Updated at 11:54 a.m. ET on July 1.
Abortion has now become illegal in several states following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization stating that the Constitution doesn’t contain a right to abortion.
The Dobbs decision, released on June 24, reverses the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The legality of abortion will now be decided on a state-by-state basis. As The Christian Post previously reported, 21 states will either completely ban or more severely restrict abortion than they did pre-Roe following the reversal of the decision.
The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute has identified 13 states that have “trigger laws” that would ban abortion in the event of Roe’s reversal: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. In the days immediately following the Dobbs decision, abortion bans have already gone into effect in 12 states, although a lower court judge has already struck down three of them as unconstitutional.
Missouri became the first state to ban abortion following the Dobbs decision on June 24, with Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt issuing an opinion declaring that “the United States Supreme Court has overruled, in whole in part, Roe v. Wade,” thereby granting “the state of Missouri the authority to regulate abortion to the extent set forth” in section 188.017 of the “Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act.”
This portion of the law proclaims that “notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no abortion shall be performed or induced upon a woman, except in cases of medical emergency.”
Section B of the Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act stated that “the enactment of this section shall only become effective upon notification to the revisor of statutes by an opinion by the attorney general of Missouri, a proclamation by the governor of Missouri, or the adoption of a concurrent resolution by the Missouri general assembly” that the Supreme Court has overruled Roe.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, announced on June 24 that “we have a law on the books that makes abortion illegal immediately, except to preserve the life of the mother.”
Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor, a Republican, sent a letter to the state’s governor and the leaders of the state legislature on June 24 informing them that “As a result of Dobbs, the authority of the state of Oklahoma to prohibit abortion has been confirmed, and the state of Oklahoma may enforce Section 861 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma statutes or enact a similar statute prohibiting abortion throughout pregnancy.”
The law O’Connor was referring to makes performing an abortion a felony unless it’s “necessary to preserve” the life of the mother.
On June 24, the office of Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine published a statement indicating that “U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett lifted the preliminary injunction which had prevented the state of Ohio from enforcing or complying with Senate Bill 23,” which bans abortions after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Barrett’s decision enables the state to ban all abortions after six weeks of gestation.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, a Republican, announced on June 24 that the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, which bans elective abortions in the state, will now take effect following the Dobbs decision.
“The state of Alabama’s emergency motion to lift the injunction and reinstate Alabama’s 2019 law, which prohibits abortions in most instances, has been granted,” he said. “Both the federal district court and the plaintiffs recognized that there is no basis for a continued stay of the duly-enacted law in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.”
“Thus, Alabama’s law making elective abortions a felony is now enforceable,” Marshall added. “Anyone who takes an unborn life in violation of the law will be prosecuted, with penalties ranging from 10 to 99 years for abortion providers.”
The office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a Republican, published an announcement on June 24 certifying that Dobbs “overrules the central holding of Roe v. Wade” and “reaffirms the state’s authority to protect unborn life.” Rutledge’s office stressed that “Arkansas has enacted and defended laws that prohibit elective abortion,” which can now go into effect following the Dobbs decision.
Additionally, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron published an advisory opinion on June 24 noting that “the prohibitions on performing abortions” in the state’s Human Life Protection Act “became effective on June 24, 2022, the date on which the Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs.” Less than a week later, a Louisville Circuit Court judge halted the Human Life Protection Act, allowing abortions to continue in the state.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican, took to Twitter on June 24 to announce that “Because of #SCOTUS ruling in #Dobbs, Louisiana’s trigger law banning #abortion is now in effect.” However, on Monday, the pro-abortion group Center for Reproductive Rights reported on Twitter that “#Louisiana’s trigger bans have been BLOCKED by a state court in response to our lawsuit filed earlier today” and therefore, “abortion care is resuming in Louisiana.”
John Fellows, the general counsel of the Utah Legislature, wrote a letter to lawmakers on June 24 explaining that Abortion Prohibition Amendments enacted in 2020 will take effect now that “a court of binding authority has held that a state may prohibit the abortion of an unborn child at any time during the gestational period, subject to the exceptions enumerated in this bill.”
The pro-abortion group Utah Abortion Fund announced on Twitter Monday that “the Utah Courts have granted a 14 day restraining order on the trigger ban,” allowing elective abortions to continue taking place there for the next two weeks.
On Monday, Attorney General Lynn Fitch of Mississippi, the state whose 15-week abortion ban was at the center of the Dobbs case, reported on Twitter that: “Today I certified Mississippi’s trigger law and I am excited for our State to move forward in this new post-Roe era to empower women and promote life!”
On Monday, the office of South Carolina’s Republican Attorney General Alan Wilson published a statement noting that the state’s Heartbeat Bill banning abortions after six weeks gestation had gone into effect because a judge serving on the U.S. District Court of South Carolina stayed the injunction blocking state officials from enforcing it following the Dobbs decision.
On Tuesday, Tennessee’s Republican Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced that a unanimous panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit had vacated a lower court ruling preventing the state’s Heartbeat Bill from going into effect following the Dobbs decision, thereby enabling it to become law.
A 13th state, Texas, will ban abortions within the next month. An advisory opinion from the state’s Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton reveals that “the Human Life Protection Act of 2021,” which “prohibits abortions in most circumstances and takes effect on the 30th day after ‘issuance of a United States Supreme Court judgment in a decision overruling, wholly or partly, Roe v. Wade.’”
North Dakota will also ban abortions beginning July 28, as the state’s Republican Attorney General Drew Wrigley explained in a letter to the North Dakota Legislative Council Tuesday. Wrigley credited the Dobbs decision for removing the “legal barriers to enforcement” of a state law banning abortions with exceptions in cases of rape or incest and to save the life of the mother. The abortion ban will go into effect 30 days after Wrigley’s letter certifying that the “preconditions for enforcement” of the law have been satisfied.
The additional states projected to ban or severely restrict abortion in the near future are Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org