2022 supreme court
US Supreme Court (Photo: Official government photo)

A leaked decision by Justice Samuel Alito gave Americans a glimpse into the way the High Court will eliminate the rights of women in the United States.

There are two dozen states with "trigger laws," or pre-Roe abortion bans that would impact women once the Supreme Court decision is officially published. Four others are expected to pass bans in the future, the Guttmacher Institute anticipates, CNN reported.

Here are all of the details about the states and what options women will have there:


Former federal prosecutor Joyce White Vance tweeted Wednesday an excerpt of the Alabama law passed in 2018 that would take effect once the Supreme Court eliminates Roe v. Wade. Known as "trigger laws," Vance speculated whether the Alabama one would give embryos Constitutional rights.

One part of the Alabama law says that the state would "ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate." Does it mean that the unborn have the right to apply for welfare or financial assistance? The Alabama law will present a lot of questions once the Supreme Court officially publishes its decision.


Arkansas' trigger law would allow for an abortion in the event of a life-threatening emergency. Doctors who perform it could be thrown in jail for 10 years or be issued a fine of up to $100,000 or both. A federal judge blocked an Arkansas bill in 2021 that would have made abortion's illegal even if a woman's life is in danger and in the case a child is molested by a family member.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker explained that the law was “categorically unconstitutional” because it would ban the procedure before the fetus is considered viable.


Arizona's ban on abortion would happen overnight. Anyone who performs it would get 2-5 years in prison. There's no hope for women who were raped or children molested, only if the mother is dying.

ASU law professor Paul Bender told 12News, “[The Court] could have upheld Mississippi law without doing this. And then they could, in a subsequent case, go a little bit further. But to do it all at once is breathtaking."


Florida will have a 15-week ban that goes into effect on July 1, 2022. There's no exception for children molested, women raped or if a woman could die.


Georgia too has a so-called "heartbeat bill," but a federal court struck it down in 2020, reported local 11Alive News at the time. When the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Atlanta, heard the case last Sept. they decided to put it on hold pending the Supreme Court. So, the Appeals Court would then have to overturn the lower-court ruling. At that point, the Georgia ban would be in place.

As one doctor explained to NPR, at six weeks of gestation, there is no heart. In fact, the heart doesn't actually form until about 20 weeks of pregnancy. What is seen on ultrasounds is electrical activity.

"In no way is this detecting a functional cardiovascular system or a functional heart," said Dr. Jennifer Kerns, OBGYN.

If a heartbeat made an embryo "viable," as some state laws claim, and conservatives declare the heart is detected at six weeks, then it would mean an embryo could sustain itself on its own if a woman gives birth. If Roe is overturned, it could be that such a loophole is employed by clinics willing to challenge the law.

There's also a question of whether Rep. Brian Kemp (R-GA), who is heated reelection battle, would call a special legislative session to craft even stricter laws.


In Idaho, performing an abortion a felony for any health care provider to perform the procedure after 30 days of the Supreme Court decision. The doctor would be sent to prison for 2-5 years and have their license suspended for six months on the first offense and permanently upon any offense after that. It would also apply to any nurse that assists the doctor, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Unlike some states, Idaho does provide an exception for women in the case of rape, incest, and the life or health of the mother. Although, the law does carve out that the "life or health" of the mother doesn't extend to women who threaten to kill themselves.

"The statute clarifies that women who undergo abortion procedures cannot be subjected to penalty or criminal conviction," the report also said.


In 2019, Kentucky passed its trigger law, only allowing an exception if the mother is about to die or be seriously injured. "There are no exceptions for rape or incest in Kentucky’s trigger law, or for minors seeking abortions," reported the Lexington Herald-Leader.


The Louisiana law gets specific, noting that not only can't the procedure be done, but the abortion pill, RU486, cannot be used in Louisiana. It doesn't exactly allow for a carve-out of the life and health of the mother but instructs doctors to make a “reasonable medical effort” to preserve the life of the host.

Ironically, the 2006 law was signed by former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco. In 2019, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the so-called "heartbeat bill," which would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The so-called heartbeat bills could end up back in court, as they assume that a fetus is "viable" after a heartbeat is detected.


In Michigan, The Detroit News explained that the state will revert back to a 1931 law known as Act 328. It makes it a felony to perform an abortion in the state unless it's to save her life.

Anyone who sells drugs "designed expressly for the use of females for the purpose of procuring an abortion" would be guilty of a misdemeanor. However, the law then says that such drugs must be "designed and expressly prepared for producing an abortion, shall only be sold upon the written prescription of an established practicing physician of the city, village, or township in which the sale is made." They also have to keep records of who it was given to and how. much.


The Mississippi law is the one that was used by the Supreme Court to write the opinion by Justice Alito that was published by Politico. In that case, abortion would be banned at 15-weeks. There are previous bills that include exceptions for the life of the mother and rape.


The Missouri law, however, doesn't give any rights to women who are raped or children who are molested. In that case, the doctor would be guilty of "a class B felony, as well as subject to suspension or revocation of his or her professional license by his or her professional licensing board. A woman upon whom an abortion is performed or induced in violation of this subsection shall not be prosecuted for a conspiracy to violate the provisions of this subsection," the law says.

While the law does cite a "life or health" exemption, it gets specific in saying that the doctor who performs the abortion due to a medical emergency "shall have the burden of persuasion that the defense is more probably true than not." Essentially, the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution dictate that no person can be denied due process and is considered innocent until proven guilty. The Missouri law removes that guarantee, saying that a doctor performing any "medical emergency" abortion would be guilty until proven otherwise.

North Dakota

In North Dakota, a 2007 law would make it a felony to perform an abortion, with an exception for saving the mother's life. It includes the procedure and the abortion pill. The law also mentions that such a restriction doesn't apply to women who have miscarried. So, a woman suffering a miscarriage would have to wait until she is legally dying for the abortion to be performed.


In Ohio, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has signed bills that would "ban abortion after six weeks, to require aborted fetuses be buried or cremated, to prevent medication abortions via telemedicine and to add rules that could shutter two Southwest Ohio abortion clinics," the Colombus Dispatch reported.

There are "trigger bills" that are working their way through the Assembly that would make it a fourth-degree felony for doctors helping women. Republicans didn't allow help for any women who are raped, children who are molested or any woman dying. There are a few other laws that are working their way through the courts from Ohio, including the so-called "heartbeat bill."


Oklahoma passed its own trigger law, but even after, the state's Republican majority continues to pass more and more laws to add punishments. The bill from earlier in 2022, would subject doctors to a "felony punishable by a maximum fine of $100,000 or a maximum of 10 years in state prison, or both."

As Axios reported last week, private citizens can sue anyone suspected of helping a woman get an abortion. It's modeled off of the Texas "bounty" law. They can also be sued for even thinking about it, the law says, calling it the "[intend] to engage" in the previous actions but haven't yet done so.

South Carolina

South Carolina passed a so-called "heartbeat bill" in 2021. The law has been tied up in court challenges and was put on hold, WISTV explained. "It does include exceptions including in cases of rape, incest, fetal anomalies, or if the mother’s life is in danger." The court would have to formally remove the hold and then the law would go into effect, so it would likely be delayed a little.

South Dakota

In South Dakota, they passed a law 17 years ago to make all medical and pharmaceutical abortions illegal. Any doctor who does it "unless there is appropriate and reasonable medical judgment that performance of an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant female, is guilty of a Class 6 felony," the law says, according to the Capitol News Bureau.


Tennessee allows for women who might die "or prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of major bodily function," the law says. It would make it a felony for doctors, the Tennessean explained. Last year, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Tennessee 48-hour waiting period. Ironically, Tennessee doesn't have a waiting period to buy a gun.

"Tennessee's 2020 laws include requiring abortion clinics to post a sign in the waiting area and in patient rooms informing people that it may be possible to reverse a medication abortion," the Tennessean also said. The Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explained on their website that no medical abortion can be reversed.


In Texas, the trigger law would ban abortion with a possibility for the life of the mother. The problem is that the recent law passed by the state banned it entirely, and allowed for a bounty on women trying to get an abortion, even if the mother is dying or a child has been molested. That law is making its way through the courts.

In Texas, that miscarriage became a problem when a woman's water broke too early for the fetus to survive. Her doctors told her that it would be impossible. Still, there was nothing they could do to remove the fetus. She risked going into septic shock or bleeding out because Texas doesn't allow doctors to save a woman's life if she's having a miscarriage at that stage of pregnancy.

"I had to come up with a game plan with my OB in case I went into labor on the flight," the woman said about her only option to travel out of state. "And I made sure that I bought us front-row seats so I could be close to the bathroom in case it happened. And I'm like, no one should ever have to do that."


Utah did provide an option for women who are raped or children who are molested to get an abortion, as well as the detection of severe birth defects, or prevention of the death or serious injury of the person giving birth, their ban says. They made it a second-degree felony in May 2020 to perform the procedure in a trigger law, the Desert News explained.


In Wisconsin, an abortion ban was passed in 1849, before the invention of a sonogram, a pregnancy test and the birth control pill.

Spectrum News 1 reported the law would make performing an abortion "a crime punishable by up to six years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. There are no exceptions for rape or incest," only when the woman's life is in danger.


Wyoming passed their laws as the news broke that the Supreme Court took up an abortion case, the Wyoming News reported. It was signed into law last month to make it illegal except in cases of rape, incest or the risk of death to the woman giving birth.

West Virginia

West Virginia already makes it difficult for women to get an abortion. The West Virginia Metro News reported Wednesday that the state had an abortion ban in place.

"West Virginia’s legal prohibition to abortion has a long history," the report explained. "According to West’s Annotated Code of West Virginia, the initial abortion statute was passed by the Virginia Legislature in 1849. It became part of the West Virginia Code in 1868 and was included in the rewrite of the State Code in 1923.

The law makes it a felony punishable by three to 10 years imprisonment unless it was to protect the life of the woman or fetus. A 2018 amendment narrowly passed (51.73 percent) state-wide adding to the state's constitution the phrase: "nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion."

Many other states have restrictions like Indiana's mandatory "counseling" showing women scientifically inaccurate information and a mandatory ultrasound 18 hours prior to the abortion. But for now, those states do allow the procedure legally.

As it stands, none of the abortion bans are legal. It will only be after the Supreme Court officially publishes their ruling that laws will change.