Filed Under: Politics

13 states have ‘trigger laws’ ready to ban abortions if Roe v. Wade overturned

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The U.S. Supreme Court looks poised to overturn the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision protecting access to abortions. On Monday, Politico published a leaked draft of the majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, in which he writes, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” Chief Justice John Roberts authenticated the draft opinion and is launching an investigation into the leak.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it would return the issue of abortion to the states. A lot of states have already made up their minds on banning abortions, passing ‘trigger laws’ for this very scenario.

A trigger law is unenforceable today but can be triggered into effect by a changing circumstance. In this case, 13 states have passed trigger laws that will ban abortions if the nation’s top court throws out Roe: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

For example, the Texas legislature passed a trigger ban last year that would become law 30 days after the court overturns Roe. The law would make performing abortions a felony with few medical exceptions. Doctors violating the law could face life in prison and a $100,000 fine.

On top of the 13 states with trigger bans, five additional states still have abortion bans on the books from before the 1973 decision: Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Those bans could potentially be enforced if Roe is overturned.

At the same time, the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute reports that 16 states and D.C. are on the other side, passing state laws to protect abortion rights regardless of the Supreme Court decision.

SIMONE DEL ROSARIO: IF THE SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS ROE V WADE, IT WOULD RETURN THE ISSUE OF ABORTION TO THE STATES.

AND A LOT OF STATES HAVE ALREADY MADE UP THEIR MINDS ON BANNING ABORTIONS, PASSING TRIGGER LAWS FOR THIS VERY SCENARIO.

LET ME EXPLAIN.

TRIGGER LAWS ARE ABORTION BANS THAT ARE UNENFORCEABLE TODAY – BUT WILL TAKE EFFECT IF THE NATION’S TOP COURT THROWS OUT ROE.

13 STATES HAVE THESE TRIGGER BANS SIGNED AND READY TO GO. 

FOR EXAMPLE, THE TEXAS LEGISLATURE PASSED A TRIGGER BAN LAST YEAR THAT WOULD BECOME LAW 30 DAYS AFTER THE COURT OVERTURNS ROE. THE LAW WOULD MAKE PERFORMING ABORTIONS A FELONY WITH FEW MEDICAL EXCEPTIONS. DOCTORS VIOLATING THE LAW COULD FACE LIFE IN PRISON AND A 100-THOUSAND DOLLAR FINE. 

ON TOP OF TRIGGER BAN-STATES, FIVE MORE STILL HAVE ABORTION BANS ON THE BOOKS FROM BEFORE THE 1973 DECISION, THAT COULD POTENTIALLY BE ENFORCED IF ROE IS OVERTURNED. 

AT THE SAME TIME, 16 STATES AND D-C ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE, PASSING STATE LAWS TO PROTECT ABORTION RIGHTS REGARDLESS OF THE SUPREME COURT DECISION.

 

The U.S. Supreme Court looks poised to overturn the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision protecting access to abortions. On Monday, Politico published a leaked draft of the majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, in which he writes, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” Chief Justice John Roberts authenticated the draft opinion and is launching an investigation into the leak.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it would return the issue of abortion to the states. A lot of states have already made up their minds on banning abortions, passing ‘trigger laws’ for this very scenario.

A trigger law is unenforceable today but can be triggered into effect by a changing circumstance. In this case, 13 states have passed trigger laws that will ban abortions if the nation’s top court throws out Roe: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

For example, the Texas legislature passed a trigger ban last year that would become law 30 days after the court overturns Roe. The law would make performing abortions a felony with few medical exceptions. Doctors violating the law could face life in prison and a $100,000 fine.

On top of the 13 states with trigger bans, five additional states still have abortion bans on the books from before the 1973 decision: Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Those bans could potentially be enforced if Roe is overturned.

At the same time, the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute reports that 16 states and D.C. are on the other side, passing state laws to protect abortion rights regardless of the Supreme Court decision.

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