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Thirteen states in the country are poised to enact immediate abortion bans and 13 more could quickly follow suit if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, as it appears set to do according to a draft opinion leaked to Politico.
The Supreme Court is expected to strike down Roe v. Wade, according to an unprecedented leak of a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito in early February, which Politico published Monday evening.
The court confirmed the authenticity of the draft document on Tuesday. Analysts have suggested the leak may represent an attempt to pressure a Supreme Court justice to change his or her vote on the pivotal case. Should Roe v. Wade be overturned, abortions would be left for the states to decide.
A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court, Monday night, May 2, 2022, in Washington following reports of a leaked draft opinion by the court overturning Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Anna Johnson)
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Samuel Alito writes in the document, labeled the “Opinion of the Court” for the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
At least 13 states in the country have so-called “trigger laws” banning most abortions that would take effect immediately if Roe v. Wade is overturned. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group, those states are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, which just passed its trigger law last month.
There are also five additional states – Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin – with an abortion ban still on the books from before Roe v. Wade that could be reinstated if the law is overturned, according to Guttmacher’s research.
Dani Thayer, left, and Marina Lanae, right, both of Tulsa, Oklahoma, hold pro-choice signs at the state Capitol, Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki File)
Thus, the overturning of Roe v. Wade would trigger at least 18 states to ban abortions almost immediately. In addition, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio and South Carolina all have laws banning abortions after the six-week mark, which have been ruled unconstitutional but would likely be revisited if Roe is overturned, Guttmacher reported.
There are also four additional states – Florida, Indiana, Montana and Nebraska – that appear likely to ban or severely restrict abortions if Roe is overturned, based on current legislative efforts, Guttmacher reported.
Pro-life groups have been cheering the news that abortion may soon be outlawed in roughly half the country.
An anti-abortion demonstrator protests in front of the Supreme Court building, on the day arguments were heard in the Mississippi abortion rights case in Washington, Dec. 1, 2021. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
“If the draft opinion made public tonight is the final opinion of the court, we wholeheartedly applaud the decision. The American people have the right to act through their elected officials to debate and enact laws that protect unborn children and honor women,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a press release Monday evening. “If Roe is indeed overturned, our job will be to build consensus for the strongest protections possible for unborn children and women in every legislature.
“We also recognize the need for the pro-life movement to continue its existing work to support pregnant women and children in need. There are thousands of pro-life pregnancy centers and maternity homes nationwide and an ever-growing pro-life safety net. The pro-life movement will continue to grow to meet the needs of these women and their families, walking and planning with them to love and serve both mother and child.”
Anti-abortion groups like Family Policy Alliance and Americans United for Life have already started preparing for political battles after Roe is overturned.
Meanwhile, abortion access is expected to continue in blue states like New York, which passed a bill in 2018 designed to codify Roe.
Fox News’ Sam Dorman, Bradford Betz and Tyler O’Neil contributed to this report.