EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — With Roe v. Wade being officially overturned, many around the nation are left with unanswered questions. Half of the states are expected to tighten abortion bans following Friday’s ruling. The Associated Press put together a list of all fifty states and how the new ruling could cause change in certain parts of the country. Here’s what this means for Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.
Political control: Indiana has Republican governor in favor of restricting abortion access as well as a Republican-dominated Legislature.
Background: Abortion in Indiana is legal up to about 20 weeks, with some provisions for medical emergencies. Patients must undergo an 18-hour waiting period before an abortion. Medical providers are required to tell patients about the risks of abortion and must say the fetus can feel pain around 20 weeks, which is disputed. Providers must report complications related to abortion; failure to report can result in a misdemeanor, 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Federal courts have blocked several restrictions in Indiana, including an attempt to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure and a law that would have required doctors to tell pregnant women about a disputed treatment to potentially stop a drug-induced abortion.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: No immediate changes are expected, but legislators unwilling to wait until the 2023 session could ask Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb to call a special session this summer to start modifying the state’s abortion laws.
What’s next: Republican legislative leaders said Friday they expected lawmakers to act on tightening Indiana’s abortion laws during a special legislative session starting July 6, but gave no further details about what restrictions would be considered. Earlier this week, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb called the Legislature into a special session to take up a tax refund proposal, but state law allows legislators to consider any subject.
Political control: Republicans have a supermajority in the Kentucky Legislature and have been restricting abortion rights since the 2016 election over the vetoes of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who supports abortion rights and will seek a second term in 2023.
Background: Kentucky bans abortions after 20 weeks, but all abortion services were temporarily halted in April after the legislature imposed new restrictions and reporting requirements on the state’s two abortion clinics. The clinics said they suspended abortions because state officials hadn’t written guidelines on how to comply with the new law. Noncompliance could result in stiff fines, felony penalties and revocation of physician and facility licenses. Abortions resumed after a federal judge temporarily blocked key parts of the law, including a provision banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: Under a “trigger law” enacted in 2019, abortion services in Kentucky immediately became illegal. The measure contains a narrow exception allowing abortion to prevent the death or permanent injury of a pregnant woman. Kentucky residents will be able to vote this November on a proposed amendment declaring there is no right to an abortion in the state constitution.
What’s next: Abortion-rights activists say the suspension of abortion services in April foreshadowed what would happen in Kentucky and other Republican-leaning states if Roe v. Wade was overturned. It likely ends several legal challenges pending against other Kentucky abortion laws including a 2018 measure that abortion-rights supporters say would effectively ban a standard abortion method in the second trimester of pregnancy. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in March that Kentucky’s Republican attorney general, Daniel Cameron, can defend the measure that was struck down by lower courts.
Political control: Illinois is overwhelmingly Democratic with laws providing greater access to abortion than most states. Democrats hold veto-proof supermajorities in the House and Senate, and the Democratic first-term governor seeking reelection this year, J.B. Pritzker, has promoted peaceful street protests to protect the constitutional right to an abortion.
Background: Abortion is legal in Illinois and can only be restricted after the point of viability, when a fetus is considered able to survive outside the womb. Although medical science determines viability at 24 to 26 weeks, Illinois law does not specify a timeframe, saying a medical professional can determine viability in each case. Abortions are also allowed after viability to protect the patient’s life or health.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: It won’t change access to abortion in Illinois. After the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, the Illinois Abortion Act of 1975 legalized abortion but enacted a “trigger law” that would reinstate the ban if Roe were overturned. That trigger law was repealed in 2017 in legislation that also required Medicaid and state employees’ group health insurance to cover abortions. The 2019 Reproductive Health Act replaced the 1975 law, large parts of which were never enforced because they were found to be unconstitutional.
What’s next: Like other states providing access to abortions, Illinois has seen a steady influx of patients crossing the state line for abortions in recent months and those numbers are expected to increase. Planned Parenthood of Illinois says it expects to handle an additional 20,000 to 30,000 patients in Illinois in the first year following the reversal of Roe.
For AP’s full list of states and what the new ruling means for them, click here.
The Associated Press helped contribute to this report.