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A state-by-state look at abortion laws now that Roe v. Wade is overturned


The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion. The ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. In anticipation of the decision, several states led by Democrats have taken steps to protect abortion access.

The decision also sets up the potential for legal fights between the states over whether providers and those who help women obtain abortions can be sued or prosecuted. Here is an overview of abortion legislation and the expected impact of the court’s decision in every state.

ALABAMA

Political control: Alabama has a Republican-controlled legislature and a Republican governor who want to ban or restrict access to abortions.

Background: In 2019, Alabama lawmakers approved what was then the most stringent abortion ban in the country, making it a felony to perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy with no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. The only exception would be when the woman’s health was at serious risk. A federal judge issued an injunction, under the precedent of Roe v. Wade, blocking the state from enforcing the law. In 2018, voters agreed to amend the Alabama Constitution to say the state recognizes the “rights of unborn children” and “does not protect the right to an abortion or require the funding of abortion.”

Effect of Supreme Court ruling: If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, nothing will change immediately, but the stage would be set for a court fight and access to abortion could be curtailed. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, a vocal critic of Roe, has said his office would move to dissolve the injunction blocking enforcement of the 2019 abortion ban. Marshall said the state would also move to lift other injunctions that blocked previous attempts to implement abortion restrictions, including a ban on abortion clinics near schools and a ban on the most common method for second trimester abortions.

What’s next: Some Republican lawmakers have said they would like to see the state replace the 2019 ban with a slightly less stringent bill that would allow exceptions in cases of rape or incest. Proponents said the 2019 ban was deliberately strict in the hopes of sparking a court challenge to Roe.

ALASKA

Political control: Republicans currently hold a majority of seats in the state Legislature, but the House is controlled by a bipartisan coalition composed largely of Democrats. Fifty-nine of the Legislature’s 60 seats are up for election this year. Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican who believes life begins at conception, is seeking reelection.

Background: The Alaska Supreme Court has interpreted the right to privacy in the state constitution as encompassing abortion rights.

Effect of Supreme Court ruling: A decision either way by the U.S. Supreme Court is not expected to immediately affect abortion rights in Alaska, given the existing precedent in the state.



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