May 3, 2022 - News

"Trigger law" would ban abortion in Texas if Roe v. Wade is overturned

Data: Axios Research; Map: Baidi Wang/Axios

A so-called "trigger law" that would go into effect in 30 days if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade would make performing abortion a felony in Texas.

Driving the news: According to a draft opinion obtained by Politico — which Axios cannot independently verify — the U.S. Supreme Court intends to overturn the landmark 1973 case, reversing five decades of constitutional protection for abortion.

Flashback: A law passed by the Texas legislature last year would make exceptions only to save the life of a pregnant patient or if a pregnant person risks "substantial impairment of major bodily function," per the Austin-American Statesman.

  • Under the law, doctors could face life in prison and fines up to $100,000 if they perform abortions.
  • The law does not make exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

Zoom out: Texas is one of 13 states with laws that would ban abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned, and more would likely follow suit quickly, per Axios' Oriana Gonzalez.

  • Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas — three of Texas' four border states — have similar laws.

By the numbers: A University of Texas poll in February found that 40% of Texans "strongly oppose" a law banning all abortions, including 20% of Republicans.

  • Another 13% of respondents said they "somewhat oppose" the law.
  • Only 20% of respondents — including 33% of Republicans — "strongly support" a total ban.
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