Reproductive rights

If Roe v. Wade Is Overturned, What Could Come Next?

Legal experts said a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade could walk back the precedent for a number of other cases that protect rights like same-sex marriage and access to contraception

NBC10 Boston

If the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, as a leaked draft option suggests it might as early as this summer, there are concerns about the ripple effect of the changed interpretation of law.

The information came from a Politico report. The Supreme Court released a statement confirming the authenticity of the Politico report Tuesday as well. Chief Justice John Roberts, who forcefully condemned the breach, said he had directed the court marshal to conduct a full investigation into the source of it. 

"There are very serious ramifications that are quite frankly terrifying for the LGBTQ community," Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus said.

Isaacson was part of the fight to legalize same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, the first state in the country to do so nearly two decades ago.

"And then we won at the Supreme Court later on so we could not only have Massachusetts equality but we had federal equality as well, so we could actually leave Massachusetts and have our marriages still recognized and have our families still be protected. And the possibility of losing that is terrifying," she said.

Those rights are ensured by interpretations of the 14th Amendment. Legal experts said a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade could walk back the precedent for that and a number of other cases.

Michael Coyne, dean of the Massachusetts School of law, explained why.

"Conservatives could use the lack of explicit language on some of these protections as saying well since they are not written there. They don’t exist and there is no support for it found not just within the 14th Amendment or any of the others as well," he said.

As the country awaits the justices' official ruling on Mississippi's abortion ban, organizations like Planned Parenthood are anticipating their next battle.

"We fully expect that access to birth control is next because of this very conservative unrealistic agenda that we see," Dr. Jennifer Childs-Roshak of Planned Parenthood said.

In Massachusetts, same-sex marriage and access to abortion and contraception are protected. But Childs-Roshak said across the country, people could soon face additional hurdles in receiving health care.

"We have seen in other states is that the more people are worried about being able to talk to somebody about their pregnancy, the more the care actually gets delayed," Childs-Roshak noted.

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