In 1973 the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade decriminalized abortion up to the point where a fetus can sustain life outside the womb, then considered to be 24 weeks. But since the moment the law was passed, capitalist politicians and state governments have relentlessly sought ruling after ruling restricting that right, closing family care clinics, harassing health care providers and enacting more and more limits on women’s access to exercise her right to choose.
….More abortion restrictions have been enacted this year than any other since Roe v. Wade was decided, the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks reproduction statistics, reports.
These restrictions were made easier because of the character and content of the Roe v. Wade decision. It was based on medical criteria centered on “fetal viability,” and required a “doctor’s consent.” This limited abortion to a “health issue” — not a fundamental right based on women’s “equal protection of the law” guaranteed by the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.
About 90% of U.S. counties had no abortion provider at all as of 2017, and since then several other clinics have been forced to close. The sharp drop in the number of clinics hits working-class women and women in rural areas especially hard.
In the fall the Supreme Court will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which could decide whether state laws that ban previability abortions are unconstitutional. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the only remaining licensed abortion provider in Mississippi and it is challenging the “Gestational Age Act,” passed in 2018, which bans most abortions after 15 weeks. Mississippi’s attorney general filed an additional motion in the case in July, urging the Supreme Court to void its previous rulings legalizing abortion. Texas Gov. Gregory Abbott signed a law a few days later that would ban all abortions in the state “the moment Roe v. Wade is overturned.”