Twenty-one states are on the verge of banning or severely restricting abortion in the wake of the Dobbs decision. Thirteen states had "trigger" laws – that would ban abortion in most cases if Roe v. Wade was overturned – 10 of which have gone into effect already.
Missouri became the first state to outlaw abortion in most cases. The Republican-led legislature passed the "Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act" in 2019, which would go into effect as soon as the Attorney General notified that the Supreme Court had overturned Roe, PBS reports. It outlaws abortion "except in cases of medical emergency."
In Alabama, Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that the Human Life Protection Act has gone into effect. The law bans all elective abortions in the Yellowhammer State. It is a felony to perform abortions at any point in the pregnancy, and there are no exceptions for rape or incest.
Governor Kristi Noem proclaimed that abortion is now illegal in South Dakota. "We have a law on the books that makes abortion illegal immediately, except to preserve the life of the mother.
General Counsel to the Utah Legislature, John Fellows, said the Abortion Prohibition Amendments, adopted by the Republican legislature, went into effect on Friday. The law prohibits "the abortion of an unborn child at any time during the gestational period." The bill makes exceptions for rape and incest, as long as the crimes were reported to law enforcement.
Mike DeWine, the Republican Governor of Ohio, announced that Ohio's fetal heartbeat ban is now in effect after Judge Michael Barrett lifted an injunction blocking the law. It bans abortion in most cases after the detection of a heartbeat. An earlier law outlawed abortions that resulted from the diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor issued a statement saying that "as a result of Dobbs, the authority of the state of Oklahoma to prohibit abortion has been confirmed, and the state of Oklahoma may enforce Section 861 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma statutes to enact a similar statute prohibiting abortion throughout pregnancy." Performing an abortion under the law is a felony unless it preserves the mother's life.
A trigger law went into effect in Arkansas. It allows exceptions to protect the life of the mother in a "medical emergency." Governor Asa Hutchinson believes the legislature should also pass exceptions for rape and incest.
Mississippi's trigger law went into effect on Monday, according to Attorney General Lynn Fitch. The state's 15-week abortion ban was at the heart of the Dobbs case, and Mississippi's only abortion clinic is expected to close in July. Abortions are only allowed if the mother's life is in danger, or the pregnancy resulted from a rape that the victim reported to authorities.
Louisiana's Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards recently signed a bill that updated the state's trigger law. It permits abortion in cases where there is a risk to the mother's life. Abortion providers could face 10 years in prison, but the bill does allow emergency contraception for rape and incest.
Abortion is now illegal in Kentucky, despite opposition from Democratic Governor Andy Beshear. The Republican supermajority overruled his veto of the bill. The Bluegrass State's law allows exceptions to protect the mother from death or permanent injury. In November, Kentuckians will weigh in on an amendment that states that the State Constitution contains no right to an abortion.
According to the Washington Post, multiple other states have passed laws that will either go into effect at a later date or are being held up by court injunction.
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Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”