Abortion Would Still be Legal in 43 States Even if Roe v. Wade Overturned
by Steven Ertelt
April 13, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading pro-life organization that monitors state legislation says that abortion would still be legal in 43 states even if the Supreme Court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade. The group says the pro-life community would still have significant work ahead to stop abortions because the laws of most states would need to be changed.
Americans United for Life released a new comprehensive guide called "Defending Life 2006" that presents an overview of state laws on pro-life issues in all 50 states.
AUL pointed out that the Supreme Court is still at least one more vote away from overturning Roe and currently has a 5-4 pro-abortion majority. The 5-4 figure also assumes that new Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito will vote to overturn Roe, though pro-life groups say they expect the judges to take that position.
Should the high court reverse Roe at some point, AUL President Peter Samuelson says there “is almost no chance they will create a national right to life."
The decision on prohibiting abortions would turn to the states, but the battle begins with 43 states and the District of Columbia having legalized abortion.
According to a Baptist Press report, the AUL guide indicates:
* Abortion would be illegal in 8 states, but only seven would stop abortion throughout pregnancy because Rhode Island’s abortion ban only begins at viability, thus prohibiting only late-term abortions. Also, a federal judge has ruled that Louisiana’s ban on abortions has technically been repealed.
Arkansas, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin have abortion bans that would be enforced should Roe be overturned.
* In 26 states and in Washington, D.C., abortion would be legal.
* In 16 states, state court rulings have gone further than Roe v. Wade to prohibit a ban on abortion and pro-life groups and lawmakers would have to overcome those decisions to make abortion illegal.
AUL is urging pro-life lawmakers to continue to pass laws limiting abortion because they have been effective in driving down the number of abortions.
The group points to Mississippi, where the legislature has approved 15 pro-life laws over the last 13 years. In that time, abortions have declined 60 percent and the number of abortion facilities has dropped from seven to one.
Looking at pro-life laws on abortion and key bioethics issues like stem cell research and assisted suicide, AUL ranked each state in terms of the number and quality of pro-life laws it has passed.
The top 10 states include Michigan, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Kansas, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky.
The 10 worst states include Vermont, New Jersey, Oregon, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Alaska, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Montana.
AUL’s approach is seeking to “continue the public conversation that the Supreme Court cut off in 1973” with the Roe ruling, Samuelson said, according to the Baptist Press report.
Related web sites:
Americans United for Life – https://www.aul.org