The West vs. the rest: What happens if Roe v. Wade is overturned
If the Supreme Court rules to overturn Roe v. Wade, 23 states have laws that would ban abortion, but most are in the South and Midwest.
If the Supreme Court rules like the opinion draft leaked on Monday suggests, the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision could be overturned and push abortion policy to the states,
There are 23 with pre-Roe laws or trigger laws that would ban abortion if the Supreme Court allowed it. Most of theses states are in the South and Midwest. Just four are in the West: Arizona, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming.
Here’s what what Western governors have said about the opinion draft and what’s expected to happen in Western states if Roe v. Wade is overturned, according to data from the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research and policy group that supports abortion rights:
Arizona has a pre-Roe abortion ban that is currently unenforced. The ban allows for exceptions to protect the life of the mother.
Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, hasn’t yet made a public comment about the opinion draft.
California has a law protecting the right to an abortion prior to viability, and on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and Democratic state legislature leaders announced a constitutional amendment to protect abortion in the state.
“We know we can’t trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution,” Newsom said in a statement. “Women will remain protected here.”
Colorado law protects the right to an abortion through a pregnancy. Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, said in a statement that states banning abortion were intruding into “deeply personal and religious decisions. In Colorado, people could “raise a family on their own terms,” Polis wrote.
Gov. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, said in a statement he joined “millions of hopeful Americans that Roe v. Wade will be put into the vault of history and that the American people and their elected representation will be empowered once again.”
In Nevada a law protecting the right to an abortion prior to viability. Gov. Steve Sisolak, a vulnerable Democrat up for reelection this year, said he would do “everything in [his] power to protect a woman’s right to choose” in a video posted to social media.
New Mexico is the only Western state with no law on the books banning or protecting abortion access, but Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, tweeted that access to abortion “is access to health care — and that won’t change here.”
The ramifications of this decision would be devastating for New Mexico women.— Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) May 3, 2022
Today and every day, the action we've taken to protect and expand abortion rights in New Mexico is more important than ever.
Access to abortion is access to health care – and that won't change here. https://t.co/RHoecFsUdS
Oregon law protections abortion throughout a pregnancy, and Gov. Kate Brown, a democrat, tweeted that all Americans should have access to abortion.
“We will fight to keep it that way, no matter what this Supreme Court decides,” she wrote.
All Americans should have access to abortion –– full stop.— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) May 3, 2022
Abortion is health care and protected by state law in Oregon. We will fight to keep it that way, no matter what this Supreme Court decides.
Then-Gov. Gary Herbert signed a trigger ban in 2020 that allows for exceptions to protect the life of the mother, in cases of rape or incest, or instances of “uniformly diagnosable” defects or brain abnormalities.
Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, retweeted a tweet from @SCOTUSblog, a blog about the Supreme Court, about the leak of the opinion draft being an earthquake in the court.
It’s impossible to overstate the earthquake this will cause inside the Court, in terms of the destruction of trust among the Justices and staff. This leak is the gravest, most unforgivable sin.— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) May 3, 2022
Washington protects abortion prior to viability, and Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, tweeted that the state “is and will remain pro-choice” and announced a rally at Seattle’s Kerry Park.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said during a press conference at Republicans were planning a federal ban on abortion and said Democrats needed a pro-choice majority to protect abortion rights.
Wyoming lawmakers passed abortion bans last year that would go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, hasn’t yet made a public comment about the opinion draft.