It’s only been five days since the reversal of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, and already 12 states have moved to protect life under state law. Many other pro-life states are poised and waiting for trigger laws to go into effect and for injunctions to be lifted by courts so they too can protect preborn human life. That number is expected to rise to as many as 26 states protecting life in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
Below is a list of states that have moved to protect life since Roe’s reversal in chronological order.
- South Dakota
- South Carolina
*States where pro-life laws are being challenged by the abortion industry.
Within minutes of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe, Missouri became the first state in the nation to authorize a pre-existing “trigger law” upon certification by the state attorney general. Trigger laws are laws that go into effect once a specific act has occurred. In this context, when Roe was overturned, it triggered pre-existing laws protecting life and restricting abortion. In addition to Missouri, there are 12 other states with “trigger laws” that protect preborn human life either immediately or with limited state action, including Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
Kentucky was the fourth state to ban abortions following the Court’s decision. The state law became immediately effective following the reversal of Roe. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have filed a lawsuit challenging the abortion ban, claiming it violates the right to privacy and self-determination in the state constitution.
Louisiana became the fifth state to restrict abortion. It went into effect immediately following the Supreme Court’s decision. But on Monday, a Louisiana judge temporarily blocked the ban after abortion sellers in the state sued, arguing that the ban was too vague. A hearing has been set for July 8.
Ohio was the sixth state in the nation to ban abortion after Roe’s demise. Ohio does not have a trigger law, but it does have a heartbeat law protecting life at six weeks gestation. On Friday, Ohio’s state attorney general successfully petitioned the federal court judge to lift the three yearlong injunction on the law. Ohio’s governor then issued an executive order for the state Department of Health to adopt rules to implement the heartbeat law. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s heartbeat bill as a violation of the state constitution, arguing that it violates the privacy and equal protection clauses in the state constitution.
Utah became the seventh state to restrict abortion after the high Court’s ruling. Under state law, the legislative general counsel had to certify that the legislature could ban abortion before the trigger law went into effect. On Friday night, counsel certified, and the law went into effect. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have filed a lawsuit challenging the abortion restriction, arguing that it violates the state constitution, which provides independent rights to state citizens.
Oklahoma was the eighth state to move to protect life after the Roe reversal. Following certification by the state attorney general on Friday, Oklahoma’s trigger law prohibiting abortion went into effect. Oklahoma had previously passed a measure protecting life from the moment of conception using the Texas-style private enforcement mechanism. Under the trigger law, the state can prosecute abortionists.
Alabama became the ninth state in the nation to ban abortions. While Alabama does not have a trigger law, it does have a law protecting preborn human life that has been blocked by an injunction for the last three years. A federal court granted the request to lift the injunction on the pro-life law last Friday.
Mississippi was the tenth state to move to protect life. On Monday, following the Supreme Court ruling, the state attorney general published certification, and the state’s trigger ban on abortion went into effect, protecting babies from the moment of conception. The state’s only abortion clinic filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s trigger law as a violation of the state constitution, which it argues protects abortion.
South Carolina is the eleventh state to ban abortions after the overturn of Roe. The state attorney general successfully got the federal district court to lift its injunction on the state’s heartbeat bill enacted last year. The six-week abortion ban went into effect on Monday.
Tennessee is the twelfth state in the country to move to protect life. On Friday, the state attorney general filed a motion requesting the federal court lift its injunction on the state’s heartbeat bill. Tuesday, the court granted the request, and the law went into effect immediately. The state also has a trigger law that bans abortion, but that will not go into effect until 30 days after Roe’s reversal, per state law.
Out of the13 states that have trigger laws, including Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, only four states – Idaho, North Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming – have abortion trigger laws that have not gone into effect yet and for different reasons.
Idaho’s abortion ban goes into effect 30 days after Roe’s reversal without further state action. Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit to stop the law from going into effect, arguing that it violates the privacy and equal protection clauses in the state constitution.
Texas also has a trigger law that bans abortion 30 days after the overturning of Roe without further state action. The ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights have filed a lawsuit challenging the ban as unconstitutional under the due process rights in the state constitution.
Finally, in Wyoming, state law enacted this year permits 30 days for the state attorney general to review the court ruling and advise the governor. The governor can then certify the trigger law. In Wyoming, the attorney general has not yet finished reviewing the ruling.
The situation on the ground in these states and others remains very fluid. Abortion sellers, like Planned Parenthood, will stop at nothing to preserve their business model. If abortion goes out of business, so do they. Let’s hope and pray that day will come – and sooner rather than later!
In the meantime, let’s applaud the states boldly taking steps to protect preborn human life. This is what it’s been all about – helping moms and saving babies from the tragedy of abortion. Well done, and keep up the good work!
Photo from Shutterstock.