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May-05-2022 12:49printcomments

U.S. Supreme Court Poised to Reverse Roe v. Wade

Thirteen states have trigger laws that would automatically ban abortions.

Roe v. Wade

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA.) - A leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion in the Mississippi case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, indicates that the Court is poised to reverse the 1973 landmark decision of Roe v. Wade.

Dobbs would not ban abortions. Rather, individual states would decide whether and when abortions would be legal. States could continue to allow them and Congress could ban them. The draft is not the final decision which would probably not be released until this Summer.

The expected reversal was foreshadowed when the Supreme Court’s refused to enjoin the Texas anti-abortion law (Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson). Actually a reversal was likely once conservatives Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett became Associate Justices of the Supreme Court.

Thirteen states — Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming have trigger laws that would automatically ban abortions in the first and second trimesters if the landmark case Roe v. Wade were overturned. Other states are expected to ban abortions in the wake of Dobbs.

Women who want to terminate a pregnancy will have three choices: travel outside the state, manage their own abortion at home using FDA-approved pills or less-safe methods, or carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.

I was born and spent my early years in Massachusetts when abortions there were illegal, birth control was prohibited, and unmarried mothers were stigmatized. I remember stories about pregnant women sent ostensibly to visit relatives but really went to New York where abortions were legal.

Those without means oftentimes resorted to self-induced abortions by using a coat hanger or other object causing serious injury and even death.

The coat hanger became a symbol of “self abortions” for those women who went to desperate lengths to terminate a pregnancy because they lacked access to an abortion.

Anti-abortion laws disproportionately affect minority and low income women. Abortion rights are about equality; restrictions on abortion are the latest in a long history of treating women as second-class citizens.

Reversing Roe v. Wade won’t change the number of women who will seek abortions; it will just block their access to getting them safely.

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