The Supreme Court in the United States has overturned the landmark Roe vs Wade ruling that made abortion legal.
Abortion will be almost instantly banned in 13 US States, it has been claimed.
It is now understood 26 States in total are either eventually certain or likely to make moves to ban abortion outright.
The decision has been described as a "constitutional earthquake" that will reverberate across America for years to come.
Fears are rising that the controversial judgement could spark mass protests and further civil unrest across the country.
Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming all have trigger laws in place.
It has been reported that the laws in Kentucky, Louisiana and South Dakota go into effect immediately.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the ruling: “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives."
In the last major poll, 61% of Americans believe abortion should be legal.
The Supreme Court's ruling is the culmination of five decades of legal and social action by abortion opponents.
Most of the laws make exceptions only in cases where pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or if an abortion is necessary to save a patient’s life.
In 1973 the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution provided a fundamental right to privacy that protects a woman’s right to abortion.
In the US, abortion is a highly controversial issue and can often lead to harassment, online or in-person and popular protests as people argue about a woman's right to choose.
In 1970, 'Jane Roe' - the name used to protect Texas' Norma McCorvey - took action against the district attorney of Dallas County Henry Wade.
McCorvey had sought an abortion, but it was not allowed in Texas law at the time unless they were performed to save the life of the mother.
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