With Amy Coney Barrett’s ascension to the Supreme Court, the future of Roe v. Wade — the landmark decision establishing the constitutional right to an abortion — appears less certain than ever.
If Roe falls, the legality of abortion will revert to the states, some of which are eager to abolish the procedure outright. In some areas of the country, anti-abortion activists and lawmakers have spent years carefully laying the groundwork to make abortion illegal in the event that Roe is overturned.
In nine states, unenforced abortion bans that were passed before 1973, when Roe legalized the procedure nationwide, are still on the books. If Roe disappears, they could potentially be reenacted.
Ten states have also passed laws to immediately ban all or most abortions the moment Roe is reversed. These so-called “trigger laws” exist in Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.