Ever since Roe v. Wade established the constitutional right to abortion, federal and state policymakers have been chipping away at what it really means for people seeking abortion care. Since 2011, states have passed more than 400 abortion restrictions. Now, with President Donald Trump’s promise to appoint justices to the U.S. Supreme Court committed to overturning Roe v. Wade (such as current nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh), the threat of government action to more fully undermine abortion access looms large.
Based simply on laws already on the books, if Roe v. Wade were overturned, abortion would automatically be banned in four states and could become more restricted in 12 additional ones. This urgent threat to people’s ability to obtain abortion care has been the focus of recent advocacy campaigns, particularly when spurring opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination.