Nine states have laws banning abortion that would become effective if Roe V. Wade is overturned, and four states have laws intended to ban abortion should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn the legal right to abort.
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wisconsin have laws that were passed prior to Roe V. Wade, according to The Guttmacher Institute. These laws were rendered ineffective after the court’s 1973 ruling gave women the legal right to abort, and will become effective if Roe V. Wade is overturned.
Massachusetts also had a state law banning abortion until Republican Gov. Charlie Baker repealed the 19th century law prohibiting abortion on July 27.
“We’re seeing more states take a look at their codes and do a little bit of cleaning up old, archaic language that might be problematic in terms of getting abortion care,” Center for Reproductive Rights state legislative counsel Agata Pelka said, The Hill reported Thursday.
Alabama and West Virginia voters will also cast their ballots in November to determine if their states’ constitutions should add language stripping away legal abortion protections. Alabama’s proposed constitutional amendment, “Statewide Amendment 2,” will ask voters to affirm that “the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
West Virginia voters will decide whether to adopt a “No Constitutional Right to Abortion Amendment,” asking voters whether they want to add that “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion” to the state constitution.
The West Virginia Senate also voted Feb. 9 in favor of a resolution that would allow the state government to restrict access to abortion by asserting the procedure is not and should not be a constitutional right. Senate Joint Resolution 12 states “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right of abortion or requires the funding of abortion,” according to the Charleston-Gazette Mail.
“It’s the beginning of a trend,” Florida State University College of Law professor Mary Ziegler told Fox News Monday. “They’re playing the long game, because if Roe is overturned, states will be able to go any way they want to,” she said.
Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Mississippi have constitutional statutes that would also make abortion illegal should the court overturn Roe V. Wade, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Meanwhile, Maryland’s Democratic speaker of the House, Michael E. Busch, is seeking to codify abortion protections into state law. Busch plans to introduce legislation that will ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment preserving a woman’s legal right to abort.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, instilling fear in liberals that the court will overturn Roe v. Wade. Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing will take place on Sept. 4.