TOverturned by the U.S. Supreme Court Roe V. WadeThis landmark ruling essentially struck down the right of abortion as a constitutional right almost 50 years ago.
The high court declared that pre-viability prohibitions for elective abortions were constitutional on June 24. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch. Chief Justice John Roberts also filed an opinion agreeing in the decision that pre-viability restrictions can be held, while declining to change it. Roe. The court’s three liberal justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan dissented.
This ruling changes fundamentally access to care for reproductive health in America, after nearly fifty years of constitutional protections. Thirteen states have already enacted “trigger laws” that are designed to ban all or nearly all abortions once Roe is overturned, and those will now go into effect—some immediately, and others in the coming hours and days. Expect more bans to follow. According to the Guttmacher Institute’s estimate, at least nine states already have laws they plan to implement. Others are also considering special legislative sessions in order to introduce restrictions to respond to this ruling. Oklahoma had already banned nearly all abortions prior to the Supreme Court ruling. Other conservative-led states tried to pass bans after a May leak of an opinion draft that predicted the major shift.
“Like the infamous decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, Roe was also egregiously wrong and on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided,” Alito wrote, comparing Roe to the case that established the “separate but equal” doctrine used to justify segregation for decades.
“A right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions,” Alito also wrote in the majority opinion. “On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973.”
It reflects the opinion draft authored by Alito, first reported in PoliticoOn May 3.
The dissent was written by the three liberal justices. “With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent,” the justices wrote. The impact that the decision might have on stare decisis (the legal doctrine that states courts must follow legal precedent regardless of their disagreement with it) was decried by the justices. They argued that the decision should be overturned. Roe, the Supreme Court betrayed “its guiding principles.”
Alito was the main voice in majority opinion. RoeAnd 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey– which affirmed the right to abortion while creating a new test requiring restrictions on abortion access to not pose an “undue burden” on the person seeking an abortion— were exceptional cases that merited breaking from stare decisis. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. It did not lead to a national solution for the abortion question. RoeAnd Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
This is the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health OrganizationThe article is centered around a 2018 Mississippi law that prohibits most abortions within 15 weeks of pregnancy. This direct contradiction to the precedent set in Roe, which said states could not ban abortions before fetal viability—the point around 24 weeks of pregnancy where a fetus can survive outside the womb. Both a conservative U.S. Court of Appeals and the federal district court struck down Mississippi’s law. RoeHowever, when the state made an appeal to the Supreme Court for review, the Justices agreed to reconsider the matter. Lawyers on both sides were surprised by the decision. The Mississippi lawyers argued that the Supreme Court should fully reverse the law once the case was before it reached the highest court. Roe Casey.
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Friday’s Supreme Court decision overturned both RoeAnd CaseyThe Constitution is not intended to grant abortion access.
This is a major victory for conservative legal movements, developed partly through opposition. Roe. The Supreme Court’s stunning decision in Dobbs This is the culmination decades-long work of conservative legal scholars, and anti-abortion advocates. They directed money and votes to Republican politicians in hopes that they would nominate conservative judges. Former President Donald Trump nominated a wave of conservative federal judges, including three Supreme Court Justices—Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett—building the most conservative Supreme Court in a generation and providing the crucial votes needed to overturn Roe.
For abortion rights activists, the decision is a crushing loss that they argue violates a person’s fundamental right to bodily autonomy and endangers women’s health and economic independence.
This is the final decision DobbsThe vast difference in rights Americans enjoy based on their geographic location will be exacerbated by the fact that some states could outlaw abortion altogether while others would become havens. This decision is contrary to popular opinion. A May 19 NPR/PBS NewsHour/Maris National Poll found 64% opposed to overturning abortion. Roe V. WadeWhile 33% of those surveyed supported the measure, only 27% supported it. The midterm elections will likely see abortion rights play a significant role, given that the decision was made in the middle of the summer primaries, and only months before November.
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Activists from both sides have already begun to prepare for the next legal battle. Dobbs This decision could spark. Progressives worry the arguments made in the decision could be used to overturn other landmark cases rooted in similar legal grounding in the “right to privacy,” which the Supreme Court ruled in 1965’s Griswold v. ConnecticutIt is established by the Bill of Rights. In Roe, eight years later, the Supreme Court ruled it was the right to privacy—this time specifically found in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment—that protected “a woman’s qualified right to terminate her pregnancy” until fetal viability. Historic rulings in the LGBTQ civil rights movement—including 2003’s Lawrence v. Texas, which legalized same-sex sexual activity, and and 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage—are also built on the right to privacy. Several other landmark cases, such as 1967’s Loving v. Virginia,These laws, which allow interracial marriage to be legalized are based on the Fourteenth Amendment rights without being specifically listed.
Alito, in the majority’s opinion, rejected the possibility. Dobbs impacting those decisions, writing that the court “stated unequivocally that ‘[n]othing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.’” But in his concurrence, Thomas argued that the court should reconsider what rights are found in the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, explicitly naming Griswold, LawrenceAnd Obergefell.
Anti-abortion advocates immediately cheered the court’s ruling overturning Roe. “Today we celebrate a historic victory for human rights as the Supreme Court overturns the dated Roe decision, ending half a century of abortion on demand that left more than 60 million dead children in its wake,” Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, one of the largest anti-abortion groups in the country, tweeted. It added that the organization’s work had just begun. “Today’s Supreme Court decision ushers in a new era in the fight for the unborn and their moms, with each state and Congress a battleground for life.”
The decision was deplored by abortion rights activists who also pledged to continue helping people get abortions in new posts.Roe reality. “The Supreme Court has now officially given politicians permission to control what we do with our bodies, deciding that we can no longer be trusted to determine the course for our own lives. But make no mistake—we are a movement that will demand we are treated like equal citizens,” tweeted Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood. “We mean it when we say it — care, no matter what.”
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