WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Supreme Court court weighs the future of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, a resurgent anti-abortion movement is looking to press its advantage in state-by-state battles while abortion-rights supporters prepare to play defense.
Both sides seem to be operating on the assumption that a court reshaped by former President Donald Trump will either overturn or seriously weaken Roe.
“We have a storm to weather,” said Elizabeth Nash, state policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights. “We have to weather the storm so that in the future — five, 10, 15 years from now — we’re talking about how we managed to repeal all these abortion bans.”
The institute estimates that as many as 26 states would institute some sort of abortion-access restrictions within a year, if permitted by the court. At least 12 states have “trigger bans” on the books, with restrictions that would kick in automatically if the justices overturn or weaken federal protections on abortion access.
The current case before the court, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, concerns a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Roe v. Wade, which was reaffirmed in a subsequent 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, allows states to regulate but not ban abortion up until the point of fetal viability, at roughly 24 weeks.
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