The Supreme Court ended nationwide constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years, leaving the decision to determine the legality of the procedure to each state.
The Conservative majority issued a ruling on Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade, a verdict that should lead to abortion bans and severe restrictions in about half of the states.
At least 13 states, mostly in the South and Midwest, have passed so-called “trigger laws,” legislation effectively banning abortion that’s set to be implemented following the Supreme Court’s landmark opinion. the United States.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, who in 2019 enacted a near-total ban on abortion, said Friday the state would ask a judge to lift an injunction and clear the way for the state to enforce the ban.
The State of Missouri is also moving quickly to enforce a state law banning abortion except in “medical emergencies.”
Another handful of states have bans or near-total bans after 6 weeks of pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant. In about half a dozen other states, the fight will be over dormant abortion bans that were enacted before Roe’s 1973 ruling or new proposals to sharply limit when abortions can be performed, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion. rights.
Overview of State Laws: Prohibitions, “Trigger Laws” and Protections
According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly half of US states have already passed laws banning abortion completely or very early in a pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant. Laws fall into three basic categories:
- Unenforced abortion bans that were enacted before the Roe v. Wade in 1973 and which are still in effect in some states
- Bans that passed but stalled in court under Roe
- The so-called trigger bans designed to take effect when Roe is canceled
At least eight states have passed anti-abortion restrictions this year: Arizona, Idaho, Florida, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kentucky and Tennessee. Some of these laws make no exception for rape or incest.
Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, and South Carolina have 6-week abortion laws that have already been blocked or struck down by the courts. These states are likely to reinstate these restrictions.
At least two states, Michigan and Wisconsin, only have state laws banning abortion that were passed before Roe and could go into effect if the ruling is overturned, according to the Associated Press. Michigan’s governor, a Democrat, is suing to overturn that state’s ban.
Six other states – Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia – have pre- and post-Roe bans on the books, and which one they will choose to observe remains unclear. .
Pennsylvania has a Republican-led legislature that may try to pass new anti-abortion restrictions. However, the state’s Democratic governor served as a firewall against such legislation.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have placed protections for abortion access in state law, though they take slightly different forms, according to Guttmacher. Colorado, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and DC protect the right to abortion throughout pregnancy. Twelve other states – California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island and Washington – have passed laws to protect the right to abortion before viability.
At least eight states have decided to strengthen existing protections or expand access to abortion this year: California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland and Connecticut.