What would happen if the landmark court case Roe v. Wade was reversed?
Abortion is an issue that brings out passionate beliefs. And the issue has been a set for the 15 Supreme Court justices since 1973, and many other nominees.
The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for Associate Justice has started a lot of talk about a conservative majority on the court overturning Roe v. Wade.
The Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that women could have an abortion, but that the right has to be balanced against the state’s interests in regulating abortions. Before that, abortions were illegal in the U.S. unless a woman’s life was at risk.
Here’s a breakdown of Florida’s abortion laws: If a woman is in the last three months of her pregnancy, then it is illegal in Florida to get an abortion unless a mother’s life is at stake.
Governor Rick Scott also signed a law in 2013 making doctors who are performing an abortion give emergency medical care to the baby if they come out alive.
If the Senate confirms Kavanaugh, laws permitting abortions will not change the next day. There are two ways to overturn the decision:
- Two thirds of all the states have to ratify the same law that would reverse a Supreme Court decision. Not an easy task, but it has been done a handful of times in history.
- The court can overrule itself, but only when it reviews a case involving the same constitutional issues.
Overturning Roe v. Wade does not mean abortion will be illegal in the U.S. But it could immediately become illegal in Louisiana, Mississippi, and North and South Dakota because of state laws that already exist.