The Future of Roe: Upcoming Cases Challenging Abortion Rights


We have previously talked about how the Trump administration is working to reshape the federal judiciary by implementing anti-choice and anti-science judges throughout the judiciary system in the U.S. Today, Brigitte Amiri with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) talks to us about important abortion-related cases that are currently working their way through the court system, and how these cases may have the ability to impact abortion access around the country.

While Roe v. Wade historically enshrined the ability to access abortion in the U.S. constitution in 1973, it isn’t the only major abortion case that has found itself in front of the Supreme Court. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, the Supreme Court issued another landmark abortion decision and scaled back a facet of Roe v. Wade that prevented individual states from passing restrictions on abortion care. This decision gave states the ability to pass their own restrictions, as long as they didn’t pose a substantial obstacle in the path of those seeking care. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ restrictions on abortion providers and ruled that they created an undue burden for those needing an abortion.

Donald Trump vowed to appoint Supreme Court Justices that would overturn Roe v. Wade, and with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, there are now five out of nine conservative-leaning justices on the bench. Brett Kavanaugh’s poor record on abortion began with the Trump administration’s attempt to ban abortion for unaccompanied immigrant minors. Recently, an immigrant minor in Texas who had received a judicial bypass for an abortion had been challenged by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Trump administration in her attempt to receive abortion care by preventing her from leaving the shelter for any abortion-related appointments. Brett Kavanaugh, through the D.C. Court of Appeals, ultimately wrote an asinine ruling that ignored the fundamentals of Roe v. Wade.

There are a number of states that are currently involved in litigation due to abortion limitations that add undue burden onto women seeking care and the medical professionals who are providing it, and a number of states that are in the process of attempting to pass six-week bans on abortion. These states include Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, and Missouri, among various others. Six weeks is before many people even know they are pregnant.

It’s likely that, through these cases, there will be a continuous undermining and weakening of Roe v. Wade, and would create a new standard of abortion restrictions that would close clinic doors or eliminate access entirely on a state-by-state basis.

Photo by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash

Links from this episode

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
ACLU on Facebook
ACLU on Twitter
Episode on Trump’s Reshaping of the Federal Judiciary
History of Roe v. Wade
History of Planned Parenthood v. Casey
History of Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt

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