How a Supreme Court Shaped by Trump Could Restrict Access to Abortion
AUG. 14, 2018
President Trump has pledged to appoint Supreme Court justices who will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was a cautious supporter of abortion rights. With his departure and the addition of a second Trump appointee, the Supreme Court would have a conservative majority that would most likely sustain sharp restrictions on access to abortion in the United States.
But if the court does hear a case that brings up the issue, it is hardly clear that it would take the drastic step of overruling Roe. The court could instead opt for a more incremental strategy, upholding increasingly severe restrictions in much of the country but stopping short of saying that the Constitution has nothing to say about a right to abortion.
Assuming that there are five justices ready to limit abortion rights, how could that happen? Here are some of the possible scenarios, each of which entails a different degree of legal upheaval.