In 1973, the Roe vs. Wade The decision codified the right of individuals to have abortions under the 14th Amendment, which made it legal to terminate a pregnancy up to 23 weeks (when a fetus could potentially live outside the womb). If this draft decision is formalized, the Roe could be overturned as early as June and individual states will determine access to abortion. More than 135 million people would face restrictions or lose their legal right to an overnight abortion, according to NPR.
If Roe vs. Wade 26 states have book laws that either ban or restrict access to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Thirteen of these states have activation laws, which means the bans take effect immediately. Data from the Center for Reproductive Rights show that there are US states and territories are “hostile” environments for access to abortion, which means that these states are vulnerable to reviving old abortion bans or implementing new ones. These states and territories include: Alabama, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Oklahoma, North Carolina. Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Overthrow Roe vs. Wade It would not just criminalize abortions for those who want to terminate a pregnancy, but it could potentially criminalize abortions, as health professionals can call the authorities if they suspect interference with pregnancy. That happened in Oklahoma last year. In 2021, 19-year-old Brittney Poolaw was charged with first-degree murder after being expelled and admitting to using methamphetamine before seeking care. Methamphetamines were not identified as the cause of the miscarriage, but the admission was enough to sentence him to four years in prison.
In addition, many states are undoubtedly inadequate to handle the consequences of having a baby. Texas, for example, has fewer insured people than most states and more uninsured children than any other state. In addition, Texas and Mississippi are considered deserts for maternal health, which means that pregnant women may not have access to the care needed to bring a fetus to full maturity. Mississippi has the highest rate of child poverty.
Needless to say, the fight to secure access has begun and there are steps you can take to make sure your voice is heard. “This leaked opinion is dangerous, but we are prepared for any possible outcome in this case – and we are made for this fight.” Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, wrote on Twitter in response to the draft. “Our health centers remain open and, make no mistake, we are fighting like hell.”