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Abortion continues to be a major focus in US politics and courts, even two years after a draft from the Supreme Court was leaked

People gather to protest (Steve Jacks/Shutterstock)

Two years after a draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion leaked, signaling a potential shift in the nation’s abortion laws, the issue continues to dominate courtrooms, state legislatures, and political campaigns across the country, profoundly impacting lives.

This week, Florida implemented a ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, aligning with similar laws in two other states. In Arizona, lawmakers repealed a historic total abortion ban dating back to 1864, and the governor promptly signed it into law. Meanwhile, Kansas legislators increased funding for anti-abortion centers, while South Dakota advocates secured enough signatures for a ballot measure to protect abortion rights in the state constitution.

Abortion laws have fluctuated widely among states, with legislators passing new measures and courts adjudicating challenges. Currently, 14 states enforce bans on abortion throughout pregnancy, with limited exceptions, while Democratic-led states have expanded or maintained access.

David Cohen, a professor at Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law who studies abortion policy, noted surprises that have shifted momentum within the anti-abortion movement, alongside expected developments.

People protest about abortion (Will Brook/Getty Images)

Despite more than 20 states enacting varying degrees of abortion restrictions since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022, studies indicate that national monthly abortion rates have remained steady or even increased. In recent statewide ballot measures, voters have consistently supported positions aligned with abortion rights advocates.

The official Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision on June 24, 2022, formally ended nearly five decades of nationwide abortion legality, following a leaked draft that previewed the court’s direction six weeks earlier.

Stephen Billy, vice president of state affairs for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, emphasized adherence to public sentiment post-Dobbs, criticizing abortion rights advocates for allegedly promoting uncertainty and political division to advance their agenda.

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