As the Supreme Court prepares to rule on a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, several blue states have in recent months enshrined so-called abortion rights in their constitutions.
Democrat-led statehouses across the country have moved to protect and expand abortion access, including constitutional amendments that would recognize abortion up until birth as a human right, preempting any potential pro-life legislation at the state level. Other states have proposed bills that prevent legal action against abortion providers, which critics claim could permit infanticide.
The Supreme Court will decide the fate of Roe this spring in a case that regards the legality of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Current legal precedent prohibits states from banning abortion prior to fetal viability, which is defined as roughly 24 weeks. But if Roe is overturned, states could legislate on abortion as they choose: The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute estimates that in the absence of Roe, existing laws in 21 states would limit abortions, while 16 states would protect abortions to some degree.
Democratic-controlled legislatures in Colorado, Vermont, and New Jersey passed bills in recent months to recognize a right to abortion on demand, joining more than a dozen states that have similar measures. In Washington, meanwhile, Gov. Jay Inslee (D.) in March signed a bill into law that prohibits legal action against abortion providers. Democratic legislators in Maryland and California proposed bills this year that go even further, preventing legal action against medical professionals who provide “perinatal” abortions, a term used to describe babies in the
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