Slacker’s Syllabus: Trigger Laws

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With the Supreme Court’s likely overturn of Roe v. Wade looming, the phrase “trigger laws” has been popping up a lot lately.

Trigger laws will define a post-Roe America. But while there’s a lot of talk about which states have them and what that means for abortion access, not everybody knows what a trigger law is.

Let’s break it down.

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Trigger laws are laws that aren’t enforceable when they’re passed. But if one key factor changes, then they’re ready to go.

In the case of banning abortion, trigger laws are blocked by Roe.

But as Donna Crane, an adjunct professor at San Jose State University, told The New York Times, trigger laws are “on the books and operative immediately in the future event that the Court ever removed the protections of Roe.”

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