by E. Sebastian Arduengo
A more conservative U.S. Supreme Court would likely result in the gutting of Roe v. Wade, which for close to 40 years has guaranteed women’s access to reproductive health care. A decision overturning Roe wouldn’t make abortion illegal nationwide, but would have the effect of putting the issue in the hands of state governments – a lot like the issue of same-sex marriage.
Anyone who’s been following news about what the states have been doing to limit access to abortion providers knows that this is disconcerting news for women.
In Mississippi over the summer, the state legislature passed a bill requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals that would have had the effect of ending abortion in the state, the implementation of which was stayed by a federal judge. In Louisiana, a law was passed making abortion a strict liability medical procedure, meaning that patients would be able to recover against abortion providers without any proof of fault or negligence. That law too, was held to be unconstitutional by a judge.
Many more states are itching for the day when the Supreme Court says that reproductive rights are no longer protected by the Constitution. The Center for Reproductive Rights, says there are at least five states that have so-called “trigger” laws that would automatically make abortion illegal without a post-Roe clash in the state legislature. Others would simply have their pre-Roe anti-abortion laws go into effect. Reproductive rights would be in immediate danger in about 30 states the second Roe is overturned.