Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Rhode Island Abortion Laws


Abortion is legal in Rhode Island through viability. Thereafter, abortion is legal only if necessary to save the mother’s life.


In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which returned to the states the power to regulate, even prohibit, abortion. In 2019, Rhode Island largely codified Roe in the Rhode Island Reproductive Privacy Act. That statute permits abortions through viability.

Rhode Island Abortion Laws: Overview

Rhode Island does impose some limits on abortion. The following chart contains additional details of abortion laws in Rhode Island, with links to related sources. See FindLaw's Abortion section for additional articles.

Code Section 23-4.7-1 to 8; 23-4.12-1 to 6
Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion
  • The termination of a pregnancy following viability is prohibited unless necessary to protect the life or health of the mother.
  • Failure to obtain informed consent (unless necessary to preserve life of mother)
  • Failure to provide for any fetus born alive
  • Administering to pregnant woman medicine, drug, instrument, etc. with intent to terminate pregnancy
Penalty for Unlawful Abortion
  • Physician who violates consent provisions guilty of "unprofessional conduct" 
  • Failure to provide medical care for infant born alive: fine up to $5000 and/or imprisonment 5 years
  • Charge of manslaughter if baby dies
Consent Requirements Informed written consent after required disclosures unless emergency; if mother under 18 years and unemancipated, parental consent of at least one parent required; court can consent

Note: State laws are subject to change at any time through the enactment of newly signed legislation or other means. You may want to contact a Rhode Island family law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Rhode Island Abortion Laws: Related Resources

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select
Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options