October 4, 2022

Washington – The US Supreme Court’s bombshell decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade The abortion rights decision overturned 50 years of precedent and gave state lawmakers across the country the power to restrict or ban abortion.The result will be a patchwork of laws that vary depending on where a person lives.

Thirteen states have so-called “activation laws” on the books, in which abortion will be quickly banned in most cases. In the decision of June 24, the court upheld a Mississippi Law ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion, “Roe was flagrantly wrong from the start. . . . It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people.” Roe had argued that the Constitution protected a woman’s right to an abortion before the point at which a fetus is viable outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Some Republican-led states have already passed laws that would ban abortions at various stages of pregnancy. Democratic states, meanwhile, have acted to protect abortion rights. And state-level action on the abortion issue has taken place not only in state legislatures across the country, but also in their own courts.

One analysis by the Guttmacher Institutea research organization that supports abortion rights, found that 23 states had laws on the books, as of May 1, that could be used to limit abortion rights without Roe.

On August 5, Indiana became the first state to legislate new restrictions on abortion in the wake of the Roe decision. State lawmakers passed and the governor signed an almost total ban on abortion, with exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and to protect the life and physical health of the mother.

Here are the states on other states on abortion access:

States with “trigger” laws.

Thirteen states have so-called “trigger” laws that would restrict abortion by overturning Roe: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Some of the state laws will go into effect immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision, while others will take effect after 30 days.

In several cases, the bans go into effect once the state attorney general or other official certifies that the Supreme Court decision overturns Roe, but that could happen quickly after the court’s decision.

Missouri Attorney General Eric S. Schmitt, issued an opinion within minutes saying his state’s ban is now in effect, outlawing abortion except in medical emergencies, with no exceptions for rape or incest. “With this attorney general’s opinion, my office effectively ended abortion in Missouri, becoming the first state in the country to do so after the Court’s decision,” Schmidt said in a statement.

Lawmakers in Nebraska tried to pass an activation ban this year, but it failed in the state senate in April.

State with 6 week ban

Anti-abortion rights advocates are pushing states to enact legislation banning the procedure once a fetal heartbeat is detected, after about six weeks of pregnancy. Eleven states did so, although nearly all of the measures were initially blocked: Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

The Texas law took effect when the Supreme Court last year refused to block it from enforcement. The measure has a new enforcement mechanism that mandates private individuals, not state officials, to enforce it by filing lawsuits in state court against anyone who performs an abortion or “aids or abets” them. Its design has inspired bills in other GOP-led states that mirror the Texas measure.

states with a 15 week ban

In Florida, a 15-week ban was signed into law in April and takes effect July 1. Mississippi’s 15-week ban, passed in 2018, was at the center of the controversy that led to Roe’s overturn.

Louisiana’s 15-week measure was signed into law in 2018 by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, though it will only take effect if Mississippi’s law is followed.

In Kentucky, the state legislature overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of a bill banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy last month. However, a US district court granted Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary restraining order, blocking the bill’s implementation.

State with 20 week ban

Four states have laws on the books banning abortions after 20 weeks: Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska and North Carolina.

In Montana, Gov. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, signed a law banning abortions after 20 weeks last year, but a state court judge blocked the measure and two other abortion laws from taking effect in October.

States with abortion bans that predate Roe v. Wade

In addition to having newer laws on the books that impose limits on when abortions can be performed in a pregnancy, nine states have enacted laws prior to the 1973 Roe decision that have never been overturned.

These states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

In Michigan, however, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Democrat, preventive lawsuit 13 county attorneys with abortion clinics in their jurisdictions in an attempt to circumvent the pre-Roe 1931 abortion ban.

states with the right to abortion enshrined in their constitutions

Supreme courts in nine states have recognized the right to abortion under their respective constitutions, Center for Reproductive Rights. State constitutional protections ensure that abortion would remain legal even without Roe.

Some of these states, such as Florida, have passed laws restricting access, while others, such as Montana, have temporarily blocked abortion restrictions.

The nine states are Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, and New Jersey.

Iowa was on that list, but the state Supreme Court ruled in June that the right to abortion is not protected by the state constitution, overturning a court decision just four years ago. Iowa’s GOP-controlled legislature and governor have signaled they will move to further restrict access to abortion.

In Kansas, an amendment that would have allowed for the regulation of abortion went before voters in August, but was defeated, leaving state protections intact. Abortion rights groups in Michigan also started a vote to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution.

States with laws protecting the right to abortion

While many Republican-led states have passed laws restricting access to abortion, Democratic-led states have moved to preserve abortion rights. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have taken such measures: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

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