The Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade in a 6-3 decision earlier today, June 24, ending the federal right to access safe abortions.
The decision also overturned a 1992 ruling the Supreme Court gave in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld abortion rights.
Moreover, today’s ruling upheld a Mississippi law prohibiting almost all abortions after 15 weeks.
In an opinion backed by the majority of justices, written by Justice Samuel Alito, the latter referred to Roe v. Wade’s ruling as “egregiously wrong from the start.”
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” wrote Alito.
“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,” stated the justice. “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.”
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito noted, expressing that the right to abortion will now be decided at the state level instead of guaranteed for all women fundamentally, at a federal level.
The three liberal-leaning court justices who objected to today’s decision have filed a dissenting opinion in which they argue the majority’s opinion “says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of.”
“A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs,” their dissent continued.
The public court won’t take this ruling lying down either. Color Of Change president Rashad Robinson issued a statement about the Supreme Court’s decision that referred to it as “a catastrophe that far-right extremists have been working towards for half a century.”
“The court has no right to coerce Black people into parenting, especially given America’s long history of criminalizing Black bodies and the exploitation of our communities. Black people, already profoundly impacted by abortion bans and disproporiantely criminalized by the legal system, are sure to face the harshest levels of prosecution following today’s decision,” stated Robinson.
“Black people’s lives are at stake. We will continue to mobilize to prevent the next decision that harms our bodies and challenges our rights. Nothing will stop us from fighting for our freedom and continuing to build power for ourselves and our families.”
Regarded as a landmark ruling in 1973 that upheld women’s reproductive rights, Roe v. Wade established that women have a constitutional right to access abortions through the first trimester of pregnancy.
Though that access has been stripped away, the fight to secure women’s rights will remain.
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