Nov 2, 2021 - Politics
Impact of abortion challenges in Tennessee
Data: Axios Research; Cartogram: Sara Wise and Oriana Gonzalez/Axios

Tennessee is one of at least 12 states where nearly all abortions would become illegal if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Why it matters: That scenario has taken on new significance as the high court considers a series of challenges to restrictive abortion measures in Texas and Mississippi.

  • The Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments in two cases related to a new Texas law, and a majority of the justices seemed open to allowing the cases to move forward.
  • The justices have so far allowed the restrictive law, which bans most abortions after about six weeks, to stay in place despite ongoing legal wrangling.
  • Next month, the high court is set to consider a law restricting abortions in Mississippi about 15 weeks into a pregnancy. That case directly challenges Roe v. Wade.

Between the lines: Anti-abortion activists see the court's 6-3 conservative majority as an opening to eliminate or chip away at the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, which has allowed for abortions nationwide since 1973.

  • Tennessee has passed a series of restrictive abortion measures in recent years, although many restrictions have been put on hold while legal challenges are underway in lower courts.
  • Hundreds of abortion rights activists gathered in Nashville last month to protest efforts to limit access to the procedure.
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