✪ Following the historic overturning of Roe v. Wade, clinics in multiple states have reportedly ceased performing abortions “immediately.” However, Democrat-run states like New York won’t change post-Roe. Here’s where abortion is banned now and what Democratic strongholds will still be an uphill battle for the pro-life movement:
NPR national correspondent Sarah McCammon reported Friday she heard from some clinic sources in Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas, and Missouri that are halting abortions “immediately” in response to the Dobbs decision. McCammon also told Planned Parenthood has stopped carrying out abortions in Arkansas.
Abortion is illegal in Louisiana as of Friday after the landmark SCOTUS ruling. It’s one of 13 states in the U.S. with trigger laws in place, although most require a waiting period or further action for the bans to take effect.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Louisiana’s trigger law on June 21 so that the reactive legislation “shall become effective immediately upon…any decision of the Supreme Court of the United States which overrules, in whole or in part, Roe v. Wade.” Louisiana is “committed to protecting life and supporting moms,” Democrat Monroe Sen. Katrina Jackson said after her bill updating the state’s 2006 abortion trigger law was signed Tuesday by Edward. Jackson had authored the amendment declaring there is no right to and no funding of abortion in the state’s Constitution that 62 percent of Louisiana voters had approved of in 2020.
That means all three of Louisiana’s abortion clinics must shut down operations: Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge, Women’s Health Care Center in New Orleans, and Hope Medical Group in Shreveport.
Louisiana law exempts pregnant women from facing prosecution but provides maximum criminal penalties for doctors or other abortion providers who terminate pregnancies of $200,000 fines and 15 years in jail for late-term abortions, according to local Gannett-owned newspaper Daily Advertiser.
The state’s update to the trigger law was criticized by the White House after it was passed by the Louisiana Legislature. A June 6 statement from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre lambasted the legislative body for taking “the latest step in a growing attack against the fundamental freedoms of Americans.”
For almost all circumstances, abortion is now illegal in Kentucky.
Back in 2019, the state legislature passed a trigger law to go into effect automatically should Roe fall. Kentucky’s law makes it a Class D felony for anyone to provide procedural or drug-induced abortions in the state. The only exceptions are if an abortion is medically necessary to save the life of the mother or to prevent the permanent impairment of a life-sustaining organ, according to NPR affiliate WFPL in Louisville.
The ACLU of Kentucky said in a statement that its client EMW Women’s Surgical Center, one of two abortion clinics in the state, “has stopped providing care while our legal team analyzes the court’s opinion and how it relates to federal and Kentucky laws.” However, the ACLU and its partners plan to file a case in state court, arguing that the Kentucky Constitution allows for the legal right to abortion. “The ACLU of Kentucky is bringing everything it has to the fight for abortion access following this devastating ruling,” ACLU of Kentucky interim executive director Amber Duke said in the statement. “We are mobilizing our members, supporters, and volunteers to show up at [the] statehouse and the ballot box to demand our rights to bodily autonomy.”
Friday’s opinion has triggered a complete abortion ban in Texas.
Last year, Texas lawmakers passed a trigger law on abortion to ensure that, should the Supreme Court repeal or scale back Roe v. Wade, Texas would outlaw abortion to the limits allowed by the court.
The state’s trigger law set to go into effect in the coming weeks makes it a felony to perform an abortion at any point in pregnancy, except to save the life of a pregnant mother or if the patient risks “substantial impairment” of a major bodily function. Doctors who perform illegal abortions in the Lone Star State could face life in prison, fines of up to $100,000, and have their medical license revoked, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the ban will go into effect 30 days after the court issues a judgement in the case. “While it is clear that the Act will take effect, we cannot calculate exactly when until the Court issues its judgement,” Paxton wrote in an advisory on Friday. Paxton marked the event by closing his offices statewide Friday and creating a holiday. A release from his office said the office closures, set to start at noon, are “in honor of the nearly 70 million unborn babies killed in the womb since 1973.” June 24 will also be recognized as an annual holiday for the Office of the Attorney General because of the decision, the press release announced.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also celebrated Friday’s ruling, applauding the Supreme Court for reinstating “the right of states to protect innocent, unborn children.” Texas “will always fight for the innocent unborn, and I will continue working with the Texas legislature and all Texans to save every child from the ravages of abortion and help our expectant mothers in need,” Abbott said in a statement posted to social media following the decision.
In contrast to the trigger law’s criminalization of abortion, S.B. 8, the “Texas Heartbeat Bill” that gained fame among pro-life advocates and notoriety among pro-abortion activists, leaves enforcement up to the public and allows private individuals to sue doctors who perform illegal abortions and anyone who aids or abets an abortion.
Missouri’s trigger ban law was enacted Friday morning, making nearly all abortions illegal across the state. Abortion is only permissible under the state’s trigger law if the life or health of a pregnant woman is in jeopardy.
The 2019 law passed by Missouri’s Republican legislature states that “no abortion shall be performed or induced upon a woman, except in cases of medical emergency.” The state’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, signed an opinion Friday morning activating the trigger law. “With this attorney general opinion, my Office has effectively ended abortion in Missouri, becoming the first state in the country to do so following the Court’s ruling,” said Schmitt, who is also running for a U.S. Senate seat, in a press statement.
Anyone who performs an abortion there will be charged with a class B felon, and their professional license may be suspended or revoked, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research organization
“We will have to stop providing abortions at our clinic in St. Louis immediately,” Planned Parenthood of the Saint Louis Region (PPSLR) spokesperson Bonyen Lee-Gilmore said in a Tuesday interview with The Kansas City Star, noting “it comes with criminal penalties.” The abortion clinic in St. Louis, called the Reproductive Health Services of PPSLR, was the only one in the state of Missouri that provided abortion services.
Arkansas also has a law in place that triggers an abortion ban to take effect, making it illegal to perform an abortion or attempt to perform an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency. The punishment would be up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000, KHBS reported.
Passed in 2019, the state’s trigger law was signed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “For decades I have said Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. Today, the Supreme Court overturned the abortion ruling and returned the issue to the states. Arkansas is a pro-life state, and we are able now to protect life,” Hutchinson wrote on Twitter.
Arkansas also has a ban that predates Roe v. Wade on the books as well as a near-total ban signed in 2021.
Mississippi’s 2007 trigger law banning nearly all abortions takes effect 10 days after the attorney general issues a determination that Roe has been overturned. Attorney General Lynn Fitch released a statement praising the ruling. “Roe v Wade is now behind us, consigned to the list of infamous cases that collapsed under the weight of their errors,” Fitch said. “This decision is a victory not only for women and children, but for the Court itself.”
But the statement does not constitute Fitch’s official determination that Roe has been overturned. “We intend to give the opinion and the analysis contemplated by the law the thoughtful attention they deserve,” Fitch’s chief of staff Michelle Williams said in an email,” according to nonprofit news organization Mississippi Today.
Any individual who performs an abortion or attempts one will be charged with a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. There are similar exceptions, though, including if a pregnant woman’s life is in danger or the mother is a victim of rape and has reported the sex crime to law enforcement. In addition to its 15-week abortion ban at the center of the Supreme Court case, Mississippi has a six-week abortion ban.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the facility spotlighted in the Dobbs case, is the last clinic in the state that performs abortions. The clinic might try to stay open in the days after the decision, during the 10-day deciding period. Jackson’s owner Diane Derzis told The Associated Press that the clinic, also known as the Pink House, will close. She plans to open a new clinic in Las Cruces, New Mexico, about an hour from El Paso.
There’s a 2007 trigger law is in place to make abortion illegal across North Dakota within a 30-day window of Roe‘s end. To start the countdown, state Attorney General Drew Wrigley must certify that the Supreme Court has allowed states to ban abortion. The state’s Legislative Council must then approve a recommendation from the state’s attorney general that the ban on abortion is constitutional. A statement from Wrigley to Forum News Service said his office is reviewing Friday’s decision to determine its impact on North Dakota’s laws.
The penalty for performing an abortion will result in a Class C felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Exceptions, though, are made for a pregnant woman whose life is in danger and in the instance of rape or incest. The Red River Women’s Clinic, North Dakota’s lone abortion provider residing in the city of Fargo, performed 1,171 abortions in 2020, including 833 abortions on North Dakota residents.
Clinic director Tammi Kromenaker vowed that the facility will continue to operate in Moorhead with little to no disruption in abortion services, although she declined to disclose the location of the new clinic.
In Oklahoma, there’s a near-total ban on abortion, but a trigger law also exists to make abortion a criminal offense in the South Central state with the overturn of Roe. It would only need certification from the attorney general, which came late Friday morning after state Attorney General John O’Connor moved to certify. “Our ‘trigger bill’ has been triggered,” Senate president Pro Temp Greg Treat tweeted. “The AG has now officially certified this and Oklahoma can immediately start enforcing laws on the books that value life!”
Treat was an author of the trigger law, which was signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt last year.
“Consistent with my oath and to fulfill my duties as the chief law officer of the State of Oklahoma, I will begin enforcement efforts immediately,” O’Connor stated. “I will take all necessary actions within my authority to ensure Oklahoma law is enforced and the interests of the State and its people are protected.”
Abortion service will lead to a felony charge punishable by two to five years in prison if convicted.
Utah’s trigger law passed by state lawmakers in 2020 will take effect once the state’s legislative general counsel certifies to lawmakers that the court has allowed states to ban abortion, which could happen as early as Friday.
Anyone who performs an abortion will be charged with a second-degree felony, except if a pregnant woman’s life is in danger or at risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function, lethal fetal abnormality is found, or the mother is a rape or incest victim. There were 2,776 abortions performed on Utah patients in the year 2019, according to the most recent year for which abortion-performance data is available.
Wyoming’s trigger law would require certification by the governor, as advised by the state’s attorney general within 30 days of the Supreme Court ruling. “This is a decisive win for those who have fought for the rights of the unborn for the past 50 years,” Gov. Mark Gordon wrote in a statement. “I signed Wyoming’s prohibition on abortion bill because I believe that the decision to regulate abortions should be left to the states.”
Violating the provision subjects the abortion provider to felony punishable by up to 14 years in prison. “I don’t want to break the law,” Dr. Giovannina Anthony, a physician at Wyoming’s sole abortion clinic told WyoFile on Thursday evening. “And if it’s not legal, I won’t do it,” she said. “I’m not going to take a chance on that.”
No further action is required for South Dakota’s long-pending trigger law from 2005 to go into effect.
Abortions are now criminal acts in the state, as specified by the law that states it’s effective “on the date that the states are recognized by the United States Supreme Court to have the authority to regulate or prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy.” Gov. Kristi Noem announced Friday on Twitter that she would hold a joint special session for legislative leaders later this year to “save lives and help mothers,” adding she’s “prayed for this day.”
Anyone who provides or attempts to provide an abortion service will be charged with a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and up to a $4,000 fine. From 2016 to 2020, there were 1,890 abortions performed in South Dakota that were reported to the Department of Health, according to The Argus Leader.
Idaho’s trigger law criminalizing abortion goes into effect 30 days after Roe is overturned. Idaho Gov. Brad Little welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision, which he said in a statement upholds state sovereignty and protects lives. “This is now clear — the ‘right’ to an abortion was a judicial creation. Abortion is not a right expressed in the U.S. Constitution, and abortion will be entrusted to the states and their people to regulate,” Little wrote.
Anyone who provides or attempts to provide an abortion will be charged with a felony, punishable by two to five years in prison. Any health care professional who performs or attempts to perform an abortion will have their license suspended for at least six months after a first offense and permanently revoked after a second offense. Exceptions cover a provider who performs medical treatment that accidentally terminates a pregnancy.
Planned Parenthood recently closed its Boise clinic to consolidate resources in anticipation of the ruling to allow cost savings for telemedicine and other services, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson told Idaho Capitol Sun.
Tennessee’s mechanism allows its 2019 trigger law to go into effect 30 days after the end of Roe is overturned with no further action required. The state is pursuing a separate pathway to enact a ban “as soon as possible,” according to Friday’s emergency court filing by the state’s Attorney General Herbert Slatery. The motion is seeking to allow the state to carry out a 2020 law banning abortion after six weeks. It could meanTennessee will face a six-week abortion ban for just a few weeks or days before the 2019 trigger law takes over.
“Today’s decision restores to the states their authority to regulate and prohibit abortion,” Slatery wrote in a press release, adding he’s notied the Tennessee Code Commission in writing that Roe was overruled, as required by statute, and asked the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the district court’s injunction of the timing provisions in the state’s heartbeat abortion law, “so that the law will go into effect as soon as possible.”
Once in effect, providing or attempting to perform an illegal abortion will be deemed a Class C felony, meaning a physician convicted under the law faces three to 15 years in prison, The Tennessean reported.
Planned Parenthood of Tennessee said that, because of the uncertainty, Planned Parenthood clinics have stopped offering abortions in the state, not wanting patients to start the process that includes a mandatory 48-hour waiting period, in case operations are ceased, NPR-affiliated station WPLN-FM reported.
In the case of New York, the so-called right to abortion is protected by updated state laws.
“Today the Supreme Court rolled back the rights of millions of Americans, disregarding their interests and — more importantly — their lives,” New York’s Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted Friday, after she signed sweeping legislation protecting access to abortion earlier in June. Abortion rights are theoretically protected by the 2019 Reproductive Health Act in New York. In the words of the state Senate, the point of the law was to “codify Roe v. Wade protections into state law.” The bill was signed into law in early 2019. Then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo celebrated the signing by having One World Trade Center lit up in pink that night.
The pro-abortion state legislation is parallel in California. After the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democrat leaders in the state Legislature announced plans to add a constitutional amendment that would enshrine a right to abortion. The state Senate approved the amendment this week and it now heads to the state Assembly, where it will likely also pass given the Democrats have large majorities in both chambers. Once it clears the Assembly, it will appear on the November general election as a ballot measure.
In response to the pro-life legislation in Texas that caused a media firestorm, California’s Senate also passed a bill Thursday to protect abortion providers and patients from bans, lawsuits, and penalties in other states.
In New Jersey, abortion rights are also theoretically protected by last year’s Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act, passed and then signed into law in January. It’s considered one of the most liberal abortion laws in the nation. The law includes a clause allowing out-of-state women to come in for procedures and points toward an eventual requirement that insurance companies pay for the procedure, NBC News reported.
Gov. Phil Murphy vowed Friday that in New Jersey “women will always have full autonomy over their own bodies and the right to make their own medical decisions.” The governor said in a statement that “no number of leaked draft opinions nor any amount of speculation could have prepared American women for today’s backwards and appalling Supreme Court decision to strip away the Constitutional right to reproductive freedom.”