Some states move quickly to ban abortion after Supreme Court ruling

Three states — Kentucky, Louisiana and South Dakota — have so-called “trigger bans” that went into effect automatically with the Supreme Court’s reversal Friday of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that had established a constitutional right to an abortion. Ten other states have trigger bans with implementation mechanisms that occur after a set period or after a step taken by a state government entity.
Among the trigger-ban states in the latter category, Missouri has already made the move required to implement its ban on abortion, with state Attorney General Eric Schmitt announcing Friday that he had taken the step of certification laid out by Missouri law.

Oklahoma, which had recently put in place a law banning most abortions, has also taken the step of implementing its trigger ban, according to the state attorney general’s office. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also certified the state’s trigger ban, allowing it take effect on Friday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to  anti-abortion activists outside the Supreme Court, Nov. 1, 2021, on Capitol Hill.
In Texas, where the trigger ban is to be implemented on the 30th day after the Supreme Court issues its judgment (a court move that will happen in the coming weeks), Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced that local prosecutors may now begin enforcing an abortion ban passed by the state before the Roe ruling.
Other states have prohibitions on abortion that had been blocked by courts that had cited Roe’s guarantee of a right to abortion. Those states may act quickly to have those court orders lifted so that those restrictions can go into effect. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey referenced a court order that had halted the state’s 2019 abortion ban and said in a statement that Alabama “will immediately ask the court to strike down any legal barriers to enforcing this law.”

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III said that in addition to implementing the trigger ban set to go in effect in 30 days, the state had asked an appeals court to lift a hold that had been placed on a measure that bans abortion at around six weeks into pregnancy.

It’s likely that elsewhere in the country, state legislatures will soon be called back into session to pass strict abortion laws that previously would have run afoul of Roe.

Indiana’s Republican Gov. Eric J. Holcomb is calling for a return of the General Assembly on July 6 so that legislators can consider anti-abortion legislation.

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to more clearly describe when Texas’ trigger ban will take effect. It’s the 30th day after the Supreme Court issues its judgment, a court move that comes after the ruling.

This story also has been updated with further developments Friday.

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