Repro Roundup: Which states would automatically abolish abortion if SCOTUS overturns Roe v Wade

Steph Black
3 min readOct 28, 2020

Welcome to my column, The Repro Roundup, in which I summarize abortion news happening around the country, why it matters, and what you can do about it — in 250 words or less.

What’s the issue? With Amy Coney Barrett officially on the bench, the likelihood of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade is all but guaranteed. Though Roe already doesn’t protect access to abortion for large swaths of people, a minimal baseline of legality from the federal government is crucial. This is because twenty-four states have trigger laws on the books, either state laws or state constitutional amendments, that will automatically make abortion illegal in the state should Roe fall. This map from author and activist Robin Marty outlines the states that would automatically ban abortion, states with questionable or ambiguous laws, and which states would protect legal abortion.

Notably, this map includes Florida as a state that would ban abortion even though there are no trigger laws on the books as of now. Right now, as it stands, if Roe were to be overturned Florida would be the only state in the South where a person could get an abortion. That said, it would be very likely that the state would ban abortion shortly after.

Why does this matter? As I’ve mentioned in previous roundups, Roe barely protects the right to legal abortion in this country. Many of its protections have already been gutted and abortion remains inaccessible to many women, especially low-income folks and women of color. That said, given that so many states would automatically ban abortion, it’s still imperative that there be a federal baseline for legality.

What action can I take?

  • Read Marty’s Handbook for a Post-Roe America. Please buy from an independent bookshop!
  • Learn more about trigger laws and which states have them on the books from the Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds, an organization that connects local abortion funds and also helps to finance abortion costs for patients
  • Subscribe to The Repro Queen of DC, my monthly newsletter on abortion access, activism, and writing on the frontlines of DC.
  • Subscribe to Repro 101, a seven-week educational email series about all things repro. Topics include the basics of funding abortion, clinic escorting, anti-choice violence, and more.

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Steph Black

Jewish, feminist, queer. Activist, writer in DC. Pro-abortion clinic escort and chronic volunteer. Get in touch, read my newsletter: linktr.ee/stephreflects