WASHINGTON — With Friday's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, decisions about abortion access revert to each individual state. In 13 states, so-called trigger laws were designed to take effect if Roe v. Wade was overturned.
The decision is likely to have major ramifications across the U.S., where states are deeply divided on abortion, with a patchwork of laws and restrictions in many states.
Oklahoma recently passed the country’s most restrictive abortion ban, defining any abortion as illegal no matter the circumstances. The law’s only exceptions are to save the life of the mother or in the case of rape or incest that is reported to police. Even before the decision to overturn Roe, providers in the state said they would stop performing abortions after the law was signed by the state’s Republican governor.
Other states such as California have gone in the opposite direction, enshrining the right to an abortion in state law. Some Democrat-led states in the West and Northeast also are proposing public money for an expected influx of people traveling from other places to terminate pregnancies.
The 13 states with trigger laws — laws on the books that allow the ban to go into effect immediately or in short order if Roe is overturned — have conservative leanings and are unlikely to have those laws overturned.
States with 'trigger laws'
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Others states with conservative legislatures are likely to try passing partial or full bans on abortion. According to the pro-abortion rights think tank the Guttmacher Institute, nine more states fall into this category.
States considered certain or likely to ban abortions
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
The Institute also listed four additional states expected to try banning abortion now that Roe has been overturned, but those challenges face more uphill battles because of divided legislatures or pro-abortion governors.
States expected to try and ban abortion if Roe overturned
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia, meanwhile, have protected access to abortion in state law.