In anticipation of the court’s decision, a frenzy of legislative activity to shut down access to abortion forms a picture of a post-Roe America.
By Kate Zernike
March 7, 2022
Both sides of the abortion debate anticipate that come July, the Supreme Court will have overturned Roe v. Wade and with it the constitutional right to abortion, handing anti-abortion activists a victory they have sought for five decades. But from Florida to Idaho, Republican-led state legislatures are not waiting: They are operating as if Roe has already been struck down, advancing new restrictions that aim to make abortion illegal in as many circumstances as possible.
Under Roe, states cannot prohibit abortion before a fetus is viable outside the womb — around 23 weeks into pregnancy. But bills moving through legislatures are outlawing abortion entirely, or at six, 12 or 15 weeks of gestation. On Thursday, Florida passed a 15-week ban even as opponents warned it was unconstitutional so long as Roe stands. In Oklahoma, a Senate committee approved a bill that would prohibit abortion starting 30 days after the “probable” start of a woman’s last monthly period.