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Abortion Clinics Close After Roe v. Wade Ruling


Planned Parenthood Building | Image by Ken Wolter/Shutterstock

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Abortion clinics started shutting down their operations on Friday after the Supreme Court rolled back Roe v. Wade.

The unprecedented 1973 ruling had, until this weekend, guaranteed access to abortion. Now, individual states will be able to ban, restrict, or expand abortion access as their state legislators see fit.

California plans on expanding legal protections for abortion providers and increasing the amount of state-taxpayer dollars going to clinics.

However, 26 states are expected to institute some kind of ban on the procedure in the coming months, according to an analysis by the Guttmacher Institute.

At present, at least 13 states have severely restricted abortion access over the years or had automatic trigger laws enacted upon Friday’s Supreme Court decision. Abortion is or will shortly be banned in these states:

Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

In the case of Texas, which has a trigger law, an abortion ban will go into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court issues its official judgment, which is the actual legal order distinct from the legal opinion published on Friday.

It could take as long as a month before the judgment is handed down and the 30-day countdown to enactment begins. The law will ban all abortions except for cases in which the expecting mother’s life is in danger or at risk of “substantial impairment of a major bodily function.”

In Alabama, the state’s three abortion clinics came under the purview of a 1951 law on Friday that would allow for the prosecution of providers. Staff at the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives in Huntsville informed women waiting in the lobby that they could not perform any more abortions that day. The women were provided with a list of out-of-state clinics that were still offering the procedure, per The Epoch Times.

Arkansas had a near-instantaneous trigger law. As soon as the Supreme Court published its opinion online, a clinic in Little Rock shut its doors and started calling patients to cancel their appointments.

“No matter how hard we prepare for bad news, when it finally hits, it hits hard. Having to call these patients and tell them Roe v. Wade was overturned is heartbreaking,” nurse Ashli Hunt told the BBC. “Not only are they taking the choice away from women, but they’re taking what I feel like I should be doing away from me.”

That sentiment was not shared by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who spoke on the topic with BBC.

“This is an innocent life that we’re talking about. And that innocent life that begins at conception,” she said. “[We] always need to look for more ways to provide for parents who want to be loving parents, and to make sure that we take care of those children.”

The abortion clinics that still operated in Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, and West Virginia closed their doors out of an abundance of caution.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted almost immediately after the decision was published, warning state prosecutors could immediately pursue legal action against abortion providers based on earlier laws:

“Texas law in a post-Roe world has already been written. Now that the Supreme court has issued Dobbs and overturned Roe, I will do everything in my power to protect the unborn and uphold the state laws duly enacted by the Texas Legislature.”

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