Roe v. Wade Overturned: 4-State officials react and a look at trigger laws

Roe V Wade 4 State Officials React And A Look At Trigger Laws
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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 the 4-States.

KOAM is speaking with residents in the 4-States today. Watch KOAM News for the latest. (Ways to Watch digitally)

>> Related: How U.S. states have banned, limited or protected abortion

>> President Biden reacts. Watch it below, or click here.

https://youtu.be/bmwJNcbw_3w

Missouri

A Missouri law outlawing most abortions took effect Friday, as Republican state officials acted quickly to enforce a ban following a U.S. Supreme Court decision ending constitutional protections for abortion. However, Governor Parson’s Administration is coordinating with the Missouri Attorney General to quickly resolve any litigation against HB 126, including the “Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act”, before the Courts that is currently preventing the implementation of the law.

Political control: Both GOP Gov. Mike Parson and the Republican-led Legislature support laws against abortion.

Effect of Supreme Court ruling: The 2019 abortion ban kicks in because the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Moments after Friday’s Supreme Court decision overturning that precedent, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Gov. Mike Parson filed the necessary paperwork to immediately enact the state’s abortion ban.

Missouri bans most abortions after US Supreme Court ruling

What’s next: Many Missouri patients seeking abortions likely will travel to neighboring states, including Illinois and Kansas (which could change after August’s election). A new Illinois logistics center near St. Louis helps women from out of state find travel, lodging and childcare if they need help getting to the area for an abortion, and it connects them with funding sources.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson Signs a Proclamation

“Nothing in the text, history, or tradition of the United States Constitution gave un-elected federal judges authority to regulate abortion. We are happy that the U.S. Supreme Court has corrected this error and returned power to the people and the states to make these decisions,” Missouri Governor Parson said.

“With Roe v. Wade overturned and statutory triggers provided in HB 126, we are issuing this proclamation to restore our state authority to regulate abortion and protect life. Thanks to decades of conservative leaders, Missouri has become one of the most pro-life states in the nation, and our Administration has always fought for the life of every unborn child. Today, our efforts have produced what generations of Missourians have worked and prayed for: Today, we have won our fight to protect innocent life,” Governor Parson continued.

Governor Parson’s proclamation notifies the Missouri Revisor of Statutes of the effective date of Section 188.017 RSMo.

Section 188.017, or the “Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act,” includes several provisions:

  • Prohibits doctors from performing abortions unless there is a medical emergency;
  • Creates criminal liability for any person who knowingly performs or induces a non-medical emergency abortion and subjects his or her professional license to suspension; and
  • Protects any woman who receives an illegal abortion from being prosecuted in violation of the Act.

The “Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act” was included in HB 126 and contingent upon the U.S. Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade in whole or in part. Governor Parson signed HB 126 in 2019.

Governor Parson’s Administration is coordinating with the Missouri Attorney General to quickly resolve any litigation against HB 126 before the Courts that is currently preventing the implementation of the law.

Officials Release Statements after Roe v. Wade decision

The Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee and the Missouri Democratic Party released the following joint statement:

“Today will be a day branded into the memories of millions of Missourians as the day we lost not only our right to privacy, but our bodily autonomy.

Missourians know what’s best for them and their families, and today that has been stripped away from them. Today, the Supreme Court has ruled that Republicans can steal the right of survivors of rape and incest to determine what is best for them.

Republicans will not stop with abortion. They will continue to strip away access to birth control and contraception, in vitro fertilization, and same-sex marriage. Just this past session, Missouri Republicans proposed bills criminalizing the treatment of ectopic pregnancies and crossing state lines to have an abortion in a state where the right to privacy and bodily autonomy is respected.

The Missouri Democratic Party and the Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee believe the decision if and when to start a family is a serious and personal decision, not one that any politician should be a barrier to.

We stand with the millions of Missourians who believe in the right to abortion and against government intrusion.”

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt today issued an opinion to the Missouri Revisor of Statutes that “triggers” parts of Missouri’s House Bill 126, effectively ending abortion in the State of Missouri. Missouri is the first state in the country to do so.

“Today, following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, with the issuance of an attorney general opinion, my Office has yet again reinforced Missouri’s dedication to protecting the sanctity of life, both born and unborn. With this attorney general opinion, my Office has effectively ended abortion in Missouri, becoming the first state in the country to do so following the Court’s ruling,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “My Office has been fighting to uphold the sanctity of life since I became attorney general, culminating in today’s momentous court ruling and attorney general opinion. I will continue the fight to protect all life, born and unborn.”

Section B of HB126 states, “The enactment of section 188.017 of this act shall only become effective upon notification to the revisor of statutes by an opinion by the attorney general of Missouri…”

And Section 188.017 that is “triggered” by an attorney general’s opinion states, in part, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no abortion shall be performed or induced upon a woman, except in cases of medical emergency…”

Thus, with the opinion from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, abortion, except in cases of medical emergency, is now outlawed in the State of Missouri.

The opinion states, “By issuing this Attorney General Opinion No. 22-2022 and providing it directly to you, I hereby provide notification to the Revisor of Statutes, pursuant to § 188.017.4(1), that the United States Supreme Court has overruled, in whole or in part, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), restoring or granting to the state of Missouri the authority to regulate abortion to the extent set forth in § 188.017, RSMo, and that as a result, it is reasonably probable that § 188.017 would be upheld by the court as constitutional.”

The full opinion can be found here.

Washington D.C.- Congressman Billy Long issued the following statement after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

“Today, the Supreme Court made the right decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health,” Congressman Long said. “Six justices correctly overturned one of the worst decisions in Supreme Court history. Roe v. Wade has no basis in Constitutional law, and forced the states to accept the barbaric practice of abortion. I’ve never understand how a civilized society could possibly condone the killing of an innocent child in their mother’s womb. This is simply unconscionable to me and was for 49 years.

I am thrilled the State of Missouri has now outlawed all abortions in the state, in accordance with our “Trigger Law” to ban abortion immediately after Roe was overturned. Now I hope that we never look back.”

Oklahoma

Abortion services were halted in Oklahoma in May after Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill that prohibits all abortions with few exceptions. However, abortion laws are being challenged in lower courts in the state.

Political control: Republicans in Oklahoma have a supermajority in both chambers of the Legislature and a Republican governor up for reelection this year who has vowed to sign “every pro-life legislation that came across my desk.”

Background: Abortion services were halted in Oklahoma in May after Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill that prohibits all abortions with few exceptions. The ban is enforced by civil lawsuits rather than criminal prosecution. Republican lawmakers have been pushing to restrict abortion in the state for decades, passing 81 different restrictions since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Effect of Supreme Court ruling: The U.S. Supreme Court has little practical effect given that abortions are no longer being provided in Oklahoma. However, because several Oklahoma abortion laws still are facing legal challenges in lower courts, it’s possible that the abortion bans in place could be temporarily lifted. Oklahoma also has a “trigger law” that outlaws abortion immediately with the overturning of Roe.

What’s next: Given the fierce opposition to abortion from the governor and Legislature, Oklahoma will continue to prohibit the practice if states are given the option to do so. Meanwhile, abortion providers who had been operating in the state are taking steps to help patients seek abortions out of state, including coordinating funding for these women and developing a referral network of therapists to help address complications before or after a woman receives an abortion.

Officials Release Statements after Roe v. Wade decision

Oklahoma Attorney General O’Connor released the following.

“After almost 50 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has wiped one of the most horrifying opinions in American history from the books.  It has courageously done so in the face of intimidation, leaks, violence, and even an assassination attempt,” Attorney General O’Connor stated. “Roe not only took away over 60 million lives, it also barred Oklahomans and all other Americans from protecting our unborn children. We should help every woman facing a crisis pregnancy, but not at the cost of the innocent child’s life. This is truly a day for celebration and thanksgiving.”

Governor Kevin Stitt released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade:

“I am very excited that the Supreme Court made this courageous decision. Abortion is a state’s rights issue and it belongs to the people. I promised Oklahomans I would sign every pro-life bill that came across my desk and I am proud to have kept that promise, especially today as Oklahoma now has trigger laws to ban abortion in our state. I am proud to be called America’s most pro-life governor and I’m looking forward to the rest of the country following Oklahoma’s lead to protect life.”

Kansas

Voters will decide on August 2nd whether the state constitution protects the right to an abortion. 

Political control: Kansas has a legislature controlled by Republicans who want to ban or restrict access to abortions but a Democratic governor who supports access and is up for re-election this year.

Background: Under current law, Kansas does not ban most abortions until the 22nd week of pregnancy, when they’re allowed only to save a patient’s life or to prevent “a substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.” The state Supreme Court in 2019 declared that access to abortion is a “fundamental” right under the state constitution, granting stronger protections to abortion rights than the U.S. Constitution does currently. State law, however, doesn’t allow providers to dispense abortion medications through telemedicine consultations.

Effect of Supreme Court ruling: The U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade doesn’t change anything immediately in Kansas. The state Supreme Court blocked enforcement of a 2015 legislative ban on a common second-trimester procedure, and abortion opponents fear a host of other rules could fall to legal challenges in the near future. The GOP-controlled Legislature responded by putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot during the Aug. 2 primary. The amendment would declare that the state constitution does not grant a right to abortion. It would allow lawmakers to restrict abortion as much as the federal courts will allow — and to ban it if Roe is overturned.

What’s next: If voters approve the amendment, the Legislature would still have to approve the new restrictions, and lawmakers are out of session until January 2023. They can call themselves into special session with two-thirds majorities, but they’re likely to wait until after voters decide in the November general election whether to give Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly a second term.

Officials Release Statements after Roe v. Wade decision

U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. released a video statement addressing this historic decision. Senator Marshall said, in part,

“As an OBGYN, I had the honor of delivering more than 5,000 babies. Because of these wonderful moments and experiences, I believe life begins at conception. In fact, this is why today’s historic decision signals a new beginning for millions of unborn American children…Hopefully, today begins healing the wounds the pro-abortion agenda ripped open on American society almost 50 years ago… I want to remind everyone that putting an end to Roe vs Wade simply places this emotion-filled issue into the hands of the citizens of this country and their elected state officials, as opposed to unelected members of the federal judiciary… While the Democrat Majority Leader called for violence during a pro-abortion rally speech on the steps of the Supreme Court, we as a nation are better than this.  I urge all Americans to remain peaceful and respectful during the protests of this decision… Justice cannot and will not be served under the threat of mob violence so help us God.”
You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full video statement.

AG Derek Schmidt statement on U.S. Supreme Court decision in abortion case

“Today’s landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court was the right one because as a matter of constitutional interpretation, as the Court writes, ‘Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.’ Now, the Court explains, ‘The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.’

“Today’s decision means the power and responsibility to decide the important and difficult questions involving regulation of abortion have been returned to the people instead of federal judges. The people of Kansas will speak directly to this subject in less than six weeks. In voting on the Value Them Both amendment, Kansans will decide whether state judges may determine how abortion is regulated in Kansas or whether that is a responsibility for the elected and democratically accountable branches of state government.

“In my view, the increase in the number of abortions in Kansas the past two years after a long period of steady decline is distressing. I prefer a future with less abortion, not more. To preserve existing limits on late-term abortions, requirements parents be notified when minors seek abortion, and prohibitions on using taxpayer funds to pay for abortion, I will join with other pro-life Kansans in casting my vote for Value Them Both. On August 2, the people will speak and their voice will show the path forward for Kansas.”

Arkansas

Arkansas bans abortion under a “trigger law” following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Political control: Arkansas’ legislature is controlled by Republicans who have supported dozens of abortion bans and restrictions in recent years. Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson also has supported bans on abortion with some exceptions. He’s term-limited and leaves office in January. Republican nominee Sarah Sanders, press secretary to former President Donald Trump, is widely favored in the November election to succeed him.

Background: Arkansas law currently bans most abortions 20 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy, with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. The state has several other bans that have been struck down or blocked by the courts in recent years, including an outright abortion ban enacted last year that doesn’t include rape or incest exceptions. That ban has been blocked by a federal judge, and the state has appealed the ruling.

Effect of Supreme Court ruling: If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the state would ban abortion under a “trigger law” it enacted in 2019 that conditions a ban on such a ruling. That ban, along with the outright ban that’s been blocked by a federal judge in the state, only allows exceptions to protect the life of the mother in a medical emergency. Hutchinson has said he thinks bans should include rape and incest exceptions, but he has not called on the Legislature to add those to either of the bans.

What’s next: Arkansas’ “trigger” law banning nearly all abortions in the state takes effect if the attorney general certifies that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. The only exception in that ban is to protect the life of the mother in a medical emergency. The Legislature isn’t scheduled to meet until January, but Hutchinson is considering calling a special session to take up tax relief proposals. The Republican governor has not said he plans to include any legislation related to abortion on the agenda for that session.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson

“For decades I have said Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. Today, the Supreme Court overturned the abortion ruling and returned the issue to the states. Arkansas is a pro-life state, and we are able now to protect life.” – Twitter

https://twitter.com/AsaHutchinson/status/1540348164565340161?cxt=HHwWgsC8tdOfteAqAAAA