TOPEKA, Kan. — The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade Friday, weeks after a leaked draft authored by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito suggested it would happen.
University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor Allen Rostron said the Midwest will likey have very restrictive abortion laws now that Roe v. Wade is overturned,
That will certainly be the case in Missouri and could even be true in Kansas.
“Perhaps not prohibiting abortion completely in every instance, but there probably will be very significant restrictions because that’s the majority view of the politicians that are elected in these states,” Rostron said.
Missouri became the first state to make abortion illegal following the Supreme Court’s decision.
State Attorney General Eric Schmidt signed a proclamation around 9:15 a.m. banning abortion, just minutes after the decision from the high court was made public.
Missouri has a “trigger law,” meaning the proclamation from the AG abolished abortion across the state.
The trigger law was passed in 2019. Three years ago, the legislature also passed a bill banning abortions after 8 weeks. An exemption for rape or incest survivors is not included.
Until Friday, a woman was allowed to get an abortion up to 22 weeks in Missouri.
“If Roe V Wade is overturned and the power is given back to the state, we are going to exercise that power to effectively eliminate abortions in the state of Missouri,” Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) said Tuesday.
On the other side of the state line, action might not be as swift, but access to abortion services could change — depending on a statewide vote.
In Kansas, voters will ultimately decide if abortion becomes illegal in the state.
The group Value Them Both has put a measure on the ballot for the August primary election that could reverse a state supreme court ruling. The justices held that the state constitution gives women the constitutional right to an abortion, effectively limiting regulation by state lawmakers.
If the measure passes in August though, supporters believe it would return the power to regulate abortion to the people through their state lawmakers.
“Traditionally, Kansas overall has been a very pro-life state, and so one would expect that they’re probably likely to vote in favor of allowing or overruling their courts there and allowing greater restrictions,” Rostron said.
He doesn’t think this will have a big impact on the U.S. Senate race in Missouri because the state’s so conservative already. But the question now will be, how much backlash will there be on Republicans in November, now that the draft ruling is out.
“It will fire up pro-choice voters, and they’re more likely to donate money, and they’re more likely to work for campaigns, and they’re more likely to vote,” Rostron said. “It could, on the other hand, also fire up pro-life voters as well.”
Rostron added that pro-life voters could be really pleased that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade, making them realize that the way they got to this point was by going to the polls.