At least seven Republican-led states are considering enacting abortion bans similar to the Texas law the Supreme Court refused to block last week, The Washington Post reports.
The Supreme Court refused to block a Texas law banning abortion at six weeks, before most women even know they are pregnant, that will be enforced by a vigilante-style system allowing nearly any resident to sue any provider or person who helped a woman get an abortion after the cutoff. The law is widely expected to ultimately be struck down but the Supreme Court’s inaction has prompted other states to consider similar near-total bans.
“It’s something we’re already working on,” Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson said last week.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would have to “look more significantly” at the law.
“I welcome pro-life legislation,” he said. “What they did in Texas was interesting.”
Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert, who is also the founder and president of the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, has already shared a template of similar legislation that lawmakers across the country can implement.
But Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the state should wait until its own heartbeat ban is litigated in court.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said her office would review Texas’ law to “make sure we have the strongest pro-life laws on the books.”
The state already has just two facilities that provide abortions.
“If the Texas legislation stands a greater chance of being upheld by the Supreme Court, certainly we would move to pass legislation that would mirror what Texas did,” said South Carolina state Sen. Larry Grooms, whose own anti-abortion legislation was struck down as unconstitutional.
Other states considering similar abortion bans include Ohio, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kentucky.
The plans follow a year of state legislative sessions that saw 97 anti-abortion bills enacted across the country, according to the Guttmacher Institute, marking the highest total in history.
“This has been a seismic change,” Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst for the group, told The Washington Post. “Other states are clearly going to pay attention.”
“In many places really the only thing left to do is ban abortion,” she added. “And they have momentum.”