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Allowing states to have more powers to determine issues such as abortion is the correct path for America, says Mark Meckler, president of the conservative grassroots movement Convention of States Action.

Meckler also co-founded Convention of States Action which proposes amendments to the U.S. Constitution to bring power back to the states and the people.

A paramount issue related to this currently is Roe vs. Wade and the recent leak of a draft opinion by the Supreme Court indicating that the high court is prepared to leave the abortion issue to the states to determine its legality.

“Twenty-six states look like they actually could ultimately outlaw abortion,’ Meckler told  NTD’s “Capitol Report” program on May 5. “They’ll have to get their legislatures back in session and pass the appropriate laws.”

Meckler was likely referencing an analysis by the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy group focused on reproductive health care. The institute said that 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion if Roe vs. Wade were not in place.

Meckler said that 13 states already have “trigger laws,” that were passed after the Roe decision in 1973 and explicitly noted they would outlaw abortion if the Supreme Court allowed it.

The 13 states are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, another nine states—Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin—have laws or constitutional amendments already in place.

Additionally, four states—Florida, Indiana, Montana, and Nebraska—are likely to ban abortion as soon as possible.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a legal advocacy organization, said 25 states are likely to ban abortion without federal protections in place.

Its list includes North Carolina and Pennsylvania but excludes Florida, Iowa, and Montana.

“But I think ultimately, what we’re gonna see is a majority of states with severe restrictions or a total outlawing of abortion,” said Meckler.

However, battles are expected given the highly controversial nature of the issue. For example, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pledged to use “every lever of power we have right now” to fight for abortion rights in a May 9 New York Times Op-ed.

Last month, Whitmer filed a lawsuit to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to resolve whether Michigan’s Constitution protects the right to abortion. Michigan has a 1931 law criminalizing abortion but the ban was rendered unconstitutional under the rulings in Roe.

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer attends an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus on March 9, 2022. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)

Meckler said giving more power to states is the right direction for the nation.

“The whole country needs to head this direction,” said Meckler. “I actually think it’s sort of the crux issue in the United States right now, there’s so much divisiveness … And the way you solve that problem, and you create harmony in the nation is acknowledge that we were formed on a federalist basis, and go back to that federalist basis, allowing the states to decide for themselves.”

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center last October found that more Americans saw strong political and ethnic conflicts than people in other 16 advanced economies.

Meckler said federalism is “at the very root of the founding of the nation.”

He explained that when the Constitutional Convention was held in 1787, the delegates didn’t trust each other, and they had different interests, and different cultures. This led to the designing of a government that left a very limited amount of power in the hands of the federal government called the enumerated powers.

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The 1856 painting “Washington at Constitutional Convention of 1787, signing of U.S. Constitution” by Junius Brutus Stearns. (TeachingAmericanHistory.org via Wikimedia Commons)

There are 17 enumerated powers in the Constitution, such as to lay and collect taxes; pay debts and borrow money; regulate commerce; coin money; establish post offices; protect patents and copyrights; establish lower courts; declare war; and raise and support an army and navy.

“We’ve centralized that power over the centuries. It’s causing a lot of strife and discord in America,” said Meckler.

“If we want to preserve the union, if we want to escheat history and make the republic survive, we have to go back to that federalist idea.”

Harry Lee

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Melina Wisecup

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