Jeffrey Toobin predicts 'abortion will be illegal' in 20 states soon after Kennedy retires

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin predicted that abortion would soon be illegal in many states within months of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.

Toobin elaborated on his point during a CNN appearance shortly after his tweet.

"You’re going to see 20 states pass laws banning abortion outright,” Toobin said. "Because they know there are going to be five votes on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade."

"And abortion will be illegal in a significant part of the United States in 18 months, and there is no doubt about that," he added.

A moderate conservative, Kennedy often served as the deciding vote in key Supreme Court cases, sometimes breaking rank and siding with the court’s more liberal justices.

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The justice’s retirement paves the way for President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE to nominate another conservative to the Supreme Court, and anti-abortion advocates are more likely to pursue abortion cases with a conservative-leaning court.

Shortly after Kennedy's retirement was announced, Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens issued a call for abortion-rights supporters to call on the Senate to reject any anti-abortion nominee Trump taps to replace Kennedy.

"The significance of today’s news cannot be overstated: The right to access abortion in this country is on the line," Laguens said in a statement. 

"The idea of Trump having his choice to fill another vacancy is terrifying for not only abortion rights, but for our ability to live free from discrimination in this country. Planned Parenthood and our 11 million supporters call on the Senate to reject any nominee who would strip people's individual rights and freedoms," she continued.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Tuesday that a California law that requires crisis pregnancy centers to give women information on how to receive low-cost abortions from the state is likely in violation of the First Amendment. Kennedy sided with the majority opinion in the case.

Kennedy, 82, announced his retirement from the court on Wednesday, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

"It has been the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those on the Supreme Court," he said in a statement.

—Updated 3:34 p.m.