The controversial 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision has remained a flash point of political controversy ever since. Justices will soon announce their decision on a Mississippi abortion case argued before it in December 2021.
Abortion advocates worry the nation’s highest court will overturn the decade’s-old precedent enshrined in Roe v. Wade.
States with large numbers of abortion advocates have either passed laws guaranteeing continued access or are pushing to pass legislation to do so. States where abortion opponents are prevailing have either restricted or are working on legislation that curtails abortion rights.
Laws restricting abortion range from bans as short as six weeks to as much as 15-week bans. A few states are considering banning the abortion pill.
Legislation giving greater abortion access range from declaring abortion a right to making it easier for women to get to abortion clinics.
Multiple states have introduced either abortion restrictions or expansions.
The following are likely to be successful based on an individual state’s political landscape.
Mississippi is the state whose 15-week abortion ban was argued before the court last December (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, et al.). The decision judges announce in the following months will shape the nation’s conversation about abortion rights. The controversial law does include an exception for medical emergencies but does not have one for rape or incest.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s so-called “Heartbeat Bill” was the first high-profile case for anti-abortion laws when it banned procedures after six weeks. Much of the controversy surrounding the law came from a mechanism that allows private citizens to sue abortion clinics they believe broke the law. The Supremes declined to rule the law unconstitutional when given the chance last year.
Florida’s Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis, Thursday signed a bill banning abortions after 15 weeks except in cases of medical emergencies.
Oklahoma’s Republican Governor, Kevin Stitt, signed legislation criminalizing abortion in the state, unless the procedure is necessary to save the mother’s life. Physicians performing abortions will face up to ten years imprisonment and fines up to $100,000.
The Republican-led legislature of Kentucky successfully overrode a Democratic governor veto to pass legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks and abortion pills by mail.
Further, abortions within the 15-week time frame are heavily restricted. The only exception for performing abortion in The Bluegrass State now is a medical emergency.
The Republican governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, signed a 15-week abortion ban without any exemptions.
Republican Governor Brad Little signed an Idaho law banning abortion after six weeks with exceptions for rape and incest. The new law permits family members of a person who got an abortion illegally to sue the abortion provider.
Wyoming signed and passed a bill that will create a total abortion ban, conditional upon the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The abortion ban has exceptions for rape, incest and medical emergencies.
South Dakota Republican Gov., Kristi Noem, signed a law that bans abortions by telemedicine and restricts use of the abortion pill.
States that have legislation pending but has not been passed by both legislative bodies include Louisiana, Indiana, Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Ohio and Arkansas.
Abortion has been expanded or enshrined in legislation passed by Maryland, Vermont, New Jersey, Colorado, Washington and California.
States with pending legislation expanding abortion access or with such protections already enshrined in state law include Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, New York and Maine.
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