After Roe v. Wade was overturned on Monday, the fight over abortion was fought in courtrooms around the nation as one side rushed to pass statewide prohibitions and the other attempted to stop or at least postpone them.

After deciding on Friday to terminate constitutional protection for abortion, the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door to a flurry of lawsuits from all sides.

Numerous legal cases will center on “trigger laws,” which were enacted in 13 states in advance of the decision and are intended to go into effect immediately. Lawsuits might also attack outdated anti-abortion regulations that Roe left in place but did not implement. Additionally, more recent abortion restrictions that were suspended pending the Supreme Court’s decision have begun to reappear.

Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which fought the case that led to the high court verdict, said on Friday, “We’ll be back in court tomorrow and the next day and the next day.”

Abortions after 15 weeks are now illegal in Florida, with limited exceptions, according to a new state law slated to take effect this week, which was requested to be blocked by a judge on Monday. Attorneys fighting to prevent Louisiana from outlawing abortion claim state laws are ambiguous about when a ban can go into effect and what qualifies as an exception.


An abortion rights organization and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed an urgent motion on Saturday to stop a 2021 law they fear would be used to outlaw all abortions. A trigger law with specific exceptions has been challenged in Utah by Planned Parenthood.

The American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project’s deputy director, Brigitte Amiri, stated that the group is considering “all possibilities” to preserve access to abortion.

Due to state regulations or ambiguity surrounding them, abortion services had been discontinued in at least 11 states as of Saturday.

The litigation may merely purchase time in such circumstances. Lawmakers in many conservative states might act fast to rectify any deficiencies noted even if judges prevent some bans or restrictions from taking effect.

In Louisiana, it is likely to be the case. Republican state attorney general said on Twitter on Friday that “trigger” laws that were passed in anticipation of the decision were now in effect. On that day, the state’s solely three abortion facilities were shuttered.

One of those clinics is among the plaintiffs in the complaint that was filed on Monday in state court in New Orleans, and they do not dispute that Louisiana can legally forbid abortion. Instead, they assert that the legislation in Louisiana now contains a number of inconsistent trigger mechanisms.

Additionally, they claim that it is unclear from state legislation whether abortions are prohibited before a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. Even while the statute makes an exception for “medically futile” pregnancies, such as those involving fetuses with fatal defects, the plaintiffs drew attention to the fact that the word is not defined in the law.

(AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Other trigger laws could be challenged across the nation on the grounds that the prerequisites for their imposition have not been reached or that it was unlawful for a previous legislature to bind the current one.

Whether state laws appropriately and explicitly provide for exceptions to safeguard the life or health of a pregnant woman may be called into question by other issues, according to Laura Herner, a professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Abortion rights advocates will argue that state constitutions preserve such a right now that the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that the right to an abortion is not guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

In Florida, where attorneys sought an immediate injunction to prevent a new law from taking effect on Friday, a judge heard arguments on the matter on Monday. In circumstances when the fetus has a fatal defect or where the pregnant woman’s life is in danger, exceptions to the 15-week prohibition may be made. It allegedly violates the Florida Constitution, according to the ACLU of Florida.

(Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press)

Arguments about the right to freedom of religion and the separation of church and state will be at issue in a lawsuit brought by a Jewish congregation in Florida.

As states attempt to determine whether abortion restrictions put in place before the Roe decision, also known as “zombie laws,” still apply now that there is no federal protection for abortion, additional lawsuits may be brought.

For instance, Wisconsin approved a legislation outlawing abortions in 1849, with the exception of saving the mother’s life. Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul stated that he does not think it is enforceable. Opponents of abortion have urged politicians to enact a new ban.

The district attorneys in Madison and Milwaukee have both indicated that they will not enforce the prohibition, but in the interim, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin said that it immediately ceased all abortions.

Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision this week, Planned Parenthood challenged a 1931 abortion ban in Michigan. A judge ruled in May that the ban could not be put into effect because it is against the state constitution. Supporters of abortion rights are currently working to place a proposed state constitutional amendment on the ballot in November in order to safeguard abortion and contraception.

Laws that permit people to seek bounties against those who assist others in getting abortions have been passed in Texas, Oklahoma, and Idaho. Legal difficulties regarding such problems are anticipated to arise in situations involving both surgical abortions and those employing medicine sent to patients. It is unclear whether this means persons can be prosecuted across state lines.

The Democratic-controlled California Legislature enacted a law on Thursday that will protect the state’s abortion workers and volunteers from civil judgements rendered by other states. Republican governor Charlie Baker of liberal Massachusetts signed an executive order on Friday forbidding state agencies from aiding other states’ inquiries into anyone who has a legal abortion elsewhere.

The legal issues are urgent, according to the challenge made in Arizona, where the majority of physicians ceased providing abortions.

The plaintiffs argued that even if abortions resume within the next few weeks or months, “patients may be at higher risk of medical complications or may lose access to abortion altogether as a result of the delay.”