The Supreme Court just ruled Roe v. Wade lifted. To date, the right to abortion has been protected by the US Constitution, which meant state legislatures could not outlaw the procedure if they wanted to. Now states have a free hand to ban abortion, restrict abortion, and regulate abortion. What happens next? Here are the abortion laws in each state.
The Supreme Court just ruled Roe v. Wade lifted. To date, abortion has been protected by the US Constitution, which meant state legislatures could not outlaw the procedure if they wanted to. Now they have a free hand to ban abortion, restrict abortion, and regulate abortion. So – what happens next?
Thirteen states were prepared for this moment. They passed laws, called “trigger laws,” that describe what happens when Roe is knocked over. How do these work?
Well, according to the Guttmacher Institute, three states — South Dakota, Kentucky, and Louisiana — have laws that say abortion is prohibited once Roe is reversed. This means that abortion is currently illegal in these states. As of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 24, two other states — Missouri and Oklahoma — also enacted their bans, making abortion illegal there as well.
In five other states — Wyoming, Utah, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Mississippi — the ban isn’t automatic, but it will come quickly. State politicians only have to take a few steps to implement the abortion ban. That means abortion could be illegal in those states within days or even hours.
And in three other states – Texas, Tennessee and Idaho – an abortion ban will go into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court ruling. Many of these laws no exceptions for rape or incest.
A few more states don’t have trigger bans, but they could take steps to ban abortion fairly quickly. Indiana Legislature come back into session on July 6th, so they have an opportunity to pass new abortion restrictions. That seems likely, there the state has decided 55 different abortion restrictions in the last decade. and said the governor of Nebraska he will call a special session to pass a total abortion ban if Roe is overthrown.
Then things get a little more complicated. Several states have abortion bans or severe restrictions that bind the courts because of previous rulings against Roe v. violated Wade. Alabama has In 2019, an almost complete ban on abortion was passed which the state will probably try to enforce. and Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina and Iowa have enacted all abortion bans after six weeks of pregnancy. These previously controversial restrictions could soon become law. And Florida earlier this year enacted a 15-week ban on abortion, due to take effect July 1 — but there are some questions about whether that law violates the state’s constitution.
After that you have the States with you old, old abortion bans – some from more than 100 years ago. States didn’t bother to lift the bans after Roe v. Wade had been decided. They just didn’t enforce them. So, in theory, they’re fair game again. These states are Arizona, West Virginia, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
Now, enforcing these bans could get complicated. That’s what the governor of Arizona said that he considers the much more recent state ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy to be appropriate anticipate the earlier ban. Michigan also has a pre-roe ban, but a court make a temporary stop then in May, so it cannot come into force immediately. So there could be fighting and disorder in some states before it’s clear what the actual politics will be.
The bottom line, however, is that abortion could be either banned outright or severely restricted in at least 20 states by the end of the summer. And the outcome of the midterm elections could affect whether abortion remains legal other states too. We’ll keep you posted on how it all unfolds, but things will change quickly.