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The future of abortion in the state of Iowa

Political scientists discuss the road ahead for abortion rights, as the U.S. Supreme Court decides on the fate of Roe v. Wade.

Earlier this month, the U.S.’ long-standing right to an abortion appeared vulnerable to being overturned. The Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, attempts to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Courts have historically upheld a pregnant person’s right to an abortion in the first two trimesters of pregnancy. This is generally thought of as the period a fetus is unable to survive outside the womb, roughly 24 weeks.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with two political scientists about statements made during the proceedings. The court's three newest justices — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, all Trump appointees — appeared to signal they are ready to side with Mississippi — but it wasn't immediately clear if all of them would strike down Roe, as the state of Mississippi has asked.


  • Megan Goldberg, assistant professor of American politics at Cornell College
  • Rachel Caufield, professor of political science at Drake University
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa