Ensuring Access to Abortion at the State Level: Selected Examples and Lessons
Elizabeth Nash,Guttmacher Institute
Megan K. Donovan,Guttmacher Institute
First published online: January 9, 2019
The October 2018 appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court has called into question the future of Roe v. Wade and abortion access in the United States. Just one month after Justice Kavanaugh took his seat on the bench, voters in Alabama and West Virginia approved state constitutional amendments intended to allow for additional abortion restrictions or even pave the way for outright bans on abortion in the event Roe is undermined or overturned.1
Although the changing composition of the Supreme Court has heightened the risks, efforts to restrict abortion are not new. Policymakers hostile to abortion have been working to undermine abortion care since Roe was decided. As a result, access to abortion already looks very different from state to state, and a person’s access to timely, affordable abortion care can be profoundly impacted by her race, socioeconomic status and available resources.