Twenty-one states set to restrict or ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned

The Supreme Court has begun hearing arguments in a case that revisits the legality of abortion in Mississippi and in the decades-old case of Roe v. Wade, which could lead to more than three dozen states restricting or banning abortion.

On Wednesday, the court began hearing arguments in the Mississippi case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which was filed in 2018. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the last abortion clinic standing in the state of Mississippi. The suit was filed after then-Governor Phil Bryant signed into law a ban on abortions past the 15-week mark.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court announced it would hear the case and is expected to hand down the decision this summer.

The Guttmacher Institute reports that there are 21 states who have laws in place which would lead to the ban or near-total ban of aborton should Roe v. Wade be overturned. An additional five states are poised to enact laws which would restrict the procedure if the case is overturned, based on restrictions which are already in place. 

In the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, the state of Mississippi has requested that Roe v. Wade be overturned. While many feel it is unclear if the case would be thrown out after so long, a conservative majority in the court increases the uncertainty.

“When an issue affects everyone and when the Constitution does not take sides on it, it belongs to the people,” Scott Stewart, the Mississippi Solicitor General, said on Wednesday during the case’s oral arguments. “Whether you’re for abortion or against abortion, set that aside for a moment. There is no right within the Constitution to take away from the states their authority in the democratic process to prohibit abortion,” former Phil Bryant said in a recent interview with NPR.




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