Although the court’s opinion overturning Roe and giving states the authority to ban abortion was released June 24, its official judgment was not released until July 26, meaning that once each state’s attorney general certifies that the official judgment had arrived, the states’ trigger laws could come into effect 30 days later, on Aug. 25.
Texas, as the second most-populous state in the country, will be by far the largest state with a trigger law in effect. Under the law, all abortions will be illegal, though it does provide exceptions for when abortion may be necessary to prevent “serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function.”
Since Sept. 2021, Texas has had a “heartbeat” abortion ban in place meant to be enforced through private lawsuits filed by citizens against those who perform abortions. John McNamara, who heads the Texas Pregnancy Care Network of pro-life pregnancy centers, told CNA that TPCN has seen 38% more pregnant clients than it did in the same period, pre-pandemic. He said he expects an even larger increase in pregnant women seeking help after the trigger law takes effect. The TPCN has 178 locations across the state to provide free counseling, classes, and items for pregnant families.
“In the last 12 months, TPCN has provided over 1 million items to new parents such as packages of diapers, wipes, and car seats. With the new law change this week, TPCN anticipates its services will be needed more than ever, and that it will continue to see a significant rise in clients served,” McNamara said.
Idaho’s abortion law is currently facing legal scrutiny after an early August lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice sought to block its enforcement. Announcing the lawsuit in an Aug. 2 press conference, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the DOJ is suing the state because of what he argued is a conflict with a federal law that requires hospitals to provide stabilizing treatment to a person experiencing a medical emergency, regardless of their ability to pay.