More than half of US states will likely outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade overturned

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


While Tuesday’s leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion has many convinced that the end of Roe v. Wade is forthcoming, such a ruling would not immediately, permanently, or even assuredly end the practice of abortion in the United States.

Rather, should the Supreme Court strike down the 1973 decision, abortion would become a matter for each state to decide. Were that to be the case, one pro-choice group predicts that 26 states would likely ban abortions.

The Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based pro-choice organization that started in 1968, predicted last October that banishments would be either total or limited to fewer than 20 weeks of gestation. The organization has created an interactive map that shows the banned vs unbanned landscape that would likely emerge in a post-Roe America.

Based on their assessment, the entirety of the Pacific Coast and the East Coast from North Carolina through Maine would continue to offer abortions. The practice would remain legal in Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Kansas, Illinois, and Minnesota as well. But the rest of the flyover states would be home to general abortion prohibitions.

Dr. Herminia Palacio, Guttmacher’s president and CEO, the primary says the most profound change will be that women will have to travel greater distances to get an abortion.

According to Guttmacher, the highest average travel distances would be from Louisiana (630 miles), Florida (567 miles), Texas (525), Mississippi (428), and Utah (247). 

Pro-life advocates see a potential defeat of Roe v. Wade as crucial to the protection of the unborn, even though it would not outright prevent infanticide. If the leaked opinion were to become reality, the fight to protect unborn lives would become a state by state issue, and would place a higher importance on state and local elections in the matter.

The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony alluded to this in a statement released after the leak, saying “The American people have the right to act through their elected officials to debate and enact laws that protect unborn children and honor women.”

While no laws restricting abortion have been floated in North Carolina or Virginia, there is a growing conservative movement in those states that might yield such a law.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who is pro-life, told a Virginia NBC affiliate, “It’s premature to speculate on what the Supreme Court’s decision will be; however, we learned from listening to Virginians over the last year that we have much common ground on this issue. I am pro-life, and I have been very clear about that since the day I launched my campaign. While we wait for the final June decision, we will be focused on lowering taxes for Virginians, funding education and law enforcement because we need to get a budget passed.”

While Virginia is well-known for its swing to the right, North Carolina is still purple, a mix of Republicans and Democrats, and has a pro-choice governor in Roy Cooper.

However, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson – a rising star in the Republican party and the prohibitive favorite to challenge Cooper in 2024 – is an outspoken pro-life advocate; and the state’s legislature could swing far enough to the right in this year’s election that it would give conservatives a veto-proof majority.