Utah law professor: Overturning Roe v. Wade would leave abortion laws to the states

May 3, 2022, 8:38 AM | Updated: 9:59 am
gun rights Utah abortion Boston Christian flag...
FILE - Visitors walk outside the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — The draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would leave laws on abortion up to legislatures, with wide variations expected from state to state. That’s the view of University of Utah law professor Paul Cassell, who spoke to KSL NewsRadio on Monday evening.

The leaked Roe v. Wade document was published by the Washington DC-based website Politico on Monday. Its authenticity has now been verified by the Supreme Court, although its release was unauthorized.

 Cassell said the document could be the outline for a forthcoming decision.

“I think we have to take it with a grain of salt,” he said, “but typically, once a draft circulates, it’s very common for that draft to end up being the ultimate decision of the court.”

“The net effect will be to return the abortion issue back to the states. In other words, Utah, California, New York, Florida, they’ll all have to pass their own laws and regulations dealing with abortion,” Cassell said.

He doesn’t expect those laws to be the same across the country.

“California’s going to have a much more liberal or generous approach to the circumstances in which abortion is permitted. Utah and other conservative states are going to have much more restrictive approaches,” he said.

Utah, in fact, already has a so-called “trigger law” on the books. SB 174, passed in 2020, which would only take effect if Roe v. Wade is eventually overturned. It would prohibit most abortions except in cases where the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, where two doctors certify a fetus could not survive outside the womb, or to save the life of the mother. A number of other states have similar laws.

Related reading:

Today’s Top Stories


This June 20, 2017, photo provided by Chris Wonderly shows Hovenweep Castle at Hovenweep National M...
Curt Gresseth

Supreme Court widens state power over tribes. What does it mean for Utah?

The director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs discusses the recent US Supreme Court ruling and what it means for tribes in Utah.
4 days ago
In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell, right, is seated beside her attorney, Christian Everde...

Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in prison

The sentencing was the culmination of a prosecution that detailed how Epstein and Maxwell flaunted their associations to groom vulnerable girls.
6 days ago
Protesters hold signs and chant at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 24, 2022, as ...
Curt Gresseth

Utah women’s reproductive-health doctor weighs in on Roe v. Wade ruling

A Salt Lake City doctor who specializes in women's reproductive health care weighs in on the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
10 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022, after the Supre...

Biden calls abortion ruling ‘a sad day’ for country

He said the court has done what it's never done before in taking away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans.
10 days ago
salt lake mayorMendenhall guns...
Curt Gresseth

After NY law is struck down, two Utah experts sound off on gun rights

Two advocates on either side of the gun-control vs. gun rights debate sound off on the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling to expand the right to carry a firearm in public.
11 days ago
gun rights Utah abortion Boston Christian flag...
JESSICA GRESKO Associated Press

Supreme Court expands gun rights, striking down New York limits

The justices' 6-3 decision is expected to allow more people to legally carry guns on the streets of the nation's largest cities.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Utah law professor: Overturning Roe v. Wade would leave abortion laws to the states