WASHINGTON – One of the biggest issues in the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee will be Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide.
It's unclear whether the current justices or the potential nominees would even vote to overturn Roe, but the issue has been a big rallying cry for the Left since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he's retiring.
So what would happen if the case is overturned?
For one, control over abortion regulations would be returned to the states, setting up a patchwork of laws.
In four states – North and South Dakota, Mississippi, and Louisiana – abortion would be automatically banned.
Ten additional states whose abortion bans were ended by Roe would likely see those laws reinstated, and in eight states abortion would remain legal.
If the abortion decision returns to the states, it would happen at a time when a growing number of Americans identify as pro-life.
Also noteworthy: Republicans currently hold more seats in state legislatures across the country, so if the last decade is any indication, new pro-life laws could be on the way.
"We've seen an average of nearly 60 pro-life laws passed every single year and signed into law since 2011," Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, told CBN News.
A number of those state laws are already facing court challenges, which would likely become the mechanism that puts abortion back on the Supreme Court docket.
"When a case comes up based on one of these state-level laws, then the court would be able to reexamine the issue of abortion in America and would be able to say there is no such right. In fact, Roe was poorly reasoned," Foster explained.
Foster says, due to that reasoning, she feels confident Roe will be overturned – it's just a matter of when.
"We expect that the next justice will rely upon the Constitution: its original meaning; the original intent of the founders; the text of the document itself, when making these very weighty decisions – life-altering decisions," she predicted.
So even if Roe v. Wade is overturned the legal fight over abortion will continue.