Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The end of Roe v. Wade?

Here comes another culture war escalation.

With the Supreme Court poised to revisit the landmark ruling this fall, at least 22 states are readying to outlaw abortion. Here’s everything you need to know:

Is Roe v. Wade at risk?

Many legal experts think so following the Supreme Court’s 5-4 refusal this month to block a new Texas law that bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. “Any court that took the right to abortion seriously would have stayed this law,” said Florida State University law professor Mary Ziegler. “The real question is how and when the court overrules Roe.” The court may eventually knock down the Texas law on constitutional grounds, but there will be no shortage of opportunities for it to chip away at Roe. Following Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation last fall, which gave conservatives a 6-3 majority on the bench, GOP-led state legislatures passed a slew of abortion restrictions aimed at triggering legal battles that will land at the court. In the first seven months of 2021 alone, 90 new restrictions were enacted, more than in any year since Roe was decided in 1973. Some court watchers think the justices could upend long-standing precedent that a state may not ban abortion before fetal viability — usually adjudged at 24 weeks of pregnancy — when they hear arguments this fall over a Mississippi law banning nearly all terminations after 15 weeks.


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