The New Abortion Battleground
87 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2022 Last revised: 9 Sep 2022
Date Written: August 30, 2022
This Article examines the paradigm shift that is occurring now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. Returning abortion law to the states has spawned perplexing legal conflicts across state borders and between the state and federal government. We emphasize how these issues intersect with innovations in the delivery of abortion, which can now occur entirely online and transcend state boundaries. The interjurisdictional abortion wars are coming, and this Article is the first to provide the roadmap for the immediate aftermath of Roe’s reversal and what lies ahead.
Judges and scholars, and most recently the Supreme Court, have long claimed that abortion law will become simpler if Roe is overturned, but that is woefully naïve. In reality, overturning Roe will create a novel world of complex, interjurisdictional legal conflicts over abortion. Some states will pass laws creating civil or criminal liability for out-of-state abortion travel while others will pass laws insulating their providers from out-of-state prosecutions. The federal government will also stake a claim. Beyond promoting access to medication abortion, federal regulations may preempt state abortion bans and federal land could provide shelter for abortion services. Ultimately, once the constitutional protection for pre-viability abortion disappears, the impending battles over abortion access will transport the half-century war over Roe into a new arena, one that will make abortion jurisprudence more complex than ever before.
This Article is the first to offer insights into this fast-approaching transformation of abortion rights, law, and access. We explore the interjurisdictional issues sure to arise while looking ahead to creative strategies to promote abortion access in a country without a constitutional abortion right.
This July draft substantially updates our February draft, in particular about Dobbs, shield laws, preemption, federal lands, and licensing.
Funding Information: None to declare.
Declaration of Interests: None to declare.
Keywords: Roe, Dobbs, abortion, interjurisdictional, preemption, licensure, extraterritoriality
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation