Post-Roe Trigger Laws Are Taking Effect: See Which States Are Outlawing Abortion

Patrick Taylor | June 24, 2022
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With the historic overturn of Roe v. Wade on Friday, a number of new abortion restrictions are due to take effect in states across the nation. These laws, known as trigger laws, were signed in the years following 1973, with the promise that if Roe were overturned they would become enforceable.

Three states -– Kentucky, Louisiana, and South Dakota — have trigger laws in place banning all abortions (with the exception of the mother’s life being in danger, and in Kentucky, when otherwise legal medical treatment accidentally results in an unborn child’s death) immediately after Roe’s overturn.

In all three of the aforementioned states, individuals who still provide abortions will face felony charges.

Three more states — Idaho, Tennessee, and Texas — have implemented similar policies that will take effect 30 days after Roe’s overturn. Idaho’s policy carries over the same exceptions as the Kentucky law, along with exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest (when such incidents are reported to law enforcement), while the other two abide by the mother’s life exception exclusively.

An additional seven states -– Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming — require some form of certification in order to take effect.

Related: Milano & Reiner & Midler, Oh My! Leftists Spontaneously Combust Following Overturning of Roe v. Wade

Of these states, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Oklahoma require their state attorneys general to certify that Roe has, in fact, been overturned, and make the bans official.

In North Dakota, a legislative council will be tasked with approving a recommendation from the state attorney general that the abortion ban is, indeed, constitutional. Similarly, In Utah, a legislative general counsel must certify that the legislature can ban abortion. Finally, in Wyoming, the governor is charged with certifying the ban at the advice of the state attorney general.

All of the aforementioned trigger laws will put in place felony charges against individuals who offer illegal abortions. The penalties range from fines (in Texas, no less than $100,000) to prison time (up to ten years in states like Arkansas and Mississippi).

In addition to these trigger laws, there are multiple states with anti-abortion laws signed prior to the 1973 Roe decision. These include Alabama, Arizona (whose state Senate majority has announced they intend to enforce the pre-Roe law), Michigan, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

We can undoubtedly expect bitter fights in those states over whether their pre-Roe laws will be enforced.


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