Barely 24 hours after abortion laws were reversed in the United States, many (conservative) states have already banned abortion. Some liberal states have announced that they want to protect the right to abortion.
Just hours after the US Supreme Court overturned abortion laws, Utah became one of the first states to enact an abortion ban. That happened the same evening. Republican Senator Daniel McCay stressed that it would also be wrong for women to have abortions in neighboring states.
Ohio also banned abortion “from the first detectable heartbeat of the fetus.” This law has been on the shelves since 2019. The decision of the US Supreme Court has ensured that the law must also be effectively complied with.
The state of Arkansas immediately contacted the state’s two abortion centers yesterday: they are no longer allowed to perform an abortion unless the mother’s life is in danger.
Also in Missouri, abortion will only be possible in “medical emergencies,” Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced. The same goes for Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
In Alabama, it was already illegal to have an abortion, even before the Supreme Court decision. West Virginia has also banned abortions. Yet there was one abortion clinic. However, it also closed its doors yesterday as it is no longer protected by the US Constitution and Roe v Wade. “That was the only thing that protected access to abortion,” said Katie Quinonez, director of the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia.
Arizona and Texas have also temporarily stopped providing abortions.
Protecting abortion laws
A number of liberal American states have meanwhile also announced that they want to protect abortion laws. Governors of California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York have said so. “We will always be a safe haven for anyone across the country who needs abortion treatment. You have my word,” New York State Governor Kathy Hochul wrote.
There have already been demonstrations in several places in the US against the removal of the federal right to abortion. Hundreds of protesters stormed the Arizona state parliament building Friday night in Phoenix, causing destruction, local media reported. MPs briefly had to flee to the lower floor but were able to return to their seats after police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.
In a Washington suburb, about 20 protesters raided the home of one of the nine chief justices, Clarence Thomas, one of five judges who support the abolition of the national right to abortion. In New York, according to local media, possibly 17,000 people marched through Manhattan against the Supreme Court verdict. Riots broke out there, and about 25 demonstrators were arrested.
Protests in several cities began shortly after Friday’s announcement of the court’s verdict outside the Supreme Court building in the capital Washington. However, the contents of the verdict had been known for some time through a leak. In Los Angeles, protesters blocked a freeway, but police lifted the blockage. Officers clashed with protesters in the center of the city.
What does the Supreme Court decision mean?
The US Supreme Court on Friday overturned women’s constitutional right to abortion. The predominantly conservative court paved the way for the 50 states to decide for themselves whether abortion is allowed.
Half of the states are expected to attempt to restrict or ban abortions.