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More GOP-Led States Enact Abortion 'Trigger Laws'

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Texas and a few other Republican-led states are banning almost all abortions this week, because of the latest in a group of laws taking effect after the U.S. Supreme court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

So far, 13 states have passed so-called "trigger laws", which were designed to outlaw most abortions if the high court reversed Roe.

Most abortions are illegal in Texas now except to save the life of the mother with no exceptions in cases of rape or incest.

The response from opponents to the new law was swift. Flanked by abortion activists after the law took effect, Texas Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke attacked his Republican incumbent rival Gov. Greg Abbott, who signed off on the statute.

"You have to understand the cost and the consequences of Greg Abbott and why it's some important to defeat him," said O'Rourke.

In Tennessee, abortions are now illegal at fertilization, except to prevent death or serious injury. The law does not criminalize women seeking an abortion. 

Tennessee and Texas are among more than a dozen states that have passed so-called trigger laws. 

Most of those states started enforcing bans right after the June 24 decision.  Idaho, Tennessee, and Texas had to wait 30 days beyond when the justices formally entered the judgment.  

Idaho's new law that would have made all abortions felonies was supposed to take effect too.

A federal judge issued a preliminary order Wednesday that the state's abortion ban violated federal law. 

North Dakota's trigger law was set to take effect Friday. However, a federal judge on Thursday blocked the law's implementation as he weighs arguments from the state's lone abortion clinic that the law violates the state constitution.

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About The Author


Tara Mergener is an award-winning journalist and expert storyteller who spent the majority of her career as a correspondent in Washington, D.C. She worked at CBS Newspath for many years, reporting for all CBS platforms, including CBS News and CBS affiliates throughout the nation. Tara also reported at CNN, Hearst’s Washington, D.C. Bureau, and was a contributor on Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren. Tara has won dozens of awards for her investigative and political reporting, including Headliner Foundation’s Best Reporter in Texas, multiple Edward R. Murrow awards, Texas Associated Press