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This is how life in post-Roe America is starting to shape up

The waiting room at the Women's Health Center of West Virginia in Charleston, W.Va., in February.
Chris Jackson
/
AP
The waiting room at the Women's Health Center of West Virginia in Charleston, W.Va., in February.

As the Supreme Court prepared to issue its decision overturning Roe, NPR spent weeks speaking to experts and activists about what will likely happen next. Here's some suggested reading.

What will this mean for health care and access to services?

Kristyn Brandi, an OB-GYN and family planning doctor who is also the board chair for Physicians for Reproductive Health, and NPR health policy correspondent Selena Simmons-Duffin answered some of your most common questions here.

Here are insights from two reproductive health care providers about the options available to pregnant people in anti-abortion states, and how to find a safe clinic.

Medical and legal experts say the decision could have implications for other types of care, including birth control and fertility treatments. Plus, read up on how medication abortion works and what the end of Roe could mean for it.

And it's important to remember that this decision doesn't just affect cisgender women.

What about possible legal implications?

Dozens of states already passed trigger laws that could end access to legal abortions for many Americans. Here's what enforcement could look like. Also, the removal of federal abortion protections could spark new legal fights between states.

Liberal politicians and activists have publicly speculated that other landmark Supreme Court rulings, like those legalizing same-sex marriage and birth control, could be on shaky ground. Since the release of the draft ruling Democrats have sought to make the abortion debate about more than just abortion, hoping to jolt voters into action as the November midterms approach.

What will daily life look like?

As NPR's Joe Hernandez has reported, here's what a future without Roe could mean:

  • More than two dozen states have laws that could restrict or ban abortion soon after the Supreme Court overturns Roe, according to Guttmacher. One type of statute, called a "trigger law," is designed to take effect after a Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe. Some states also still have pre-Roe abortion bans on the books that they could begin enforcing again. Other laws express the intent of states to crack down on abortion if permitted by the Supreme Court.
  • States that continue to allow abortion could see an influx of patients seeking care. For example, after Texas enacted its roughly six-week ban on abortion last year, some residents began to get abortions out of state. In the final four months of last year, Planned Parenthood clinics in states near Texas reported a nearly 800% increase in abortion patients from Texas compared to the same period in the prior year.
  • Women of color will bear the brunt of further abortion restrictions. According to The Associated Press, Black and Hispanic women get abortions at higher rates than their peers. Women of color also experience higher poverty rates and could have a harder time traveling out of state for an abortion, the AP said.
  • Limits on abortion access can lead to negative long-term health effects. A major study from the University of California, San Francisco found that women are harmed by being denied abortions. The women surveyed who gave birth had economic hardships that lasted for several years, were more likely to raise the child alone, and were at higher risk of developing serious health problems than those who were able to have abortions.
  • Some blue states already are taking steps to enshrine the right to abortion in state law. From Colorado to New Jersey, Democratic governors have signed laws protecting reproductive rights and announced their intention to be able to provide abortion services to people who live in states where the procedure is restricted.
  • Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.