The draft was released by Politico Monday evening and Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft opinion Tuesday morning. The landmark 1973 case legalized abortion nationwide. If the decision is overruled, abortion would immediately become illegal in 13 states because of so-called “trigger” laws.
Trigger laws are legislation banning or restricting abortion, created to take effect automatically, or by swift state action, if Roe ends, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization for reproductive health and rights. Some states, the institute said, even have laws declaring their intent to ban abortion to whatever extent is permitted by the Constitution.
Trigger law states, according to the Guttmacher Institute, are
- Arkansas (would ban abortion in all or nearly all circumstances)
- Idaho (would ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy)
- Kentucky (six-week ban)
- Louisiana (near-total ban, six-week ban)
- Mississippi (six-week ban)
- Missouri (eight-week ban)
- North Dakota (six-week ban)
- Oklahoma (near total-ban, six-week ban)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (six-week ban)
- Utah (near-total ban)
- Texas (six-week ban)
There are other states, the Guttmacher Institute says, that would be likely to ban abortion soon without Roe in place, although they don’t have trigger laws.
- Florida, which enacted a 15-week abortion ban in April 2022 that goes into effect in July
- Indiana, whose legislature has enacted 55 abortion restrictions and bans
- Montana, where new abortion restrictions were enacted last year for the first time in nearly a decade
- Nebraska, which was the first state to adopt a 22-week abortion ban in 2010 and later enacted a ban on what the institute called the standard method for abortion after 15 weeks
The Guttmacher Institute points out that several states’ abortion bans were blocked by court orders and would require further court action to be enforced.
Other states, such as Illinois, New York, California and Colorado, have taken measures to protect the right to an abortion. New York has the 2019 Reproductive Healthcare Act, which, according to NewsNation local affiliate WPIX, decriminalizes abortion for patients and the doctors who perform them.
“New York will always be a place where abortion rights are protected,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Twitter Monday night. “Just as the Statue of Liberty lifts her lamp tall in our harbor, New York will never stop fighting for what’s right — unafraid and undeterred.”
Shortly after the draft opinion was reported, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and two other state lawmakers proposed making abortion rights a constitutional amendment, NewsNation local affiliate KRON said.
“We can’t trust SCOTUS to protect the right to abortion, so we’ll do it ourselves,” Newsom said, according to KRON. “Women will remain protected here.” Earlier this year, Newsom signed a law making abortions cheaper for people on private insurance plans.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker spoke out against the Supreme Court draft opinion as well, tweeting Politico’s story with “Hell no! In Illinois, we trust women.”
“We cannot let their most profound and personal rights be violated,” Pritzker wrote. Illinois has its own Reproductive Health Act, making abortion a “fundamental right” in the state.
However, there are large swaths of the country with neither protections or bans in place as well. At a federal level, President Joe Biden said in a statement that he’s directed White House officials to prepare options for an administration response for when the official ruling is announced.