Map shows bitter divide tearing USA apart: 'Dangerous path'

The US remains divided following Friday's decision by the Supreme Court to overturn the Wade vs Roe ruling which allowed women free rights to abortion for over half a century.

At least 26 American states are expected to ban abortion in the coming weeks, or severely limit access, with 13 acting immediately thanks to "trigger" laws that were designed to snap into effect following a Roe reversal.

A map of the United States shows what this ruling means for America, as only 20 states now have legal protections for abortion rights in place.

A map showing the US states that have trigger laws on abortion – some of which have already moved to ban it – and those which have abortion restrictions in place.
A map showing the US states that have trigger laws on abortion – some of which have already moved to ban it – and those which have abortion restrictions in place.

Currently, much of the country's south and parts of the midwest have already banned abortion as of Friday, while some will see changes within 30 days.

The states that had "trigger" laws in place include Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

Another five states had abortion laws pre-dating the 1973 Wade vs Roe trial and still remain in place today.

'This is an extremely dangerous path,' says Joe Biden

The decision was widely speculated after a majority court opinion was leaked in May prompting country-wide protests, and since Friday has been slammed by many US politicians.

President Joe Biden spoke out against the ruling on the weekend and said the court is "taking us on an extremely dangerous path."

"That's because Roe recognised the fundamental right to privacy, that has served as a basis for so many more rights we've come to take for granted," he said.

"It's a sad day for the court and for the country. The court has done what it has never done before: expressly take away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans."

Abortion rights demonstrators gather to protest against the Supreme Court's decision
Abortion rights demonstrators are protesting against the Supreme Court's decision to overrule Wade v Roe. Source: AAP

Abortion clinics already shutting down: 'Devastating'

In Texas, abortion clinics are already shutting down and staff are cancelling scheduled appointments, according to ABC radio show host Patricia Karvelas.

Dr Stephanie Mischell, family medicine physician in Texas, told the breakfast show host the ruling is "devastating" for women and girls in Texas, but also across the country.

"Since Friday, our Attorney General has stated that he will enforce the abortion ban that actually pre-dates Roe v Wade effective immediately," she explained.

"So even though we know [patients] could safely get abortions within their community, the state has our hands tied."

Dr Mischell, who has her own clinic in Dallas, said it's "heartbreaking" to have to tell patients she can't do the procedure.

"Having to continue to do that, it's not what I went into medicine to do," she said.

two women crying in protest after Supreme Court's abortion ruling
The court's decision has devastated women in America and across the world. Source: AAP

But even before Friday's decision, it was incredibly difficult to get an abortion in Texas, she explained.

Dr Mischell, like many others, have resorted to helping patients seek abortions out of state, in one where it's allowed, but this sometimes means "travelling hundreds of miles".

Anthony Albanese speaks out: 'A setback for women'

In Australia, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese remained silent on the matter prompting criticism on social media from some.

But on Monday, the PM said the US court's ruling is "a setback for women", during an interview on the ABC AM program.

"This decision has caused enormous distress. And it is a setback for women and their right to control their own bodies and their lives in the United States," he said.

"It is a good thing that in Australia, this is not a matter for partisan political debate."

Meanwhile, the minister for women, Katy Gallagher, urged Australians "remain vigilant because hard-fought-for wins before our parliaments can be taken away easily," The Guardian reports.

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