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Anti-abortion states split on how to enforce ban, whether to prosecute or surveil doctors

The Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade is not only splitting the country into states where abortion is legal and illegal. It is also illustrating sharp divisions between anti-abortion states on whether to allow exceptions and how to enforce the law.

Nearly half of the states had “trigger laws” or constitutional amendments in place to quickly ban abortion in the wake of a Roe v. Wade ruling. Yet lawmakers and governors on Sunday illustrated how differently that may play out.

Some states allow exceptions, such as legal abortions to protect the life of the mother. Others are pursuing aggressive measures, including prosecuting doctors, looking into the use of abortion medications and travel to other states for the procedure and encouraging private citizens to sue people who help women obtain abortions.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, said the state will not file criminal charges against women who get the procedure. She said the state also does not plan to pass laws similar to Texas and Oklahoma, which urge private citizens to file civil lawsuits against those accused of aiding and abetting abortions.

“I don’t believe women should ever be prosecuted,” she said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “I don’t believe that mothers in this situation ever be prosecuted. Now, doctors who knowingly violate the law, they should be prosecuted, definitely.”

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