As Donald Trump mulls over a list of potential justices, his promise to reshape the Supreme Court is energizing opponents of abortion and galvanizing some state legislators to advance and defend more restrictions on the practice.
Meanwhile, supporters of abortion rights believe they are in the fight of their lives.
Trump’s unexpected win is a dramatic turn in the debate following this June’s Supreme Court ruling in which Justice Anthony Kennedy voted with the court’s liberals to strike down a Texas law that would have shuttered all but a handful of clinics in the state.
That ruling emboldened both sides: abortion rights activists launched attacks on other state restrictions armed with ammunition from the court’s opinion, while abortion opponents retrenched and supported Senate Republicans who continued to block President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the seat of the late Antonin Scalia.
Trump’s victory means that he will be able to fill Scalia’s seat and perhaps other future vacancies. Some states are taking big strides in their efforts to pass new legislation.