Updated 6/24/22, 12:25 p.m.
The Supreme Court issued its final decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case – overturning the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade and ending the constitutional protection to legal abortion.
Below, we answer some frequently asked questions about this case and the impact it will have on New Hampshire. In short: abortion remains safe and legal until 24 weeks in New Hampshire. If you have additional questions, please email the PPNHAF team at [email protected].
The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court Case
Q: What is the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization about?
In 2018, Mississippi passed a law that banned abortion after 15 weeks gestation. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion facility remaining in Mississippi, filed a lawsuit, saying that the law was unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey prohibit states from banning abortion prior to viability. Mississippi has not been allowed to enact the abortion ban while the case has been in the courts.
On Friday, June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade, and ending the constitutionally protected right to abortion.
Q: What is Roe v. Wade?
A: Roe v. Wade is the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states. Prior to this Supreme Court decision, the legality of abortion was up to each individual state – and most states outlawed it, which resulted in a patchwork of abortion access in this country.
Q: What is the difference between “Dobbs” and “Roe”?
A: Dobbs is the 2021 case before the Supreme Court. In this case, the state of Mississippi asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. Roe is the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States.
Q: What is the outcome of the Dobbs Supreme Court case?
A: The Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision, meaning individual states, through their state legislatures, are now able to restrict and ban abortion outright. Some states already have abortion bans on the books that will take effect immediately with the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Q: How many people will this decision impact?
A: Up to 26 states in the country are certain or likely to ban abortion, impacting more than 36 million people of reproductive age in the United States. This means in half the country, people will no longer have power over their own bodies and their own lives.
Thirteen of the 26 states have “trigger” laws, which have been “triggered” to take effect automatically or by quick state action now that Roe is overturned.
Q: Can anyone change the outcome of this Supreme Court case?
A: No, the Supreme Court’s decision in this case is final.
Q: How did this happen?
A: In short, anti-abortion politicians and advocates have been working toward overturning Roe for decades - and they aren’t stopping here. Anti-abortion advocates recently announced their ultimate goal is to pass a nationwide abortion ban that would block abortion access in every state in the country.
Supreme Court Decision’s Impact on New Hampshire
Q: What will happen in New Hampshire after the Supreme Court issues its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization?
A: In New Hampshire, abortion remains safe and legal before 24 weeks. A bill to ban abortion would have to pass through the legislature to further restrict abortion. In other words, even though abortion will remain legal until 24 weeks in New Hampshire, elections matter - because the future of abortion access will depend upon each election and who holds power in Concord.
Q: What abortion restrictions does New Hampshire currently have?
A: In New Hampshire, on January 1, 2022, a ban on abortion at 24 weeks, with virtually no exceptions, went into place. Effective May 27, 2022, an exception for fatal fetal diagnoses was added to the state abortion ban. New Hampshire also requires parental notification for minors seeking abortion care; however, minors can seek a judicial bypass. Learn more here.
Q: Does New Hampshire have any protections for abortion care in state law?
A: No. New Hampshire is the only state in New England that does not have abortion rights on the books. In 2022, the Access to Abortion-care Act, which would have added the right to accessing abortion to New Hampshire state laws, failed in a 12-12 bipartisan vote in the state Senate.
Q: I have a question about the Supreme Court case and/or abortion access in New Hampshire that isn’t listed here - who should I contact?
A: Send us an email at [email protected] and we will do our best to answer your question.
Q: I have a question about Planned Parenthood services and/or want to make an appointment - who should I contact?
A: Visit the PPNNE website or call 1-800-230-7526 to learn more about services or make an appointment. There are a multitude of factors an individual will take into account when deciding how to obtain an abortion. Remember: abortion remains safe and legal in New Hampshire until 24 weeks. There are health centers located throughout the Granite State with supportive doctors, nurses, and expert staff who are here for you with resources and care, no matter what.
If you are looking for a way to support abortion patients, abortionfinder.org is a comprehensive directory of trusted and verified abortion service providers in the United States.