Abortion Controversies

March 1, 2019 • Volume 29, Issue 9
Will the Supreme Court restrict rights to the procedure?
By Stephen Koff


Nearly a half-century after the U.S. Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling is under sustained attack by anti-abortion forces hoping the current court's conservative majority will impose new limits on the procedure or overturn Roe altogether. More than a dozen cases championed by anti-abortion activists and conservative state legislatures are making their way through lower or appellate courts, and any of the cases could provide a pathway for the Supreme Court to alter federal abortion law. In response, abortion-rights groups and liberal legislatures are pushing to expand abortion rights under state law to preserve access to the procedure in the event of a federal pullback. Among the legal issues at stake in the fight over abortion are whether states can ban abortions based on a fetus' gender, race or disability, at what stage of pregnancy a fetus is able to feel pain and at what stage a fetus can survive outside the womb.

Protesters on both sides of the abortion debate (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
Protesters on both sides of the abortion debate gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court during the anti-abortion March for Life on Jan. 18, 2019. More than a dozen cases currently before federal courts could end up before the high court, which then could revisit the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion nationwide. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Sep. 09, 2022  Abortion Post-Roe
Mar. 01, 2019  Abortion Controversies
Mar. 21, 2014  Abortion Debates
Oct. 04, 2011  Gendercide Crisis
Sep. 10, 2010  Abortion Debates
Sep. 22, 2006  Abortion Showdowns
Mar. 21, 2003  Abortion Debates
Nov. 28, 1997  Roe v. Wade At 25
Apr. 07, 1995  Abortion Clinic Protests
Jul. 05, 1991  Teenagers and Abortion
Jan. 26, 1990  Abortion: Politicians' Nightmare
Oct. 16, 1987  Abortion Policy
Jan. 14, 1983  Abortion: Decade of Debate
Oct. 22, 1976  Abortion Politics
Jul. 24, 1970  Abortion Law Reform
Oct. 06, 1965  Abortion in Law and Medicine
Abortion, Contraception and Reproductive Issues
Abortion, Contraception and Reproductive Issues
Federal Courts
Judicial Appointments
Maternal and Child Health Care
Medical Profession and Personnel
Party Politics
Powers and History of the Presidency
Protest Movements
Religion and Politics
Religious Freedom
Religious Movements
Supreme Court History and Decisions
Women's Health Issues