To hear the howls of the left and the cheers of the right, you would think the Earth was shifting under our feet with the report that the Supreme Court had decided to overrule Roe v. Wade. The fact is that not much will change.
The Mississippi law under review only bans abortions after 15 weeks, almost up to the start of the second trimester. It does nothing to limit them before 15 weeks — four months! If you don’t know you are pregnant after four months, you need more than a pregnancy test. You need to have your head examined.
Especially with the 15 week deadline publicized and well known, it is almost inconceivable that a pregnant woman would be surprised to learn that she is with child after 15 weeks.
And, even then, the possible court decision does not make abortion illegal. It just lets the states do so if they wish. At least half the states will likely vote to keep the procedure legal. So with a little bus fare, likely to be available from the millions being donated to pro-choice groups, would solve the problem.
The CDC reports that 92.7 percent of all abortions take place in the first 13 weeks weeks of gestation, when the procedure would still be legal in all states. Only 6.2 percent are done between the 14th and 20th week and less than 1 percent thereafter.
Of the 629,000 abortions a year in the US, only 4,400 were after 13th week, let alone after the fifteenth. If only half the states outlawed abortion the number of abortions outlawed before the 15th week is likely less than one thousand a year!
So what is all the fuss about? Incendiaries on the left and the right have made a good living off the issue for 50 years and there’s no reason for them to stop now.
Hyperbole will run well ahead of fact as this debate evolves. But the plain fact is that the court decision won’t amount to much.
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