Demonstrators protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on May 16 in Washington, D.C. Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

Thirteen states in the country were poised to enact immediate abortion bans and at least 13 more could quickly follow suit after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last Friday, leaving abortion rights up to the states to decide.

At least 13 states in the country have so-called “trigger laws” banning most abortions that will take effect immediately or within weeks of Roe v. Wade being overturned. 

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion rights research group, those states are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, which just passed its trigger law in April.

There are also five additional states – Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin – that still have an abortion ban on the books from before Roe v. Wade that will go into effect now that the 1973 landmark law is overturned. 

Anti-abortion activists demonstrate outside the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, U.S., June 13, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

The Democratic governors of Michigan and Wisconsin have pushed back against those laws: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a lawsuit in April asking the Michigan Supreme Court to stop enforcement of the state’s 1931 abortion ban, and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has called for the repeal of an 1849 state law that makes abortion a felony.

Thus, the overturning of Roe v. Wade causes at least 18 states to ban most abortions almost immediately, according to Guttmacher’s research. 

Four additional states – Georgia, Iowa, Ohio and South Carolina – all have laws banning abortions after the six-week mark, which were previously ruled unconstitutional but will be revisited now that Roe is overturned.

Anti-abortion activists rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 6.

In addition, Florida, Indiana, Montana and Nebraska appear likely, based on current legislative efforts, to move to ban or severely restrict abortions now that Roe is overturned.

In total, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that 26 of 50 states are certain or likely to ban abortion now that Roe is overturned. The Center for Reproductive Rights, an abortion rights legal group, counts 25 states as likely to ban abortion, including North Carolina and Pennsylvania but not including Florida, Iowa, or Montana. 

Meanwhile, abortion access is expected to continue or even expand in blue states like California and Oregon, which have moved to protect abortion rights in recent weeks.


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