What Would the End of Roe Mean? Key Questions and Answers.


According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, a group that fights abortion restrictions in court and closely tracks state laws, 24 states are likely to ban abortion if they are allowed. Those states are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The Guttmacher Institute, a research group focused on reproductive health care, says a slightly different group of states is likely to substantially limit abortion access: Its list of 26 states excludes North Carolina and Pennsylvania, but includes Florida, Iowa, Montana and Wyoming.

Thirteen states have so-called trigger laws, which were passed to make abortion illegal as soon as the court allowed it. Some have old abortion laws on the books that were invalidated by the Roe decision but could be enforced again. Still other states, like Oklahoma, have abortion bans that were passed during this sessiondespite the Roe precedent.

Some women seeking abortions could get them in other ways, including traveling to a state where abortion is legal or ordering pills online from outside the country. Texas provides an example. In September, a law went into effect banning abortion after fetal cardiac activity is detected, around six weeks. Abortions at Texas clinics fell by half. But many women were able to obtain abortions in several states or by ordering pills, resulting in an overall decline of only around 10 percent.

Without Roe, abortion would probably decline more because women would have to travel farther to reach a state where it was legal. Many women who get abortions are poor, and long travel distances can be insurmountable. The states likely to ban abortion are concentrated in the South, Midwest and Great Plains. Because of the expected increase in interstate travel, remaining clinics would most likely have less capacity to treat the women who were able to reach them.


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