Abortion
August 15, 2019
Will states succeed in toppling Roe v. Wade?

Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, remains the law of the land, but state efforts to limit the procedure have reduced access in many parts of the country. Emboldened by President Trump’s appointments to the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary, states are passing bills that seek to spark direct legal challenges to Roe, and some of those measures could make it to the Supreme Court soon. The efforts to reduce access come as support for abortion rights reaches its highest level in 20 years. Supporters of abortion rights, meanwhile, are preparing for the possibility that the high court will overturn Roe. And Democratic presidential candidates are vowing to uphold abortion rights, ensuring the issue will be a key one in the 2020 race.

Abortion-rights supporters show their support for a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis on May 31. The clinic is the last in Missouri that performs abortions. (AFP/Getty Images/Saul Loeb) Abortion-rights supporters show their support for a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis on May 31. The clinic is the last in Missouri that performs abortions. (AFP/Getty Images/Saul Loeb)

After decades of work, abortion opponents are achieving their goal of significantly reducing access to the procedure, and the number of abortions is falling too.

Between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, 19 states enacted 59 restrictions on abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive research group that supports abortion rights. 1

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