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Court's decision on abortion rights will impact states differently

Some states have have trigger laws in place if Roe v. Wade is overturned while others have pre-Roe abortion bans still on the books.
Supreme Court
Posted at 10:59 AM, May 05, 2022

After a leaked Supreme Court opinion grabbed the nation's attention, the focus now turns to individual states that could soon have complete control of abortion rights for its residents with little to no federal oversight.   

Before Roe v. Wade became the law of the land in 1973, 30 states outlawed abortion. Now, at least 20 states are poised to ban the practice if Roe is overturned.  

States like Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas and several others have trigger laws that immediately institute an abortion ban if Roe v. Wade is overturned.  

Other states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona have pre-Roe abortion bans still on the books that could potentially go into effect without action from local lawmakers.  

Jill Adams, the CEO of Lawyering for Reproductive Rights, told Newsy even now, with Roe still intact, some prosecutors and law enforcement have criminalized abortion.  

"We have seen investigations, arrests, even prosecutions in the majority of states. Overzealous prosecutors are treating the criminal code like a grab bag," Adams said.


She says more often than not, appeal judges throw these cases out but by then damage has been done. 

"The person's mugshot may have been strewn throughout the media, they may be ostracized in their communities, they may lose their job, they may lose their kids, they may spend years locked behind bars, all for taking care of themselves and exercising their human right," Adams continued.

Meanwhile, many deep blue states across the country are pushing the opposite direction, codifying Roe in state law. 


"No matter what atrocious opinion the Supreme Court officially rolls out this summer in regards to Roe v. Wade, abortion will always be safe and legal here in Illinois," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted: "For anyone who needs access to care, our state will welcome you with open arms. Abortion will always be safe & accessible in New York." 

Followed by neighboring Gov. Phil Murphy adding that "access to reproductive health care remains available to anyone who needs it in New Jersey."

Back in April, Colorado codified into law access to abortions statewide. 

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the Guttmacher Institute says the average American would have to travel about 125 miles to reach the closest abortion provider. The current average distance is 25 miles.

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