Special Report

States Where Abortion Will Be Illegal

On Friday, June 24, the United States Supreme Court overruled the 1973 Roe v. Wade, eliminating constitutional right to abortion. The question of abortion’s legality will now be left to the states. The decision upheld a Mississippi law that banned abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

About a month ago Oklahoma passed the country’s strictest abortion law, banning the procedure from the stage of “fertilization” and allowing citizens to sue abortion clinics that perform the procedure. Texas enacted a similar law on Sept. 1, 2021. The law, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks, went into effect just as the U.S. Supreme Court denied an emergency motion to halt it – a clear indicator of where things are headed. 

To determine states where abortion will likely be outlawed, 24/7 Wall St. looked at data from the Guttmacher Institute. Twenty-two states already have laws on the books or constitutional amendments in place that mean they are certain to attempt to ban abortion, while four more are very likely to ban it as soon as possible. Many of these states are also the worst states for women.

As some liberal states rush to pass legislation protecting the right to abortion and protecting providers who perform abortions on residents of states where it may be illegal, other states move to set up restrictive laws that could take effect as soon as Roe is overturned. Thirteen states already have such laws – known as trigger laws – that are poised to ban or limit abortion immediately or shortly after a Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade. 

Eleven states have passed six-week bans – similar to the Texas Heartbeat Act – that are currently not in effect due to court orders but could take precedence if the Supreme Court releases a decision. Several states also have pre-Roe bans, laws still on the books from the before the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade.

While four states, including Tennessee and Louisiana, have constitutional amendments that explicitly bar the right to abortion, high courts in Florida and Montana have previously determined that their state constitutions protect the right to abortion. Despite this, both states have managed to approve bans on abortion before the point of fetal viability.

Five states, including Arizona and West Virginia, still have laws on the books that predate Roe v. Wade – and those laws could easily be enforced again. Here are the most ridiculous laws still on the books around the country.

Click here to see the states where abortion will be illegal

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