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Roe May Be Gone, But Red States Still Face Major Roadblocks On Abortion Bans

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Republican-led states are contending with challenges to their laws restricting abortion, despite the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade with June’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision.

Government officials and activists have attacked pro-life legislation in Louisiana, Kentucky, Idaho, Kansas and elsewhere, according to the Associated Press. Such laws have faced court challenges to their active status as judges weigh their constitutionality.

Voters in Kansas rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment on Tuesday that would have declared abortion was not a right according to the state’s constitution. The measure also sought to deny state constitutional protection of government abortion funding.

The Justice Department (DOJ) sued Idaho Tuesday over a state measure scheduled to be effective Aug. 25, arguing it violates the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) by not allowing women to have abortions when their health could be seriously but non-fatally comprised. The state measure was written to come into full force after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe.

Idaho Attorney Gen. Lawrence Wasden claimed the federal government never tried to “engage Idaho in a meaningful dialogue” about its abortion laws in the six weeks since Roe’s reversal, calling the lawsuit “politically motivated.”

Kentucky’s almost complete abortion prohibition went into force following the Supreme Court’s June decision, but a Louisville judge froze the ban in July, according to the AP. A circuit court judge granted Republican State Attorney Gen. Daniel Cameron an emergency stay reimposing the restrictions, a move that will be appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court, the outlet reported.

A legal battle in Louisiana reportedly opened some abortion access despite state law almost fully banning abortion. The ban returned on August 1 following a post-Roe month that saw reduced reported abortions statewide, the AP said.

The DOJ did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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