KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Leaked Abortion Opinion Rocks Washington’s World

by | May 5, 2022 | Health

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People who pay attention to the Supreme Court have been expecting the justices to scale back the right to abortion when they issue their ruling on a Mississippi abortion law by the end of the current session. What no one expected was that a draft of that opinion — which called for a full overturn of the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision — would be leaked to Politico. The reaction has been swift and loud from both sides of the divisive debate and could affect the coming midterm elections.

Meanwhile, the FDA is proposing a ban on menthol flavoring in cigarettes and cigars, sparking a debate on whether the move disproportionately hurts or helps African Americans, who use menthol-flavored products at higher rates than other people.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Shefali Luthra of the 19th, and Jessie Hellmann of CQ Roll Call.

Among the takeaways from this week’s episode:

If the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe, abortion would not immediately become illegal. Instead, the decision on whether to ban abortion would be put in the hands of state lawmakers. Abortion-rights advocates say that, right now, at least 18 or 19 states would likely have laws on the books making abortion illegal and several others are expected to move quickly if Roe falls.The leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion is likely to have serious repercussions …

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