First Advisor

Christopher Shortell

Date of Award

Spring 6-16-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Political Science and University Honors


Political Science




Abortion, Abortion rights, Trigger Laws, TRAP Laws, Dobbs v. Whole Woman's Health Organization, Roe v. Wade.




Since 1973, the federal government, through the Supreme Court of the United States, has acted to protect, the rights of women in their ability to choose to have an abortion without excessive governmental restriction. This thesis analyzes how and why access to abortion will shift in the face of the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade (1973), likely to occur this June. This thesis begins with an in-depth description of how and why abortion became illegal, how and why abortion became legal, and how the opposition has developed against legal abortion. Through the last few decades, though especially in the last few years, most states have signed into law statutes that greatly limit a woman's access to abortion, and several have signed into law statutes that will act to ban abortion in nearly all cases if Roe is repealed. This thesis examines what precisely state law, as well as lasting precedents, put forth by the Supreme Court in other cases related to abortion, and the response of the other branches of the federal government to the issue of abortion will mean for a woman's access to abortion throughout the United States. I found, in the course of this project, that access to abortion will shift most substantially in states which do not, by constitutional interpretation or statute, protect one's fundamental right to acquire an abortion. This shift will, also, be felt most by impoverished persons, as these persons are less likely to be able to travel for abortions.


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