Explained | What Happens if Key Abortion Law is Overturned in US?

In the US, millions of women stare at a fate of losing their constitutional rights to abortion. 

3 min read
Edited By :Padmashree Pande

Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas

In the United States, thousands of protestors are rallying across the country demanding abortion rights to be protected, after the leak on 3 May of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the landmark Roe vs Wade judgment of 1973 which made abortion a constitutional right in the United States of America.

While millions of women stare at their fate of losing their constitutional rights to abortion, there are some, including Republicans, who support the overturning of the judgment.

The Republicans have been working for this day for decades. They have been out there plotting and carefully cultivating these Supreme Court Justices so they can have a majority on the bench who would accomplish something which the majority of the Americans do not want.
Elizabeth Warren, Democratic Senator
I am pro-life. I made it very clear when I announced my candidacy. What we found during our campaign is that there is a lot of common ground on this topic. We want fewer abortions in Virginia, not more.
Glenn Youngkin, Virginia Governor


The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 Roe vs Wade judgment was scooped by Politico which reported that the first draft of the court’s majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito was supported by other conservative justices on the 9-member bench.

The Supreme Court of the US is made up of nine justices who serve on the bench for life.

President Donald Trump appointed three justices during his presidency which changed the political leaning of the court. According to the leaked report, five of the nine judges will reportedly vote to overturn abortion rights.

Justice Samuel Alito has reportedly written, "Roe was egregiously wrong. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences."
We are here because we saw devastating news last night. While the opinion is not official, it has been confirmed as valid, and authentic, and it made real what many of us had known was coming for a long time.
Mallory McMorrow, Michigan State Senator

The possibility that a nationwide choice to exercise the right to abortion can be eliminated after 50 years has dismayed pro-choice activists.


Abortion will not immediately become illegal across the nation. Instead, it would be up to each state to decide how much access women living there would have to have abortions.

At least 13 states in the US will enforce a ban on abortion since trigger laws are in place.

Another thirteen will move quickly to ban or severely restrict abortions, according to the Guttmacher institute of a pro-choice group.

I am here today as the mother of a year-old and a state senator because I chose when to get pregnant when I was ready. Not when the government told me that I had to because we are not just vessels for reproduction.
Mallory McMorrow, Michigan State Senator

This will result in millions of women living within states without access to abortion rights while those wanting to exercise their abortion rights will have to travel across states to find a clinic.

This will fall on the poorest women in our country. This will fall on the young women who are being abused or who are the victims of incest. This will fall on the victims of rapes. This will fall on mothers who are already struggling to work three jobs and support the children they have.
Elizabeth Warren, Democratic Senator


On 5 May, commenting on the leaked opinion draft, US Vice President Kamala Harris said that Republican leaders are ‘weaponising use of the law against women’.

She said, "Those Republican leaders are trying to weaponise the use of the law against women. Well, we say how dare they? How dare they tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body?"

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Topics:  United States   Abortion   Abortion Rights 

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