What to know about new abortion restrictions and what that could mean for Roe v. Wade

There has been a lot of recent action on the state level in recent months.
7:19 | 05/29/19

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Transcript for What to know about new abortion restrictions and what that could mean for Roe v. Wade
Since Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973 these are absolutely the most extreme laws that have been harassed and given the composition of the Supreme Court I think it's courtesy to abortion is more vulnerable right now than anytime since 1973 when he twenty. Literally could not be more important is a hugely predilection for. The court to for the future. My name is Kate shop and the Supreme Court contributor with ABC and a law professor red among other things about abortion and reproductive rates and justice and here's everything you need to know about the new wave of abortion laws. So rovers is weight involved and a state ban on abortion with criminal penalties. And a woman who wish to obtain an abortion challenge that law and won and Supreme Court soap since Roe vs. Wade. The Supreme Court has held a constitution protects the right to terminated pregnancy. The Supreme Court today ruled that abortion is completely a private matter to be decided by a mother and doctor in the first three months of pregnancy. I think that we see a real shift starting in 2019 these laws represented direct frontal attacks and rovers is way. Alabama I think he's absolutely the most extreme of the statements hammers Alabama has essentially a total ban on abortion Alabama's law also imposes very heavy criminal penalties on any doctor. Performs abortions then there are laws like I'm. Georgia is Ohio's Kentucky's. That would prohibit all abortions after six weeks pregnant. Missouri is now the fifth state this year to pass a heartbeat bill which means a stable not perform the procedure if the heartbeat is detected but neither the Alabama law nor the proposed Missouri bill have exemptions for cases of rape or incest abortions would only be allowed if there's a serious health risk to the mother. Even in states where these laws have been passed they are not in effect so all of these laws are being challenged immediately upon passage. And all of them either have been or will be blocked by federal courts so what these laws rivers and is a desire to get the Supreme Court to revisit roe vs way. And I think I'll ever so he's a half revelers this play. If it turned over the last couple of decades I would say the strategy has primarily been to restrict. Access to abortion but not to attempt to prohibit apportioned out right so in particular low income women. And low income women of color and half in many states founded. Almost impossible for for quite some time. To access abortion the law. As it currently stands. Is pretty clear that states cannot. Prohibit abortion outright beacon to a lot of things to regulate abortion including things that might make it more difficult to access abortion but they can't prohibit abortion right that is what is so new. About this applause and seen just in the past couple months but none of these laws and Acton and go into effect. I'm until unless and until some ingredients first. I think the change we've seen starting in nineteen has everything to do with right so the supreme court's composition changed in a hugely significant way. Last fall. Wayne and justice for capital has confirmed to replace justice Anthony Kennedy monumental moment for the Supreme Court today we learned justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring from the court. He can deliver his letter to president trump now Justice Kennedy was a Republican appointee and conservative in many respects. But he had voted in a number of key cases to reaffirm the core holding of Roe vs. Wade now justice capital hasn't had a chance to vote. On the merits and an abortion case since being confirmed its Supreme Court. And I think that the state legislatures have looked at. Justice capitals record in the DC circuit I'm and his. General philosophy of constitutional interpretation and they think there's a very strong chance that. If he had a case before him that allowed him to reconsider Roe vs. Wade he would vote to overturn it. And I think they're right to make that assumption from. In theory sometime in Italy between nineteen or early 22 money. The court could at least temple for the possibility of taking money these cases so if the Supreme Court does take one of these cases that requires it to tackle head on the question of a future for vs wade. I think there are pretty clearly for votes on the Supreme Court to overturn row I think that Justice Thomas justice. Alito justice Corso gen most likely just cap would join an opinion overturning around so the big question is the Chief Justice John Roberts that he might worry that. The message of its hand for the five Republican appointees on the court to join an opinion overturning this nearly fifteen year old precedent Roe vs. Wade waited. Send a message to the public that the court is just another political body. The last time the Supreme Court walked very close to the edge of overturning Roe vs. Wade in 1992. A little bit like now many many people. The row. Let's serve on the chopping block there were a couple of new Republican appointees on the Supreme Court and many people got room was very vulnerable. And the Supreme Court walk up to the attention of overturning roe and then pulled back in action reaffirmed the holding of Roe vs. Wade and surprised many many people went and. We interrupt because the Supreme Court has made another important decision on the question of abortion. Real persuade has not been overblown. And practical effect of this ruling that need to continue the erosion of Roe vs. Wade. Allowing candidates ever more authority to regulate abortion and done not to prohibit abortion. This is an issue that was so socially divisive. That for the Supreme Court to step in and overturn this important precedent. Would essentially demonstrates the public and the court was responding to political pressure than a court wasn't political institution and and that was a significant reason that the court gave. For pulling back from him. If Robert has wade were overturned the question of abortion regulation would go to the states so states could continue to protect abortion access. Blue States almost certainly would. That states would have no constitutional. Restrictions on how. They can regulate and even prohibit abortion so in addition to the state to have recently moved to restrict or ban abortion. You have other states that have laws on the books very won't osment about that would essentially become enforceable so you have a number of states in which abortion would be. Immediately illegal if roe were offered. On both sides. This will be very significant election year issue. See you have an. In particular some of them are liberal justices it is very likely that whoever is elected president in 20/20 we'll be able to make. One or two or three additional appointments to the Supreme Court and that could affect. The future of robbers is waning and the law in a range of areas for a generation or more so this is a hugely predilection for. Courts in the whatever happens in these states and whatever happens the Supreme Court in the nation portion isn't going away from.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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