What abortion access would look like if Roe v. Wade was overthrown

Abortion would instantly become illegal in at least 12 states if the Supreme Court were to topple Roe v. Wade, and more are likely to follow suit soon.

Why it’s important: States have drawn up contingency plans for a postalRoe landscape, while state Republicans stepped up efforts to get the landmark decision overturned. And the future for Roe is on the court case.

Driver news: The court will hear oral arguments on Monday in two cases challenging a Texas law that effectively bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Abortion providers and the Department of Justice both challenge the law.

  • One month later, the court will hear an even larger abortion case that challenges the Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks. The state asks the court to overturn Roe.

Where it says: If the court were to eventually overturn the precedents that established the constitutional right to an abortion, a patchwork of state laws would govern the procedure.

  • Oklahoma on Monday will be the 12th state to have a “trigger law” in place – an abortion ban that would take effect immediately if the court overturned its precedents. Four states have even amended their constitutions to ban any protection of abortion rights.
  • Several other states do not have trigger laws in place, but would likely go swiftly to ban or strictly restrict the procedure if the court paves the way: Florida, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming would be the best candidates, according to new analysis from the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization for reproductive rights.
  • Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio and South Carolina have all enacted restrictive laws, which were then blocked by federal courts. They could try to revive these policies in a post-Roe world.

The other side: At least 15 states and Washington, DC have passed laws that will automatically keep abortion legal if Roe is overturned.

What they say: Overturn Roe would mean that “for the first time in two generations, states can use the democratic process to debate, reach consensus, and pass laws to protect unborn children and their mothers,” said Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman for Susan B. Anthony List. an anti-abortion advocate group.

Between the lines: While the Texas cases will not directly address whether the district court overturns or weakens Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the procedural issues they focus on can affect how states handle abortion laws.

  • “If the court were to rule that federal courts are powerless to stop state laws that prohibit the exercise of a fundamental federal constitutional right, then it gives states an easy way to get around. Roe and Casey, “Marc Hearron, senior adviser to abortion providers at Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, said in a press release last week.
  • And the Mississippi case a month later implies directly Roe.

Go deeper: The Supreme Court dreams of anti-abortion activists are coming true


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