Other Transactions with Various Data Brokers, Tech Companies, and Reproductive Health Apps

Mississippi Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to South Carolina Attorney General’s Office for Communications Concerning Reproductive Health Data

South Carolina Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to South Carolina Attorney General’s Office for Communications Containing Key Terms Regarding Reproductive Health Data

South Carolina Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to South Carolina Attorney General’s Office for Communications with South Carolina Governor’s Office Concerning Reproductive Health Data

South Carolina Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to South Carolina Attorney General’s Office for Contracts, Records of Data Sales, and Other Transactions with Various Data Brokers, Tech Companies, and Reproductive Health Apps

South Carolina Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Texas Attorney General’s Office for Communications Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Texas Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Texas Attorney General’s Office for Communications Containing Key Terms Regarding Reproductive Health Data

Texas Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Texas Attorney General’s Office for Contracts, Records of Data Sales, and Other Transactions with Various Data Brokers, Tech Companies, and Reproductive Health Apps

Texas Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Utah Attorney General’s Office for Communications Containing Key Terms Regarding Reproductive Health Data

Utah Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Utah Attorney General’s Office for Communications Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Utah Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 24, 2022

Records Request to Utah Attorney General’s Office for Contracts, Records of Data Sales, and Other Transactions with Various Data Brokers, Tech Companies, and Reproductive Health Apps

Utah Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Florida Attorney General’s Office for Contracts, Records of Data Sales, and Other Transactions with Various Data Brokers, Tech Companies, and Reproductive Health Apps

Florida Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Arizona Attorney General’s Office for Communications Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Arizona Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Arizona Attorney General’s Office for Communications Containing Key Terms Regarding Reproductive Health Data

Arizona Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Arizona Attorney General’s Office for Contracts, Records of Data Sales, and Other Transactions with Various Data Brokers, Tech Companies, and Reproductive Health Apps

Arizona Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Florida Attorney General’s Office for Communications Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Florida Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Florida Attorney General’s Office for Communications Containing Key Terms Regarding Reproductive Health Data

Florida Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Florida Attorney General’s Office for Communications with Florida Governor’s Office Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Florida Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Georgia Attorney General’s Office for Contracts, Records of Data Sales, and Other Transactions with Various Data Brokers, Tech Companies, and Reproductive Health Apps

Georgia Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Georgia Attorney General’s Office for Communications with Georgia Governor’s Office Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Georgia Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Georgia Attorney General’s Office for Communications Containin Key Terms Regarding Reproductive Health Data

Georgia Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Georgia Attorney General’s Office for Communications Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Georgia Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Missouri Attorney General’s Office for Communications Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Missouri Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Missouri Attorney General’s Office for Communications Containing Key Terms Regarding Reproductive Health Data

Missouri Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Missouri Attorney General’s Office for Communications with Missouri Governor’s Office Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Missouri Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Missouri Attorney General’s Office for Contracts, Records of Data Sales, and Other Transactions with Various Data Brokers, Tech Companies, and Reproductive Health Apps

Missouri Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Montana Attorney General’s Office for Communications Concerning Reproductive Health Data

Montana Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Montana Attorney General’s Office for Communications Containing Key Terms Regarding Reproductive Health Data

Montana Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 23, 2022

Records Request to Montana Attorney General’s Office for Contracts, Records of Data Sales, and Other Transactions with Various Data Brokers, Tech Companies, and Reproductive Health Apps

Montana Attorney General
FOIA Request
August 5, 2022

Records Request to the Florida Governor’s Office for Communications Regarding Controversial Legislation

Florida Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
August 4, 2022

Records Request to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Seeking Projected Health Impacts of State Abortion Restrictions

FOIA Request
August 4, 2022

Records Request to Mississippi State Department of Health Seeking Projected Health Impacts of the State’s Abortion Ban

FOIA Request
August 4, 2022

Records Request to Louisiana Department of Health Seeking Projected Health Impacts of State Abortion Restrictions

FOIA Request
August 4, 2022

Records Request to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Seeking Projected Health Impacts of State Abortion Restrictions

FOIA Request
August 4, 2022

Records Request to North Dakota Department of Health Seeking Projected Health Impacts of State Abortion Restrictions

FOIA Request
August 4, 2022

Records Request to Wyoming Department of Health Seeking Projected Health Impacts of State Abortion Restrictions

FOIA Request
August 4, 2022

Records Request to Utah Department of Health Seeking Projected Health Impacts of State Abortion Restrictions

FOIA Request
July 18, 2022

Records Request to Mississippi Governor’s Office for Records Related to a Virtual Briefing Co-Hosted with Susan B. Anthony List

Mississippi Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
July 13, 2022

Records Request to Oklahoma State Department of Health for Assessments of Abortion Restrictions

Oklahoma Department of Health
FOIA Request
July 8, 2022

Records Request to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for Communications Related to Individual Privacy Rights

Arizona Attorney General
FOIA Request
July 8, 2022

Records Request to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office for Communications Related to Individual Privacy Rights

Missouri Attorney General
FOIA Request
July 8, 2022

Records Request to Texas Attorney General’s Office for Communications Related to Individual Privacy Rights

Texas Attorney General
FOIA Request
July 8, 2022

Records Request to Utah Attorney General’s Office for Communications Related to Individual Privacy Rights

Utah Attorney General
FOIA Request
June 30, 2022

Records Request to the Texas Medical Board Seeking Assessments of SB8

Texas Medical Board
FOIA Request
June 30, 2022

Records Request to the Georgia Office of the Governor for Abortion Messaging Guidance

Georgia Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
June 30, 2022

Records Request to the Florida Office of the Governor for Abortion Messaging Guidance

Florida Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
June 30, 2022

Records Request to the Arizona Office of the Governor for Abortion Messaging Guidance

Arizona Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
June 24, 2022

Records Request to Texas Attorney General for Records Regarding Analysis of Substantive Due Process Rights Other than Abortion Rights

Texas Attorney General
FOIA Request