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Roe v. Wade: What’s the potential impact on the two-state?

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 6:25 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The response is erupting not only in the nation’s capital but across the country after a leaked document suggested the Supreme Court may be planning to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Overturning it would mean deciding on abortion on a state-by-state basis.

Here’s what this could mean for the two-state region.

It could be two months until the final decision comes down if the Supreme Court chooses to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Georgia and South Carolina have laws on the books that would outright ban abortions. They aren’t ‘trigger laws’, which means it wouldn’t happen immediately.

It would still have to go through a legislative session. Experts say they would likely fully ban medical-safe abortions with very limited exceptions.

This ban may not protect victims of incest or rape and limits many of the exceptions we see now.

“All of those sorts of laws vary a great deal. Generally, they only allow for say a hospital panel to argue that the life of the mother is threatened. Someone would have to go through a pretty burdensome process to get a medical abortion,” said Mary Kate Lizotte, political science professor, Augusta University.

She says the ban doesn’t necessarily mean women won’t be able to get an abortion, it just makes it more difficult to get one locally.

“Overturning Roe and Casey means leaving it up to the states, so the states get to individually decide. There are a number of states who are very likely to have complete or almost complete bans on abortion. Including Georgia and South Carolina,” she said.

Roe v. Wade was argued based on an inherent right to privacy under the fourth amendment. This leaked document argues there is no inherent right to privacy within the constitution, therefore it should be overturned.

Lizotte says that could open the door to challenging other things.

“It makes it possible for states to start challenging laws that have their basis in a right to privacy,” said Lizotte.

Other laws are based on the same argument, like contraceptives, same-sex marriage, and interracial marriage.

“This is just the first in a long line of decisions that could end up changing what we have gotten used to as Americans,” she said.

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