The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal nationwide. In May, a leaked design advice in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization regarding a law in Mississippi banning abortions after 15 weeks, it meant the court would remove nearly 50 years of legal precedent that upheld legal abortion. With a post-Roe America now becoming a reality, Yahoo News explains what will come next as abortion laws return to the states.
† The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal nationwide. With the landscape of a post-Roe America now coming into view, here’s what you need to know. So what happens to abortion now? Well, it won’t go away, but access will vary greatly depending on where you live.
22 states have laws on the books, both before and after Roe, that could immediately restrict almost all abortions. 12 of these are due to so-called trigger laws, or laws passed in anticipation of Roe’s destruction. These trigger laws vary from state to state, but in fact criminalize the procedure in all cases.
Four other states, Florida, Indiana, Nebraska and Montana, are pending legislation that suggests they could also ban abortion should Roe be quashed. On the other hand, 16 states, including much of the Northeast, the West Coast, and the District of Columbia, have laws that explicitly protect the right to abortion. Some companies have offered additional benefits to cover abortion procedure travel for employees living in states with disabilities and their families.
However, for the vast majority of women seeking abortions in those states, especially those from lower-income families, their options will be severely limited. How did this happen? In the decade since Roe v. Wade, numerous attempts to overturn the ruling have made their way to the Supreme Court. Most famously, Planned Parenthood v. Casey ended in a 5-4 decision to support Roe in 1992, but states did allow for abortion restrictions as long as they didn’t result in what I quote as an “unnecessary burden” .
And so abortion ended up before the Supreme Court again. The latest case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, centers on a Mississippi law that prohibits abortion after 15 weeks. And since May, we’ve known that the ruling on Dobbs would ultimately hit Roe.
† The political landscape is rumbling loudly tonight after the explosive leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion…
† The US Supreme Court, in fact, voted to overthrow Roe v. Wade.
† What’s next? People are crazy. And the attempts to change course are unlikely to abate anytime soon. We saw efforts in Congress to legalize abortion at the federal level. But as we saw in May in response to the leaked advice, these efforts are unlikely to succeed.