Already, anti-abortion activists in Indiana hope that one of their laws, which gave a fetus nondiscrimination protections but was struck down in federal appeals court earlier this year, may be the one to challenge Roe v. Wade — if their attorney general appeals to the Supreme Court in the months ahead. But there are dozens of other cases working their way through the courts nationwide, including one involving an Iowa law banning almost all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, and a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks. Seventeen states have laws that ban abortion after about 20 weeks.
These efforts reflect “a long-term and sophisticated strategy” to gain the upper hand, says Ilyse Hogue, president of the abortion rights organization NARAL. “They’ve been stacking the courts, taking over state legislatures,” she said in an interview, referring to anti-abortion groups. “This has been their plan. This is no doubt the day they have been waiting for.”
As the canvassers dodged sprinklers in the Indiana suburbs, it was clear they saw their role as more than just a job for which they are paid $10 an hour: Many said they have opposed abortion most of their lives.