• Oriana Gonzalez & Jacob Knutson, Axios

Status of abortion bans in the U.S.


A total of 18 states have moved to ban or restrict abortion following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and end all federal protections for abortion.


Why it matters: At least 26 Republican-led states in total are expected to ban abortions or heavily restrict access to them in the wake of the ruling, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion-rights organization.

  • As more bans go into effect, people seeking abortions will be forced to either travel hundreds of miles to another state that allows abortions or order abortion pills that are prescribed online and are delivered through the mail.

  • However, state lawmakers have already cracked down on abortion medications and may seek to prosecute women who cross state lines to get an abortion.

How it works: The Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe established the constitutional right to an abortion within the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.

  • The court's ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, a case challenging a Mississippi law on the grounds that it violated Roe and other precedents, overturned Roe and granted states the legal authority to ban the procedure at any point in pregnancy — including at fertilization.

Where abortions are banned:

18 states have banned or restricted abortion, as of Sept. 15: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

  • Abortions in Oklahoma have been unavailable since May, when Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed into law a bill banning abortion that is enforced by lawsuits from private citizens.

  • Another abortion ban went into effect that makes abortions illegal unless necessary to save a pregnant person's life.

  • Utah's trigger law took effect shortly after the Supreme Court released its ruling overturning Roe, but it has since been temporarily blocked.

  • The state currently has an 18-week abortion ban in place.

  • Shortly after Roe was overturned, a court lifted an injunction in Alabama on a near-total ban. The law is now in effect.

  • In Texas, the state's Supreme Court has allowed a pre-Roe ban to be enforced.

  • Additionally, the state's trigger ban took effect on Aug. 25, 30 days after the Supreme Court's judgment.

  • In Tennessee, a federal court vacated an injunction blocking a six-week abortion ban, which had been granted nearly two years ago. The law is in effect in the state.

  • The state's trigger law went into effect on Aug. 25, 30 days after the Supreme Court's judgment was issued.

  • Arizona and Florida currently have 15-week abortion bans in place.

  • Additionally, Arizona has a pre-Roe ban that the state's attorney general has said is enforceable.

  • In Georgia, a federal appeals court lifted an injunction on a six-week abortion ban that had been blocked since 2019. The law is now in effect.

  • A judge reinstated Louisiana's trigger laws, which took effect after the high court's ruling and were temporarily blocked.

  • In Kentucky, a judge took away an injunction that had been placed on the state's near-total and six-week bans, allowing for them to become enforceable.

  • The Idaho Supreme Court allowed a six-week abortion ban to take effect and refused to block the state's trigger ban, which has been in effect since Aug. 25.

  • In North Carolina, a federal judge lifted an injunction on a 20-week ban that had been in place for over three years. The ban is in effect.

  • The judge lifted the injunction on his own accord. Health providers and state officials had asked the court to keep the law blocked.

  • Indiana became the first state to pass a new abortion ban following the Dobbs decision. The near-total ban took effect in mid-September.

  • West Virginia enacted a near-total abortion ban that went into immediate effect in mid-September. It became the second state to enact a new post-Roe abortion ban.

Where abortions could be banned:

Most abortions could be banned or heavily restricted in Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, South Carolina and Nebraska, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

  • These states did not have trigger laws but either still have state laws enacted before 1973 that ban abortions or have passed laws that heavily restrict access to abortions that are being challenged but could be upheld.

  • Additionally, their "political composition, history and other indicators" suggests that they could look to ban the procedure, Guttmacher says.

  • In Wisconsin, clinics stopped offering the procedure after Roe was overturned in fear that they could be prosecuted under the states' pre-Roe bans.

  • In South Carolina, lawmakers rejected a near-total ban. However, they are currently considering a six-week ban, even as another six-week ban remains blocked by the state Supreme Court.

Where abortion bans are blocked:

Abortion bans are currently blocked in four states: North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Wyoming.

  • North Dakota's trigger ban was set to take effect following the Supreme Court's ruling. However, it was temporarily blocked on Aug. 25 while a state judge considers a case brought by the only abortion clinic in the state, which has now moved to Minnesota.

  • In Ohio, a six-week abortion ban was allowed to take effect after Roe's fall. It was temporarily blocked after abortion providers filed a lawsuit to challenge the law arguing that the "fundamental right to an abortion" was guaranteed under the Ohio Constitution.

  • A federal court stayed an injunction on a six-week ban in South Carolina, allowing for it to take effect in the state just days after the Dobbs decision. But the state's Supreme Court has temporarily blocked the ban.

  • While Wyoming's trigger law took effect on July 27, just hours after it became active, a state judge temporarily blocked the law. The judge sided with health providers who sued the state arguing that the ban violated the state's constitution.

Abortion bans are currently blocked in four states: North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Wyoming.

  • North Dakota's trigger ban was set to take effect following the Supreme Court's ruling. However, it was temporarily blocked on Aug. 25 while a state judge considers a case brought by the only abortion clinic in the state, which has now moved to Minnesota.

  • In Ohio, a six-week abortion ban was allowed to take effect after Roe's fall. It was temporarily blocked after abortion providers filed a lawsuit to challenge the law arguing that the "fundamental right to an abortion" was guaranteed under the Ohio Constitution.

  • A federal court stayed an injunction on a six-week ban in South Carolina, allowing for it to take effect in the state just days after the Dobbs decision. But the state's Supreme Court has temporarily blocked the ban.

  • While Wyoming's trigger law took effect on July 27, just hours after it became active, a state judge temporarily blocked the law. The judge sided with health providers who sued the state arguing that the ban violated the state's constitution.

 

(c) 2022, Axios

https://www.axios.com/2022/06/25/abortion-illegal-7-states-more-bans-coming

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