A tug of war over the future of abortion access is playing out in courts across the United States after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, adding to a legal landscape defined by uncertainty, confusion and rapid change.
Seven states have now outlawed abortion, but federal judges in Kentucky, Louisiana and Utah have temporarily blocked “trigger bans” in those states from taking effect.
In states like Arizona, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin, Republicans have dusted off century-old abortion laws that were never taken off the books — some predating the Civil War — leading to challenges to their legality.
Here’s what you need to know:
On Thursday, Judge John C. Cooper of the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Tallahassee said he would temporarily block a Florida law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, ruling that the law violated privacy protections found in the Florida constitution. The judge’s ruling will not be binding until he signs a written order, though, so Florida’s 15-week ban, set to take effect on Friday, will be enforceable for a brief time until he does.
In Arizona, Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that a statute banning all abortions that was enacted before Arizona became a state is now enforceable. The decision contradicts a position taken by Arizona’s governor, who has said that the century-old law was superseded by one he signed in March allowing abortions up to 15 weeks.