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The decision by the court’s conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday (just after midnight on Saturday morning AEST) is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

The state of Missouri is acting quickly to enforce a state law banning abortion.

An abortion-rights protester becomes emotional following the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. (AP)

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said he was acting immediately to enforce a state law banning abortion except in “cases of medical emergency”.

“With this attorney general opinion, my office has effectively ended abortion in Missouri,” said Schmitt, a Republican who also is running for US Senate.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, who in 2019 signed into law a near total ban on abortion, said the state will ask a judge to lift an injunction and clear the way for enforcing the ban.

An abortion-rights activist reacts outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. (AP)

At the time, the Alabama law was the nation’s most stringent abortion ban, making it a felony to perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy with no exemption for pregnancies caused by rape and incest.

“Today is a giant step forward for our country as, after decades, Roe is finally overturned. Folks, after almost 50 years of standing up for unborn babies, our prayers have been answered,” Ivey said in a statement, adding “now that Roe is overturned, the state will immediately ask the court to strike down any legal barriers to enforcing this law.”

New abortion laws ready to go

Thirteen states, mainly in the South and Midwest, already have laws on the books that ban abortion in the event Roe is overturned.

Demonstrators protest about abortion outside the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP)

Another half-dozen states have near-total bans or prohibitions after 6 weeks of pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.

In roughly a half-dozen other states, the fight will be over dormant abortion bans that were enacted before Roe was decided in 1973 or new proposals to sharply limit when abortions can be performed, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.

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