If the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade today, one abortion advocacy group believes 23 states would move to protect unborn babies by banning all abortions.
The Center for Reproductive Rights released a report at the end of November that analyzes state abortion politics and predicts what would happen if the infamous abortion ruling is overturned.
The report and online map “What if Roe fell?” estimates that 23 states “will likely try to prohibit abortion” if the case is struck down. Those states are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The total is up from 22 in 2018.
The pro-abortion group also listed Pennsylvania as a 24th “hostile” state toward abortion, but it noted that Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf would block any efforts to ban abortions and protect unborn babies, according to The Christian Post.
The report also noted that seven states recently “expanded access” to abortion through legislative efforts. They are: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state.
Nancy Northup, president of the pro-abortion group, said their research “shows the devastating landscape of abortion access if Roe is weakened or overturned.”
“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,” she said in a statement.
But this largely is fear mongering. Legal scholars do not think the U.S. Supreme Court will completely overturn Roe v. Wade, even with the current 5-4 conservative majority; and, even if the justices do, most states probably will not ban abortions completely or do so immediately.
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In 1973, Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, opened the doors to abortion on demand for basically any reason up to birth. The cases took away states’ ability to legally protect unborn babies from abortion before viability. If overturned, Roe would return that power back to the states.
For years, legal experts have thrown out predictions about which states may ban abortions and which may continue allowing unborn babies to be aborted.
In 2017, the pro-abortion group NARAL predicted 13 states would immediately ban abortions if Roe is overturned.
A previous estimate by the Center for Reproductive Rights predicted that 31 states and the District of Columbia would ban abortions if Roe is overturned. Yet another analysis by attorney Paul Linton in the journal “Issues in Law and Medicine” in 2012 put the estimate at between eight and 11 states, according to research by Dr. Michael New.
Sarah Lipton-Lubet, vice president for reproductive health and rights at the National Partnership for Women and Families, predicted the Supreme Court may chip away at Roe rather than overturn it completely, according to the Sun.
The justices recently agreed to take up a Louisiana abortion case, and oral arguments are scheduled for March. The case will be a good indication of where Chief Justice John Roberts stands on abortion jurisprudence.
Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric J. Scheidler told The Christian Post that most states likely would not enact a total abortion ban if the court does decide to overturn Roe.
“[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 in 2018.
“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.”