Every state in America can now choose its abortion law following a ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health
It is expected that abortions could be banned in up to half of the 50 states in the United States as a result of the new ruling in a case called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.
Why was the Roe v Wade decision overturned – and where is abortion illegal in the US now? Here’s what you need to know.
Is abortion illegal in the US?
No, abortion is not illegal throughout the United States.
There are 50 states in the US, and each state will now be able to make its own decision about whether or not to allow abortion.
This new rule of law comes after the US Supreme Court abolished the constitutional right to abortion on Friday, June 24, nearly 50 years after the law was made and after the historic quashing of the Roe v Wade trial.
It is expected to lead to abortion bans in about half of the states.
However, it remains legal to travel out of states to have an abortion.
Where is abortion now banned in the US?
Following the June 24 ruling, nearly all abortions are now banned in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin The New York Times tracker.
These are all US states where abortion is already banned or restricted:
- South Dakota
These are all the states where abortion will or will be banned or restricted in the coming days, weeks and months:
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
- South Carolina
Among the first states to ban almost all abortions after the ruling was Utah, where an abortion ban went into effect on the evening of June 24.
Republican Utah Senator Daniel McCay said it would be wrong for Utah women to request abortions in neighboring states, but added that he had no immediate plans to stop them from doing so.
Ohio’s ban on most abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat, known as the “Heartbeat Bill,” also went into effect June 24.
The 2019 law has been on hold for nearly three years, but following the Supreme Court’s announcement, a federal judge agreed to lift a federal court injunction that was blocking it.
Alabama quickly halted abortions when the 2019 state abortion ban went into effect.
It is now a punishable offense to have an abortion at any stage of pregnancy, including in the case of rape and incest victims.
Shortly after the announcement, the Arkansas Department of Health informed the state’s two abortion providers that abortions are now prohibited under a law that prohibits all abortions except in the case where an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the mother in a medical setting protect against emergency.
Facilities were warned that performing an abortion after June 24 would be against the law and would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
The only abortion clinic in West Virginia also ceased performing abortions on the date of the decision. The state has a law that criminalizes performing abortions and carries a sentence of three to ten years in prison. It is unclear how it will carry out this enforcement.
In Missouri, Attorney General Eric Schmitt said he was acting immediately to enforce a state law banning abortions except in “medical emergencies” following the ruling.
In some states, including Arizona and Texas, abortion clinics temporarily halted performing abortions while they reviewed the legality of continuing.
Trigger laws are already in effect in several states, including Arkansas, Missouri and South Dakota.
Some states have laws that predated the Roe v Wade ruling and have not been enforced since. Whether these laws come into force could depend on the current political orientation on the ground.
In states like West Virginia and Arizona, Republicans may be more likely to push for enforcement or ask a court to let previously contested laws go into effect.
Where is abortion still legal in the US?
Not all US states have responded to the ruling with a ban on abortion.
In fact, several states vowed to protect abortion rights after the decision was announced.
These are all states where abortion is legal or likely to be allowed to continue:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- direct current
- New Jersey
- new York
In Washington DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said she was “a pro-choice city” but warned that as a district, not a state, it is now at risk because Congress has oversight.
The Democratic governors of California, Washington and Oregon have also vowed to protect abortion rights and help women traveling to the West Coast from other states for abortions.
They made a “multi-state commitment” and said they would work together to defend patients and healthcare workers who perform abortions, as they anticipate an influx of people wanting an abortion.
They also pledged to protect “against the cooperation of the judiciary and local law enforcement agencies with extrastate investigations, investigations and arrests” regarding abortion in their states.
Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order protecting access to reproductive health care.
In North Carolina, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has also vowed to protect abortion rights, even though Republicans control the legislature.
In New Mexico, where abortion is readily available, chief prosecutor and Democratic nominee for attorney general Raúl Torrez called on politicians to take more action to protect women’s access to abortion, including for women from other states.
In states like Michigan and Wisconsin, pre-Roe v Wade abortion bans are still technically part of state law. However, the Democrats, who hold the offices of governor and attorney general, may not be interested in enforcing them.
Wisconsin’s Attorney General said he would not enforce the state ban, but clinics offering abortions suspended services on June 24.
Is the abortion law in any US state unclear?
At the time of writing, abortion stance in some US states was unclear.
Legislators in some states have shown an interest in restricting abortion, while others want to protect abortion rights in the short term.
In some states, pre-Roe v Wade laws banning abortion before the 1973 decision could be re-enforced, but that decision has not yet been made.
These are the states where the law remains unclear:
- North Carolina
What is Roe v Wade?
Roe v Wade was a landmark Supreme Court case that led to abortion being legalized in the United States in 1973.
However, each state still had its own legal guidelines on abortion, with some being far more restrictive than others.
The decision gave women full autonomy to terminate a pregnancy during the first trimester and allowed some state influence over second and third trimester abortions.
The Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision at the time was based in part on the US Constitution’s 14th Amendment, the right to privacy, which protects a woman’s right to an abortion.
The verdict effectively revoked laws outright banning the process and sparked decades of debate about women’s bodies, the right to choice and the right to life.
Why was Roe v Wade repealed?
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health on Friday, June 24 overturned the earlier ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization marked the first major abortion rights challenge before the court’s new Conservative supermajority with its three newest judges.
In an unprecedented leak of conservative judge Samuel Alito’s draft opinion, first reported by Politicallyhe said: “It is time to respect the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people”.
The court’s decision of Friday, June 24 was essentially the same opinion as the draft.
Can the Roe v Wade overturn be appealed?
The possibilities to challenge the judges’ verdict or to defend constitutional arguments on the basis of equality are limited for the time being.
Harvard constitutional law professor Lawrence Tribe, who called the decision “unprincipled”, told the Guardian: “We face a long, convoluted, chaotic and, in terms of human suffering, horribly costly battle.
He added that it could take generations to fully restore abortion rights, but there may be ways to minimize the ruling’s impact.
The ruling may force pregnant women in certain states that now ban abortion to carry their pregnancies to term unless they can travel to some states that have abortion protections.
What were abortion rules in the US before Roe v Wade?
Prior to Row v Wade, 30 states had outright bans on abortion, and while all 50 states complied with the then federal decision decriminalizing abortion, many enacted laws restricting abortion as much as the law permitted.
Prior to Dobbs v. Jackson, state laws prohibiting or severely restricting access to abortion fell into three broad categories.
- Trigger bans that banned abortion in most circumstances and are now back in effect Roe v Wade were overruled
- Bans, which are old laws that are still on the books and could be enforced now
- More recently, legislation has been passed restricting or outlawing abortion to an early gestational age.
However, abortion was made illegal in several US states within hours of Roe v Wade’s repeal.
https://www.nationalworld.com/health/where-is-abortion-illegal-in-the-us-which-states-have-banned-pregnancy-termination-since-roe-v-wade-law-overturned-3747112 Where is abortion illegal in the US? Which states have banned abortion