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If Roe v. Wade is overturned by the US Supreme Court, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion, impacting more than 40 million women of child-bearing age, according to a report.
The Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based pro-choice research organization, reported last year that 22 states already have anti-abortion laws that would kick in as soon as Roe v. Wade falls.
Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Nine states in this group have pre-Roe abortion bans still on the books; 13 states have a so-called “trigger ban” that is tied to Roe being overturned; and five states have laws passed after Roe banning nearly all abortions.
Another dozen states have six- or eight-week abortion bans that are not currently in effect; while one state – Texas – has a six-week abortion ban in effect, and four states have constitutions that bar a right to abortion.
An additional four Republican-controlled states – Indiana, Montana, Nebraska and Florida – are poised to pass laws banning abortion.
Florida’s 15-week abortion ban will go into effect in July. The law makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, only to save the life of the mother.
On Monday, a leaked draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito signaled that the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide could be on the chopping block, Politico reported.
As a result of the anticipated ruling, pregnant women could be forced to travel long distances to obtain legal abortion services in those states where the procedure will still be legal.
It’s still unclear if the draft represents the conservative-controlled court’s final word on Roe, given that it’s not uncommon for opinions to change before a ruling is formally announced.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito, a member of the court’s 6-3 conservative majority, writes in the 98-page opinion, marked “1st Draft.”
The opinion revolves around a case challenging Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks, known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
If the nation’s highest court decides that there is no constitutional right to abortion, it will allow Republican-control states to restrict or fully ban pregnancy termination.
Since the passage of Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago, states have enacted more than 1,330 laws restricting access to abortion.
In September 2021, Texas adopted the nation’s most drastic law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, even if resulted from rape or incest.
The law allows private citizens to collect what critics call a $10,000 “bounty” if they successfully sue an abortion clinic or anyone who helps a patient get an abortion after six weeks.
In December, the Supreme Court decided to keep the law in place.
Emboldened by the court’s refusal to strike down Texas’ law, neighboring Oklahoma last week adopted a similar ban on abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Critics of these “heartbeat bills” have pointed out that many women don’t even know they are pregnant at six weeks.
Earlier last month, Oklahoma lawmakers voted to make performing abortions a felony and imposed $100,000 fines and ten-year prison sentences on doctors who carried out the procedure.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican who once bragged that he was the nation’s “most pro-life governor,” has vowed to sign any anti-abortion legislation that crosses his desk.
Meanwhile, 16 states and the District of Columbia have protected access to abortion in state law.
California is considering measures to make itself an “abortion sanctuary” if Roe is defeated.
The Supreme Court court is expected to rule on the Mississippi case before its term ends in late June or early July.
With Post Wires