Abortions remain legal in the United States! But this is only under certain circumstances. Yeah, this is important to note because, many Americans are just confused about the landmark ruling overturning the Roe v. Wade case on abortion rights for women.
In fact, questions arise such as: Is abortion now illegal in the United States?
Others are: Are abortion pills like mifepristone and misoprostol now illegal?
Are there US states where abortion is allowed?
Also, other questions are: Will all states in the US ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy?
What are the penalties for anybody – the woman, doctor, accomplice, parents, etc – caught performing or aiding abortion?
Can the Supreme Court’s ruling be reversed?
Can women travel to other states to have abortion?
What did the Roe v. Wade 1973 ruling mean?
It was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973.
The ruling held that the Constitution of the United States generally protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion.
It gave women abortion rights to terminate pregnancy before a foetus would be viable outside the womb.
A foetus can be viable outside the womb between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Meanwhile, with the ruling, many states and federal laws against abortion were defeated.
Soon after the decision, debates arose and had ever since kept arising as to who should decide the legality of abortion, its morality, and if it should be banned completely or partially.
Women in the United States have been enjoying this right to abortion until last Friday 24th of June, 2022 when the Supreme Court, ruled and made abortion illegal.
So, what exactly did the Supreme Court ruling say?
What The Supreme Court Ruling of June 2022 Say:
The Supreme Court, in a ruling by a jury and led by Justice Samuel Alito, overturned the famous Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) rulings that gave abortion rights to women in the United States.
In its landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling on Friday, the Court ruled banning abortion after 15 weeks.
Arguing about the 1973 ruling, Justice Alito described Roe v. Wade ruling as “an abuse of judicial authority.”
He said the ruling relied on “egregiously wrong” reasoning, arguing that the right to abortion is not expressly mentioned in the Constitution.
He said the right to abortion is not “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.”
What the court’s ruling means is that abortion is no longer a constitutional right but a decision that states must make for a woman.
It is now illegal to abort under some circumstances that are now tighter than before.
Simply put, women in the United States no longer have the right to abort their pregnancies after 15 weeks of taking in.
Instead, they must obtain permission from the state authorities to have abortion only in certain circumstances such as threat to the life of the woman.
In What circumstances can you legally abort?
While abortion is largely illegal in the United states, the decision lies with each state to either enforce it or not.
Meanwhile, although many states are yet to either partially of fully ban abortion, the coming days will likely see them do so.
For instance, Texas will ban abortion within the coming 30 days.
However, despite the ban, there are circumstances in which a woman can still legally abort or terminate her pregnancy.
This is so because all the states that have banned abortions gave or recognise exceptions.
Among the exceptional circumstances in which a woman can legally abort are those involving threat to her life, rape, miscarriage or incest.
For instance, when there is a risk to the life of the mother, she could abort the baby.
Also, states like Utah, Idaho and North Dakota carry exceptions for rape or incest.
Which states have banned abortion?
Here are U.S states that have banned abortion or triggered abortion bans.
About 26 states are expected so far to ban abortion.
Those that have banned abortion include but not limited to the following:
Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Arizona, Michigan, Indiana, South Carolina, Nebraska, Iowa and West Virginia.
Texas would likely uphold it completely in 30 days.
Which Sates Support abortion:
Despite the expectations for many states to declare abortion illegal, some U.S states have vowed to support abortion.
At least sixteen states and Washington, D.C., have laws protecting abortion rights.
This is according to the Guttmacher Institute.
The institute said states supporting abortion include:
California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Colorado, Washington, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Oregon.
Others are Nevada, Connecticut, Maine, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Delaware and Vermont.
Meanwhile, keep in mind that the policies concerning abortion in these states vary.
For instance, while Colorado allows abortion throughout a patient’s pregnancy, Massachusetts only bans abortion after 24 weeks.
What penalties for performing abortion:
The laws in the states banning abortion does not state any penalty for a woman seeking abortion.
Instead, they provide varying penalties on any person who performs abortion on a woman.
This means that medical practitioners, as well as anybody aiding a woman to abort, will face penalties.
Penalties vary according states. While some prescribe 2 years jail term, others like Texas prescribe 20 years and fines too.
Texas and Utah says performing an abortion is a felony punishable by fines and prison time.
Can a woman travel and do abortion in states supporting abortion?
Meanwhile, a woman can travel and have abortion in states that have not banned abortion.
This is because, the law does not say it would prosecute any woman that travels to have abortion in states supporting it.
Can the Supreme Court’s ruling banning abortion be reversed?
Ruling by Supreme Courts remain final.
However, Congress can enact laws that can reverse it.
In fact, Congress can codify abortion rights into federal laws and this can overrule the June 24th, 2022 ruling.
Implications of the ruling:
How will this affect abortion pills and pharmaceutical companies?
The ruling by the Justice Alito-led jury and the subsequent bans by states prohibit abortion and abortion pills.
This will make it harder to have access to abortion pills, leading to the pills becoming very expensive even if you get them.
Also, pharmaceutical companies may begin to have poor sales as a result of reduced access to abortion pills.
Nevertheless, this development could lead to many legal battles as to people suing to have access to the pills.
How will it affect treatment of miscarriages?
This ban on abortion and limiting access to abortion pills will definitely affect getting care during miscarriages.
This is because, most pills or drugs used for abortion are also used for treating miscarriages.
Therefore, should a woman have a miscarriage, caring for such a woman may become difficult.
Getting the pills will be a lot difficult because it has to be proven that the pills are not for abortion but for treating miscarriage.
Impact on birth controls:
The ruling will also likely affect birth control.
Partners who may want to control the number of babies they can have may find it difficult getting control pills which could also be used for abortion.
However, according to Forbes, Justice Alito cleared the air that the ruling does not affect any other issues not related to abortion and the issue of life being in the equation.
He said that the ruling should not be interpreted “to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”
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