Skip to Content

Where abortion ‘trigger laws’ stand after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade


By Devan Cole, CNN

The Supreme Court’s majority decision overturning Roe v. Wade has allowed states to begin setting their own abortion policies. Just days after the ruling, it has already resulted in a patchwork system in which access to the procedure is, for many people, determined largely by whether a state is controlled by Republicans or Democrats.

So-called trigger laws — bans designed to take effect with the overturning of Roe v. Wade — are enforceable in some states following the Supreme Court’s ruling, while in others, the bans await official action.

Here’s where abortion “trigger laws” stand in a number of states:

Gone into effect or will soon

Restrictive abortion laws are in effect in at least six states after the court handed down its ruling: Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin, the Republican-controlled state legislature declined last Wednesday to repeal an 1849 state law banning abortion during a special session called by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers — allowing it to take effect again after the high court overturned Roe.

And in Mississippi, the trigger law was certified on Monday by Attorney General Lynn Fitch, according to a statement from her office. Mississippi law states that within 10 days of the state attorney general confirming Roe has been overturned, abortions are prohibited in the state. Limited exceptions are provided in cases of rape or when the procedure would preserve the pregnant person’s life. The state passed a separate 15-week abortion ban in 2018, which was the law at the center of the case the Supreme Court ruled on last week.

Awaiting state or court action

In Wyoming, the state’s “trigger law” takes effect five days after the governor certifies the Supreme Court’s decision.

In North Dakota, a 2007 abortion ban takes effect 30 days after the law is certified by the state attorney general to the Legislative Council, a nonpartisan arm of the state’s legislature.

Idaho, Tennessee and Texas have laws that take effect 30 days after the Supreme Court issues a judgment separate from the opinion issued last week. Attorneys general in Texas and Idaho say it could take an additional 30 days for the judgment to be issued and the laws to take effect.

In legal limbo

In Louisiana, a state district judge on Monday temporarily blocked the state from “enforcing or implementing” an abortion ban that had gone into effect immediately following the Supreme Court’s ruling. The law was challenged by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Boies Schiller Flexner LLP on behalf of Hope Medical Group for Women and Medical Students for Choice, which argued that the ban is unconstitutionally vague.

In Utah, Third District Judge Andrew Stone granted a request by Planned Parenthood of Utah to issue a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of the state’s trigger law. This allows abortions to continue for 14 days.

Pauses on other restrictive abortion bans dissolved

In addition to the so-called trigger laws taking effect, a number of states have dissolved court orders blocking enforcement of restrictive abortion laws in light of the high court’s ruling.

A federal judge in Alabama granted an emergency motion on Friday to end an injunction against Alabama’s “Human Life Protection Act” after the Supreme Court issued its opinion. The motion was filed by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, who argued that the injunction the court had entered against enforcement of the act because it “contravenes clear Supreme Court precedent” was no longer in effect with the high court overturning Roe.

Ohio Attorney General David Yost announced Friday that the injunction blocking his state’s abortion ban was dissolved, saying in a tweet: “The Heartbeat Bill is now the law.”

A federal judge in South Carolina on Monday lifted a hold the court had placed on the state’s ban on abortions after about six weeks, allowing South Carolina to enforce its so-called heartbeat law. Attorney General Alan Wilson announced shortly afterward that the law was now in effect.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Tierney Sneed, Kelly McCleary, Holly Yan, Andy Rose, Virginia Langmaid, Jamiel Lynch and Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓



KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content