What Happens When Roe is Overturned?

From the Family Research Council-On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that abortion is protected under the U.S. Constitution, on the basis of a supposed right to privacy provided by the Fourteenth Amendment. This monumental decision repealed nearly every state law protecting unborn life and made abortion throughout pregnancy the legal default in the United States. In addition, the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision of 1992 added that a state could not impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s attempt to obtain an abortion pre-viability (i.e., the age when an unborn child is considered capable of surviving outside the womb, generally set at 22-24 weeks gestation).

In the nearly 50 years since the infamous Roe decision, states have enacted numerous laws protecting unborn life, only for many of them to be blocked by the courts. Now, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that would protect unborn life at 15-weeks gestation, which is pre-viability. Mississippi’s law directly challenges the legal precedent established in Roe and Casey. The Court now has the opportunity to correct its wrongful decisions in Roe and Casey and return the question of abortion’s legality to the states.

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