Story at a glance
- After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion, about a dozen states were ready with legislation.
- Thirteen states had trigger laws in place, with legislation that would take effect immediately or upon quick state action that would either ban abortion or severely restrict it.
- Three states had trigger laws that included a 30-day waiting period before the abortion ban could take effect, which will end on Aug. 25.
By the end of August, every abortion trigger ban in the country will have taken effect and they stand to bring in a new era of abortion restrictions that criminalize the procedure.
Thirteen states had trigger bans ready for when the Supreme Court was to overturn Roe v. Wade — a 1973 ruling that made abortion a constitutional right in the U.S. That moment came in June when the court ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and effectively overturned Roe.
Immediately upon the court’s decision, three states had legislation at the ready to ban abortion: Missouri, Louisiana and South Dakota.
Trigger laws in seven other states required additional action by local officials before any bans could take effect, like Mississippi, which required the state attorney general to confirm the decision within 10 days and then abortion would be prohibited.
America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.
Three states are left — Texas, Tennessee and Idaho — with trigger laws that include a 30-day waiting period upon the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe.
Idaho’s trigger law will make nearly all abortion illegal, leaving exceptions for rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother. It’s set to take effect on Aug. 25, despite receiving lawsuits challenging it violates Idaho’s constitution.
In Tennessee, a trigger ban is also set to take effect on Aug. 25, and it will ban nearly all abortion, except in cases to prevent the death or serious injury of a pregnant woman. It makes no exceptions for rape or incest.
Lastly in Texas, a trigger law that bans most abortions will kick in on Aug. 25, also making no exceptions for rape or incest. Texas already enacted a separate law last year, known as Senate Bill 8, which bans abortions beyond six weeks of pregnancy while also allowing private citizens to bring lawsuits for $10,000 or more against violators of the law.
Texas’ trigger law will impose criminal and civil penalties and professional discipline on abortion providers who violate the law — risking second-degree felony charges and a fine of at least $100,000.
States with trigger laws on the books are not the only ones expected to ban or limit abortion, with 13 more states likely to ban abortion too, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion advocacy and policy group.
That’s because many states have pre-Roe bans still in place, laws enacted before 1973 that were never formally removed — including Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Other states are considered likely to ban abortion, according to Guttmacher, because of their political composition, history and other indicators. That includes Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) vowed that he will work to expand abortion restrictions after the Supreme Court’s June decision. Currently, abortion is legal up to 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Indiana is another, with Guttmacher finding over the past decade the Indiana legislature has enacted 55 abortion restrictions and bans, essentially paving the way for a comprehensive ban. Earlier in August, that came to fruition, with Indiana banning abortion beyond 10 weeks post-fertilization. It was the first state to pass new legislation on abortion following the Supreme Court’s decision.
In total, Guttmacher predicted 26 states are certain to likely to ban abortions, but the impact may not be felt equally among all Americans. Data has shown that 3 out of 4 women who receive an abortion are considered poor or low income, and with large swaths of the U.S. banning or restricting the procedure, abortion will effectively become out of reach.
Abortion itself carries a steep price tag, with the National Abortion Federation estimating a first-trimester aspiration abortion costs $508, while a second trimester abortion can cost more than $2,000. Medication abortion averages about $535.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.