Missouri became the first state in the nation to ban abortion, triggering a wave of pro-abortion activists to tout misinformation about what this means for women moving forward in a post-Roe era. However, many of the pro-abortion advocates are failing to mention that these states banning or limiting abortions have key exceptions for medical emergencies or to preserve the life of the mother.
Pro-abortion politicians, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), have offered a steady stream of disingenuous talking points since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The New York lawmaker, for instance, recently asserted that “forcing women to carry pregnancies against their will kill them,” and activists on social media have made similar arguments. While some pro-life states are, in fact, banning most abortions, this does not mean women will not be able to access the life-ending procedure, particularly if there is a medical emergency or if a mother’s life is in danger.
Missouri, for example, became the first state to effectively ban abortion following the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling:
🚨BREAKING: With the Dobbs decision just handed down and a stroke of my pen — Missouri became the first state to effectively end abortion and has become the most Pro Life state in America. pic.twitter.com/8asHJKMIdo
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) June 24, 2022
However, despite the narrative touted by pro-abortion activists on the left, this does not mean a woman would be unable to get an abortion if her life was in danger, as the Missouri law bans abortion “except in cases of medical emergency.” A medical emergency, as defined by the bill, is “a condition which, based on reasonable medical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert the death of the pregnant woman or for which a delay will create a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.”
Overall, 13 states have “trigger laws” regarding abortion if Roe was overturned, and some have already taken action.
Arkansas, which had a trigger law, has now banned abortion as well, although it has exceptions “in the case of the life of the mother in a medical emergency.”
“People need to understand that we are dealing with the issue of abortion today, and life. That is what is at stake,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said in a statement.
Louisiana is also one of the 13 states with a trigger law, which went into effect “immediately.” Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed legislation updating the state’s original trigger law last week, expanding exceptions to include “instances of medical futility & ectopic pregnancies” — another favorite talking point of the left:
Further, this bill will confirm what is unclear in the 2006 legislation, which is that emergency contraception is available under SB 342 for victims of rape and incest prior to when a pregnancy can be clinically diagnosed. #lagov
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) June 21, 2022
Vetoing SB 342 would not accomplish that end. In fact, vetoing SB 342 would leave fewer exceptions in place than if the bill becomes law and would further confuse whether pregnancy begins at fertilization or implantation. For these reasons, I have signed SB 342 into law. #lagov
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) June 21, 2022
However, it is now facing legal hurdles as a New Orleans judge on Monday blocked the state’s move.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) in May signed legislation effectively ending abortion in the state, but once again, there are exceptions for rape or incest reported to authorities, or to preserve the life of the mother.
Kentucky also had a trigger law go into effect upon the Court overturning Roe, making it a “Class D felony for anyone to provide procedural or medication abortions in the state,” according to WFPL. However, despite the left’s narrative, Kentucky also provides exceptions to preserve the life of the mother or “prevent the permanent impairment of a life-sustaining organ.”
An Idaho law, which goes into effect 30 days from the day of the Supreme Court overturning Roe, makes it a felony to perform an abortion, but it, too, contains an exemption to save the life of the mother.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has also deemed the procedure illegal in the Lone Star State, but again, there is an exception made for preserving the woman’s life.
Abortions are set to be mostly illegal in Tennessee 30 days after the Roe ruling, but again, there are exceptions to save the life of the mother. It is also permissible if the pregnancy poses a “serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
South Dakota is also among states with a trigger law that bans abortions, with exceptions for the life of the mother.
Overall, the left’s narrative appears to be grossly misleading, as states that are moving to either limit or ban abortions are providing key exceptions for medical emergencies.