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State policy changes intensify in wake of Supreme Court decision

Sandhya Raman, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in News & Features

In the hours after the Supreme Court signaled an end to the national right to abortion Friday, a cascade of abortion bans began to take effect across the country.

Trigger laws, meant to go into effect in the absence of the legal precedent established under the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, took effect in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah.

Ohio enacted its ban on abortions after six weeks, courtesy of a federal court judge who approved Attorney General Dave Yost’s request to lift a nearly three-year injunction on the state’s so-called heartbeat bill.

In less than a month, Texas, Idaho, North Dakota and Tennessee laws will make those states abortion deserts as well.

It’s just the beginning of the the state-led movement to ban abortion or, in some cases, to continue to protect access to the procedure.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, whose state’s 15-week ban was the subject of the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision Friday, certified the state trigger law Monday.


“As we proceed in this post-Roe world, the people of Mississippi and of all the states will be able to fully engage in the work of both empowering women and promoting life,” said Fitch. “The Supreme Court very clearly held in Dobbs that the appropriate standard for courts to use for challenges to state abortion laws is rational-basis review.”

Despite the court’s ruling, abortion rights advocates are still hoping to stop the closure of clinics in those states, and before other states plan to take action.

Planned Parenthood, for example, filed suit in Utah state court Saturday in an attempt to block the state ban on all abortions, which took effect Friday. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed suit against two Kentucky abortions laws Monday. The laws include a ban on all abortions and a ban on abortions after six weeks.

On Monday, the Center for Reproductive Rights — which argued against the Mississippi law before the Supreme Court — filed a petition to block Louisiana’s trigger law. The court blocked implementation of the ban at the state’s three clinics ahead of a hearing set for July 8.


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