by Steven Ertelt
October 5, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-abortion law firm says abortion could quickly be illegal in some 30 states should the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision be overturned. The new report highlights the high stakes both sides in the abortion debate see in the upcoming presidential election.
According to the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, some states still have pre-Roe laws prohibiting abortions on the books that could be enforced should the landmark decision fall.
Other states, the pro-abortion firm says, could enact bans on most or all abortions quickly because they have strongly pro-life state legislatures and governors.
"Anyone who thinks abortion will still be legal in most states across this country after a Roe reversal hasn’t been paying attention," said Nancy Northup, President of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The group’s report, released just one month before the presidential election, is meant to rally abortion advocates behind pro-abortion Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. They have been attacking President Bush over his nomination of numerous pro-life judges to federal court positions.
A change of just two Supreme Court justices could shift the balance of the nation’s high court from 6-3 in favor of abortion to 5-4 in favor of overturning Roe.
Associate Judges Sandra Day O’Connor, John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who back abortion, and pro-life Chief Justice William Rehnquist are all considered likely retirees over the next few years.
The CRR report shows 21 states where abortion would almost certainly be illegal if Roe is overturned, nine states where abortion would likely be illegal, and twenty states where abortions would not immediately be prohibited.
In the last group of states, pro-life advocates would need to restore old laws, make changes to the state constitution or get around post-Roe court decisions that have held legal abortion constitutional.
21 states likely to ban abortion: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
9 states somewhat likely: Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.
20 states not likely to ban abortions soon: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.