- The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion.
- Roe since 1973 had permitted abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy in the United States.
- Almost half the states are expected to outlaw or severely restrict abortion as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision on a Mississippi case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion in the U.S. in 1973.
The court’s controversial but expected ruling gives individual states the power to set their own abortion laws without concern of running afoul of Roe, which had permitted abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.
Follow live coverage of reaction to abortion decision here
Almost half the states are expected to outlaw or severely restrict abortion as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, which is related to a highly restrictive new Mississippi abortion law. The laws will affect tens of millions of people around the country, who may have to cross state lines to seek reproductive health care.
Other states plan to maintain more liberal rules governing the termination of pregnancies.
Supporters of abortion rights immediately condemned the ruling, while abortion opponents praised a decision they had long hoped for and worked to ensure. Protesters descended on the Supreme Court on Friday to speak out against a decision that will upend decades of precedent in the U.S.
Justice Samuel Alito, as expected, wrote the majority opinion that tossed out Roe as well as a 1992 Supreme Court decision upholding abortion rights in a case known as Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Alito was joined in that judgment by four other conservatives on the high court. Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the majority to uphold the Mississippi abortion restrictions but did not approve of tossing out Roe altogether.
The majority also included three justices appointed by former President Donald Trump: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
The court’s three liberal justices filed a dissenting opinion to the ruling, which quickly drew protestors to the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote.
“The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely — the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” Alito wrote.
“That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ and ’implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” he added.
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito wrote.
In their scathing joint dissent, the court’s liberal justices wrote, “The majority has overruled Roe and Casey for one and only one reason: because it has always despised them, and now it has the votes to discard them. The majority thereby substitutes a rule by judges for the rule of law.”
“The majority would allow States to ban abortion from conception onward because it does not think forced childbirth at all implicates a woman’s rights to equality and freedom,” said the dissent by Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
“Today’s Court, that is, does not think there is anything of constitutional significance attached to a woman’s control of her body and the path of her life,” it said. “A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs.”
Trump says that God made the decision to overturn Roe V Wade and save the children.— Louisiana Patriot IFBAP 🇺🇲🇵🇭 (@Dave60919714) June 24, 2022
God gets the glory. Amen! pic.twitter.com/sHBqSxSCaJ