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Supreme Court Leak
Regarding Roe and Abortion Rights

Abortion is Still LEGAL

Before we get into what this leak means, let's be clear: this is a draft opinion. It’s outrageous, it’s unprecedented, but it is not final. Abortion is your right — and it is still LEGAL.

On May 2,  Politico published a leaked draft Supreme Court majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that explicitly overturns Roe v. Wade. If it's true, it will mean the end of constitutional protections for abortions and that each state will get to decide its legality. We anticipate that 26 states will ban or restrict abortion. However, until the decision is officially announced by the Supreme Court, this draft has no legal authority and abortion remains legal across the United States. 

About The Case: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (JWHO)

In 2018, Mississippi passed a law that banned abortion after 15 weeks gestation. Jackson Women's Health Organization (JWHO), the only abortion facility left in Mississippi, filed a lawsuit, saying the law was unconstitutional. A decision was expected to be issued this spring by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

By hearing this case, SCOTUS has signaled that it is willing to revisit the legality of abortion.

26 States Could Ban Abortion

There’s no sugarcoating this:

If the Court overturns Roe v. Wade, it means that each state will get to decide its legaility and 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion.

  • 22 states already have laws or constitutional amendments in place that would make them certain to attempt to ban abortion as quickly as possible.
  • 4 states have political composition, history, and other indicators that show they are likely to ban abortion as soon as possible without federal protections in place. (Source: Guttmacher).

What could happen to abortion access in ME, NH, and VT?

We do not anticipate any immediate abortion changes in our region. No matter how the Supreme Court rules, abortion will still be legal in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont immediately after the decision. However, this could change depending on who is elected in November. There may also be delays in accessing abortion care as more patients travel from states where abortion becomes illegal or harder to access, to states where abortion remains legal. 

Maine

Current abortion restrictions: None.

Supportive State Laws: Abortion protected in state law since 1993.

JWHO Impact: Abortion will remain legal no matter the outcome, but that could change depending on who is elected in November.

New Hampshire

Current abortion restrictions: 24-week abortion ban, mandatory ultrasounds, and parental notification.

Supportive State Laws: None.

JWHO Impact: Abortion restrictions will remain in effect, and we anticipate increased efforts to further restrict abortion access, especially depending on who is elected in November.

Vermont

Current abortion restrictions: None.

Supportive State Laws: Abortion protected in state law since 2019; Pending amendment to the VT Constitution - Reproductive Liberty Amendment - that would guarantee everyone has the right to make their own reproductive decisions (will appear on the General Election ballot in November).

JWHO Impact: Abortion will remain legal no matter the outcome.

How can I get involved?

  • Join us this Saturday, May 14th for a Bans Off Our Bodies rally in your state!
  • Donate to PPNNE to help us provide quality reproductive health care to tens of thousands of patients across ME, NH, and VT.
  • Or donate directly to our Laura Fund, which provides financial assistance to those seeking abortion but cannot afford the procedure. 
  • If you are a high school age youth, consider becoming a PPNNE peer educator or participating in our annual youth summit! To learn more email [email protected]

  • If you are a health care provider, make sure all patients of reproductive age know how to plan and/or prevent pregnancy in accordance with their reproductive choices. 

  • Parents, caregivers, and schools can make sure young people have age-appropriate and medically accurate information about healthy relationships and sexual and reproductive health. 

Other ways to take action by state: 

Maine:

New Hampshire:

Vermont: 

  • Visit the Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund website to learn more about the Reproductive Liberty Amendment, including ways to volunteer, pledge your support, and donate.  sign up to volunteer to help pass the Reproductive Liberty Amendment. 

  • Sign up to volunteer. 

Media Inquiries 

Maine: Amy Cookson  - 207-272-4698

New Hampshire: Sara Persechino - 603-568-1921

Vermont: Eileen Sullivan - 646-467-0674