Nearly Half of U.S. States Could Ban Abortion if Roe v Wade Is Overturned, Abortion Rights Group Says

Mikaela Mathews | Contributor | Monday, December 2, 2019
Nearly Half of U.S. States Could Ban Abortion if Roe v Wade Is Overturned, Abortion Rights Group Says

Nearly Half of U.S. States Could Ban Abortion if Roe v Wade Is Overturned, Abortion Rights Group Says

According to an abortion rights group, 24 states are likely to ban abortion should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Christian Post reported that the Center for Reproductive Rights updated its “What if Roe fell?” map earlier this month for the first time in three years. The map predicts the moves of each state, the District of Columbia, and the American territories should the controversial lawsuit revert. The categories are “expanded access,” “protected,” “not protected,” and “hostile.”

In a startling move, the Center placed 24 states under the “hostile” to abortion category: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The updated categories come in the wake of several states passing severe abortion laws, including Georgia’s strict restriction on abortions after six weeks and Alabama’s promise to federally convict doctors who perform abortions.

The map “shows the devastating landscape of abortion access if Roe is weakened or overturned,” said Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center, in a statement. “We have analyzed the laws and constitutional protections of every state. This tool is a call to action to pass state and federal laws protecting abortion rights and abortion access.”

Seven states have expanded access and protection for abortion: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

Fourteen states protect abortion rights: Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

Despite the warning from the nonprofit, some pro-life groups believe reports such as this are bloated. According to the Christian Post, Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric J. Scheidler thinks a total ban on abortion is highly unlikely.

“[It’s] far more likely that states would seek to further restrict abortion, in line with the view of most Americans, with measures like banning late-term abortion and holding abortion facilities to the highest health and safety standards,” he said.

“I’d expect to see the U.S. Supreme Court uphold greater restrictions on abortion than we’ve seen so far, such as the bans on abortion after 20 weeks that have been passed in some states.”

As for the laws that have been passed earlier this year, none of them have been enforced. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have sued most of the states and wrapped up the proceedings in court to delay any action.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Zimmy Tws

Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.