With the recent controversy surrounding the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationally, it appears that the new administration’s decisions regarding the medical process could potentially leave 22 states without legal means of performing such procedures on women.
With the announcement of new Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a conservative traditionally religious figurehead, it appears that these decisions could be passed down some day.
NPR reported that making the switch back to rules prior to the landmark legal case wouldn’t necessarily automatically render abortion illegal in every single state across the nation. It would, however, revert back to the old way of allowing the decision regarding abortion legality to be made up by each individual state, where a network of laws is already implemented that basically has the option for abortion more or less available, being significantly dependent on each states’ political tendencies.
“We think there are 22 states likely to ban abortion without Roe due to a combination of factors including existing laws and regulation on the books and the positions of the governor and state legislature,” says Amy Myrick, a staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, a group that represents cases involving abortion-rights advocates in a court setting.
“The threat level is very high now,” Myrick added to her comments.
Throughout his politico/judicial career, Kavanaugh hasn’t made any specific statements in regards to the Roe v. Wade decision and subsequent laws, but did, in 2006, mention that he would follow it as a “binding precedent” as dictated that he must by law.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, who has long been an advocate for Donald Trump as well as the appointment of Supreme Court Justices who would overturn the anti-abortion laws, stated that “Judge Kavanaugh is an experienced, principled jurist with a strong record of protecting life and constitutional rights.”
Despite the current presence of Roe v. Wade laws, it hasn’t stopped plenty of states from severely limiting access to abortion services, or even just simply putting “trigger” laws on the books that would effectively illegalize abortion in that specific state if the Roe laws were to be overturned at any point in time whatsoever. The known states to have implemented such “trigger” laws are Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota, with another dozen or so states having pre-Roe abortion bans still on the books ready to re-enact if it is federally overturned.
“They are designed to make abortion illegal immediately,” says Myrick.
There are already several major challenges against state abortion laws that are being passed down through judiciaries. One of these will have to succeed in persuading the majority of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade in order for further measures to be taken against it.
“It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of what or when,” says Sarah Lipton-Lubet, vice president for reproductive health and rights at the National Partnership for Women and Families.