“Utter chaos lies ahead,” Center for Reproductive Rights president and CEO Nancy Northup told Teen Vogue in a statement on the day Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court. Barely a week later, we’re in the thick of exactly that. We’re doing our best here at Teen Vogue to keep you apprised of what’s going on, listing state by state what the current laws are on abortion and your options. But the answers keep shifting, making it hard for us to do our jobs — and much, much harder for abortion-seekers, providers, and repro advocates to find that life-saving info.
Searches for abortion have spiked; our story detailing where abortion is illegal right now is the most-viewed story in our recent abortion coverage. AbortionFinder.org saw an increase in traffic 10 times that of the weekend prior to Roe being overturned.
The confusion is being caused by the extreme variation in different states policies, which we knew would be the case. On Friday, abortion clinics in states such as West Virginia and Texas had to start shutting down services while clients for abortion services were preparing to leave for their appointments or already in the clinic waiting rooms. Some clinics in Texas are reopening after a Tuesday injunction, but only for pregnancies up to six weeks because of a 2021 law — an extremely limiting criteria.
Idaho’s law is so vague that those in the state don’t know how it will be applied when it goes into effect later this summer. South Dakota's last abortion clinic is preparing to move to Minnesota. Wisconsin is one of a handful of states that had a pre-Roe abortion ban on the books; Governor Tony Evers is trying to sue to get its law — which dates back to 1849 — overturned.
Meanwhile, new restrictions continue. In Tennessee, which did not have a trigger ban — an automatic abortion ban in the case of Roe being overturned — in place but is surrounded by states that do, a six-week ban just went into effect.
Even the righteous backlash to the SCOTUS decision is creating more confusion. States that had trigger laws in place immediately began fielding legal challenges; Louisiana and Utah, two of those 13 states, were the first to have the laws blocked on Monday. Trigger law challenges are ongoing in Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Texas, according to NBC News.
The confusion will be exacerbated by impinging online surveillance. Facebook appears to be automatically removing posts that offer to mail abortion pills. As pointed out by tech activists Evan Greer and Lia Holland, the surveillance is already being facilitated by state legislation. There’s a law in Texas, for example, that allows anyone to sue a person for “facilitating access to abortion care,” including sharing information online. An antiabortion group is lobbying for laws to be passed in antichoice states to prevent residents from going to other states to access abortions.