Roe v. Wade Is Now Overruled. What Happens Next?

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On Friday, women in the United States woke up to a very different world. 

This new world is one where we have lost rights to our bodily autonomy. It’s the old world, made new again thanks to the Republican Party having a supermajority of the Supreme Court’s seats.   

Roe v. Wade was overturned, ending 50 years of American constitutional law protecting the right to an abortion.

So, What Happens Now?

“Overall, 26 states are “certain or likely” to ban abortion now that the Supreme Court has overturned its precedents, according to the Guttmacher Institute,” says Axios.

After the ruling came down, abortion providers across the country shut down instantly and “At least 13 states have “trigger” laws in place to make abortion illegal shortly after the ruling. More states are expected to restrict the procedure,” according to Axios.

The reaction to the decision was swift, sparking protests across the country as well as in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. And the protests will continue, according to activists.

From Minnesota to California to Florida, more than a dozen protests are planned Monday to denounce the Supreme Court’s decision, according to the We Won’t Go Back events map.

“Old men, stop telling me what to do with my body,” read one protester’s sign in Washington, DC. “People’s bodies are more regulated than guns,” read another protester’s sign in Atlanta.

What Could Happen And Where

There are 9 states with abortion bans on record from pre-Roe v. Wade and they remained dormant because of the precedent. But without Roe, these laws could be brought back.

“There needs to be some sort of action to make these laws take effect, such as an attorney general issuing an opinion or a state filing a court case,” Elizabeth Nash, a lead state policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research and policy organization, told Axios in October.

What About Other Constitutional Rights?

The question now is what happens to other constitutional rights that are protected by Supreme Court precedents comparable to Roe?

Access to contraception, same-sex marriage, and even the right to choose your own sex partners may be next on the chopping block, according to Justice Clarence Thomas.

“Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion overturning Roe that the court should reconsider other due process precedents protecting same-sex relationships, marriage equality and access to contraceptives. It is unclear what immediate effect Thomas’ words will have,” says Axios.

For now, we are living in a post-Roe world where the right to an abortion is no longer a right for many – and that is truly terrifying.

Click here to find out where abortion is guaranteed without Roe v. Wade and here to find out where abortion is now illegal.


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