trigger law

noun

variants or less commonly trigger ban
plural trigger laws also trigger bans
: a currently unenforceable law that upon the occurrence of an event (such as a court decision) becomes enforceable
A Louisiana judge blocked enforcement on Monday of statewide abortion ban designed to automatically go into effect when Roe [v. Wade] fell. Two abortion rights groups on Monday filed a challenge to Louisiana's trigger law, which went into effect following the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that struck down the federal right to abortion.Olafimihan Oshin

Examples of trigger law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When Gonzalez needed care, Alabama's trigger law prohibiting nearly all abortions had gone into effect, after Roe was overturned. Kendall Ross, ABC News, 26 Mar. 2024 Alabama's trigger law prohibiting nearly all abortions had gone into effect, after Roe was overturned. Nadine El-Bawab, ABC News, 16 Dec. 2023 Those trigger laws, unenforceable at the time they were passed, became a stark reality for millions of people of childbearing age when Roe was overturned. Kavitha Surana, ProPublica, 27 Nov. 2023 New data from the Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey found that depression and anxiety symptoms increased among women of reproductive age in states with trigger laws after Roe v. Wade was overturned. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 24 Jan. 2024 Texas’s trigger law, which passed following Dobbs, opened up medical providers who perform abortions to criminal prosecution and allowed for civil lawsuits. Nicole Russell, Washington Examiner, 12 Jan. 2024 Seven of the 10 states have trigger laws in place that went into effect after Roe v. Wade was overturned. Jennifer Berry Hawes, ProPublica, 11 Jan. 2024 The trigger law, passed in 2019, took effect when Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022. Aliza Chasan, CBS News, 12 Dec. 2023 The trigger law implemented a ban on abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy as soon as Roe was struck down. Ben Brasch, Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trigger law.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1983, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trigger law was in 1983

Dictionary Entries Near trigger law

Cite this Entry

“Trigger law.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trigger%20law. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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