Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Login
BROWSE
Bloomberg Law
Welcome
Login
Advanced Search Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Abortion Laws Spur Diverging Court Rulings in States With Bans

July 1, 2022, 4:10 PM

Since the US Supreme Court struck down the federal right to abortion last week, the legal fight has quickly shifted to the states as judges blocked or cleared the way for so-called trigger laws that revived tighter restrictions on the procedure.

There are 13 states identified by the Guttmacher Institute as having laws banning abortions that were designed to kick in automatically once the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was overturned, while several more have bans or restrictions poised to take effect. On June 23, the high court wiped out two seminal cases recognizing a constitutional right to abortion before viability, sparking lawsuits from reproductive-rights groups.

Here’s a recap of the cases where judges have taken action, so far:

Florida

A judge said Thursday he’ll temporarily block the state’s new ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy because it violates the right to privacy in the state constitution. His injunction won’t go into effect until he issues a written order, leaving it unclear whether the law would be blocked before it is set to come into effect on Friday.

Kentucky

A judge issued a restraining order Thursday blocking the state from enforcing two 2019 laws banning abortion, pending a review of a lawsuit that claims the restrictions violate rights in the Kentucky constitution, including the right to privacy.

Louisiana

A judge on Monday signed a temporary restraining order against the state’s multiple trigger bans after abortion providers argued that they are unconstitutionally vague and that it was impossible to tell which of them, if any, are in effect.

Ohio

State supreme court on Friday denied an emergency motion from abortion providers, keeping in place a law prohibiting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

South Carolina

A federal judge on Monday cleared the way for the state to enforce its law outlawing abortions after the point at which a fetal heartbeat is detected. Before the overturn of Roe, the judge had issued an injunction blocking the law, which was passed in 2021.

Texas

A judge on Tuesday temporarilyallowed abortions up to six weeks of pregnancy to resume and blocked Texas prosecutors from bringing criminal charges against doctors, clinics and others who facilitate abortions. Texas is appealing the decision to the state’s supreme court.

Tennessee

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ended a preliminary injunction that prohibited the state from banning most abortions after about six weeks or when sought for allegedly discriminatory reasons.

Utah

A judge on Monday issueda temporary restraining order against the state’s trigger ban, after Planned Parenthood Association of Utah said in a lawsuit the law violates rights enumerated in the state constitution, including the right to privacy.

(Updates to include Friday ruling in Ohio.)

To contact the reporter on this story:
Evan Peng in New York at epeng25@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Katia Porzecanski at kporzecansk1@bloomberg.net

Steve Stroth

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.