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Feminist News


October-06-04

Thirty States Could Ban Abortion if Roe v Wade is Overturned

The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) has released a report analyzing what could happen state by state if the Supreme Court reversed its 1973 decision guaranteeing women the right to an abortion. The study, titled What If Roe Fell?, considered the current legislative climate of all fifty states, as well as old laws some states have on the books limiting access to abortion. The report concluded that 21 states are at high risk of banning abortion, with nine other states at middle risk.

CRR found that 18 states still have laws completely or partially banning abortion. The Associated Press reports that though some of these laws have been blocked by a court, they could be reinstated very easily if Roe v Wade were overturned. In Alabama, an abortion ban could be immediately enforced, as the ban was never enjoined by the courts. In other states, such as Ohio, there are no current laws on the books. However, the political climate is such that, with the current governor and legislature opposing abortion, there might be a rush to pass a law banning the procedure.

The impending presidential election could very well determine the future of safe and legal abortion. It is likely that candidate elected will have the opportunity to appoint one or two judges to the US Supreme Court. With the current judges who support abortion rights holding a slight majority on the court 5 to 4, one anti-choice nomination to the bench could gravely endanger abortion rights.

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Media Resources: Center for Reproductive Rights Press Release 10/5/04; Associated Press 10/5/04