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Abortion could be illegal in large parts of US within 18 months after Supreme Court justice resignation, say activists

Category: Gender in the world 

Abortion could become illegal in large parts of the US in as little as 18 months activists believe, following the resignation of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court and Donald Trump’s promise to appoint a replacement committed to overturning the landmark legislation protecting a woman’s right to choose.


Within hours of the resignation of 81-year-old Mr Kennedy – frequently a swing voter on the Supreme Court – Mr Trump said he was working through a list of 25 possible replacements, a list drawn up with input from a conservative group that supports a literalist interpretation of the US constitution.


“We will begin our search for a new justice of the United States Supreme Court. That will begin immediately,” he said at the White House. “And hopefully we’re going to pick somebody who will be as outstanding.”

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Mr Trump said he would only appoint justices opposed to Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling that guaranteed the legal right to abortion. With many states already passing laws restricting such access, campaigners fear the president’s next judicial appointment could lead to that federal protection being stripped away.


“You’re going to see 20 states pass laws banning abortion outright,” legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told CNN.


“Because they know there are going to be five votes on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade. And abortion will be illegal in a significant part of the United States in 18 months, and there is no doubt about that.”

Many observers believe Mr Trump, a thrice-married former casino magnate, cares little about the issues that fuel the nation’s so-called culture wars. Yet, he knows issues such as restricting abortion and laws that allow business exemptions from LGBT+ equality rules on religious grounds are of crucial importance to many of his supporters, particularity evangelical Christians.



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