Roe v. Wade and the future of reproductive rights in America The Supreme Court could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, a move that would effectively end federal protection for abortion rights.
Special Series

Roe v. Wade and the future of reproductive rights in America

With Roe v. Wade primed to be overruled, people seeking abortions could soon face new barriers in many states. Researcher Diana Greene Foster documented what happens when someone is denied an abortion in The Turnaway Study. Malte Mueller/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Malte Mueller/Getty Images

A landmark study tracks the lasting effect of having an abortion — or being denied one

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1098347992/1099420097" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Protesters hold up signs during an abortion rights demonstration Saturday in New York City. Jeenah Moon/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Jeenah Moon/AP

Reproductive rights supporters rally across the country

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1098952510/1098958739" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Abortion rights demonstrators chant during a protest outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Abortion is also about racial justice, experts and advocates say

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1098306203/1098670061" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

In Atlanta, demonstrators rally in support of women's reproductive rights at the Georgia state Capitol on October 2, 2021. Megan Varner/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Megan Varner/Getty Images

Attorneys general and prosecutors scramble to figure out what comes next if Roe falls

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1098865276/1098865277" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Abortion-rights demonstrators march to the house of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito in Alexandria, Va. The governors of Virginia and Maryland are calling on the Justice Department to tighten security at the homes of the Supreme Court justices who live in their states, as abortion-rights supporters continue to protest. Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Containers of mifepristone and misoprostol — medications used to end a pregnancy — sit on a table inside of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Fairview Heights, Ill. Jeff Roberson/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Jeff Roberson/AP

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blamed Democrats for the declining trust in the Supreme Court in an interview with NPR. "The Supreme Court is not broken and doesn't need fixing," he said. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Alex Wong/Getty Images

McConnell defends Supreme Court on abortion, says impact will be 'a wash' in midterms

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1098484020/1098633932" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Copper IUDs are a highly effective method of contraception. Some abortion rights opponents express moral objections to IUDs and other birth control methods. Science Photo Library/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra hide caption

toggle caption
Science Photo Library/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

What would overturning Roe mean for birth control?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1097666334/1098171276" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Maison Des Champs climbed Salesforce Tower in San Francisco last Tuesday morning. He is climbing buildings across the country to raise money for groups that work to convince women to not have abortions. Bobby Elias hide caption

toggle caption
Bobby Elias

An attendee holds her child during A Texas Rally for Abortion Rights at Discovery Green in Houston, Texas, on May 7. Recently passed laws make abortion illegal after about six weeks into a pregnancy. Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

An abortion-rights protester holds up a sign during a demonstration in front of the Supreme Court on Saturday in Washington, D.C. Less than a week since the leaked draft of the Court's potential decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, protesters on both sides of the abortion debate continue to demonstrate in front of the building which has been fortified by a temporary fence. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Abortion providers and advocates experience déjà vu as Roe v. Wade is threatened

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1097609646/1097610217" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

One of two abortion drugs available without a prescription in some Mexican drugstores. John Burnett/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
John Burnett/NPR

Mexican border town sees an increase in sales of abortion drugs to women from the U.S.

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1097210654/1097637174" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Young people who support access to abortion chant in front of un-scalable fence that stands around the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on May 5, 2022. JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Democrats hope abortion will jolt young voters to action in the midterms

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1097100048/1097342655" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Signs on a temporary fence around the U.S. Supreme Court building on May 05, 2022 in Washington, DC. Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

The Turnaway Study: What The Research Says About Abortion

A leaked draft opinion in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization has placed uncertainty on the future of abortion rights in the United States. As written, the opinion would overturn Roe v. Wade protections. We at Short Wave were immediately curious about the data behind abortions: What happens when pregnant people are denied abortions?

The Turnaway Study: What The Research Says About Abortion

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1097000680/1097351313" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A counter-protestor holds a large cross during a youth pro-abortion rights rally outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on May 5, following the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Caroline McDonald, left, a student at Georgetown University, Lauren Morrissey, with Catholics for Choice, and Pamela Huber, of Washington, join a abortion-rights rally outside the Supreme Court, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

When does life begin? Religions don't agree

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1097274169/1097458625" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Justice Clarence Thomas sits during a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, on Friday, April 23, 2021. Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP hide caption

toggle caption
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP