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Assuming that Justice Samuel Alito’s final opinion in the Mississippi abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization gets majority support, there will be profound social, political, and health-care implications across the United States. Margaret Talbot, Peter Slevin and Jia Tolentino assess the world after Roe. Opponents will surely not stop by leaving abortion at the state level but will try to ban it under federal law. Tolentino discusses fetal personhood, the legal concept that a fertilized egg is entitled to full legal rights, which severely compromises the bodily autonomy of a pregnant woman. There is already speculation that access to birth control and same-sex marriage could be challenged. “If people feel panicked about all those things, I wouldn’t invalidate that,” Tolentino says. But focussing on the immediate post-Roe future, she says, presents enough to worry about. “This is a universe of panic on its own.”
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