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Briefing

Roe v. Wade at 40: Six questions about the state of abortion rights today

On Tuesday, the United States marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the historic US Supreme Court decision that granted women the right to an abortion. Here is a look at the state of abortion rights in America today.

- Staff writer

A flag that flew at a Washington D.C. antiabortion rally waves in the wind as thousands gathered for the Rally for Life outside the Earle Cabell Federal Courthouse, site of the landmark Roe v. Wade lawsuit filing over 40 years ago, in downtown Dallas, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News/AP)

3. If Roe v. Wade were reversed tomorrow, what would happen?

Four states have laws that automatically ban abortion outright if Roe is overturned, 13 retain pre-Roe bans on the books (which are currently unenforced), and seven states have laws that express their intent to restrict abortion to the maximum extent permitted in the absence of Roe.

Meanwhile, seven states – California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, and Washington – have laws on the books protecting women’s right to an abortion.


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