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Missouri on Friday became the first state in the union to activate its trigger law making abortion illegal after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
In a historic 6-3 decision Friday, the court tossed 49 years of precedent and held that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, returning the authority to regulate abortion back to the states.
In immediate response, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt issued an opinion that activates part of the state's fetal heartbeat law, effectively ending abortion in the state of Missouri.
"Today, following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, with the issuance of an attorney general opinion, my Office has yet again reinforced Missouri’s dedication to protecting the sanctity of life, both born and unborn. With this attorney general opinion, my Office has effectively ended abortion in Missouri, becoming the first state in the country to do so following the Court’s ruling,” Schmitt said.
“My Office has been fighting to uphold the sanctity of life since I became attorney general, culminating in today’s momentous court ruling and attorney general opinion. I will continue the fight to protect all life, born and unborn,” he added.
Missouri's law says that except in cases of medical emergency, "no abortion shall be performed or induced upon a woman."
The state is one of thirteen that have so-called "trigger laws" that will now go into effect, imposing restrictions or outright bans on abortion.
The timing for these laws to take effect will vary from state to state.
In Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, and South Carolina, courts have blocked or struck down laws banning all or most abortions. Given the Supreme Court's decision, those cases are now moot, and those laws could go into effect within weeks or months, according to the Washington Post.
Other states like West Virginia have pre-Roe abortion bans on the books that have not been enforced for years. Now those laws may be enforced.
In some Democratic-led states, like Michigan, Democratic leaders have called for anti-abortion laws on the books to be repealed or vacated.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel in May said that she would not enforce the state's 1931 abortion ban, which she called "draconian," should the Supreme Court overturn Roe.
Reports indicate that abortion clinics in states with strong pro-life laws are ceasing their operations.
"I'm hearing from clinic sources in Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas, Missouri that are halting abortions immediately (can't speak to ALL clinics in those states, but hearing from some) in response to SCOTUS decision. Also hearing Planned Parenthood has stopped abortions in Arkansas," NPR Sarah McCammon reported.
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