State Law Activity: A report by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights think tank, found that 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned. This includes 9 states with a pre-Roe ban that was never lifted and 13 states with a trigger ban that would take effect automatically should Roe be overturned.
Texas’s trigger law, passed in 2021, would allow the state’s pre-Roe abortion ban to take effect 30 days after Roe is overturned, criminalizing abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy. Moreover, Texas, Oklahoma, and Idaho have passed citizen-enforcement clauses as part of their trigger laws, granting citizens the power to enforce abortion laws and making it illegal for anyone to aid and abet a person seeking abortions.
Penalties under various laws include imprisonment for doctors who perform an abortion and “aid and abet” laws allowing citizens to take civil action against anyone who assists a person in obtaining an abortion. It is expected if Roe is overturned, several states will also seek to enact laws to make “abortion tourism” illegal. Further, according to a PEW report, abortifacient drugs are currently available via telehealth in 23 states, thanks to an FDA ruling during the COVID pandemic that allowed patients to consult with prescribers via telehealth and receive their medication by mail. However, Texas has passed legislation, and more than 20 states have proposed bills this year to limit or ban such access.
Emerging Employer Coverage Trends: A growing number of employers have started offering expanded benefits, including travel benefits for employees who cannot obtain abortion-related care in their home states. Some are offering these benefits through the company’s health plan while others are offering the benefits through a separate fund. The following examples are drawn from publications which can be accessed at the links provided:
We would like to acknowledge and thank Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP summer associate Charlie Wu for her invaluable assistance in preparing this blog post.