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US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortion no longer a federal constitutional right

Former President Barack Obama called it an attack on "the essential freedoms of millions of Americans."

US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, abortion no longer a federal constitutional right
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 24: Abortion rights activists react to ruling which overturns the landmark abortion Roe v. Wade case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, ruling that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. The 6-3 majority decision led by a conservative majority in the Supreme Court will have overturned the judgment passed on January 22, 1973, that affirmed the legality of a person’s right to have an abortion under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. A 7-2 decision nearly 50 years ago held that a person’s right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy, reported CNN. Now with Roe v. Wade overturned, states will be able to pass laws that ban abortion. Many states have already passed laws that restrict abortion. The Supreme Court overturned the judgment while ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a case centered on a Mississippi law that bars most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The three justices that dissented are Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Former President Barack Obama called it an attack on "the essential freedoms of millions of Americans."

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: Abortion rights activists demonstrate in front of anti-abortion activists outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on June 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Court announced a highly-anticipated ruling on gun rights from New York, but activists continue to wait on the potential overturning of Roe vs Wade. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

 

Protests outside Supreme Court
People have gathered in front of the Supreme Court holding signs and chanting through megaphones, protesting the decision. "It's a heartbreaking betrayal of half of the country," said former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers, watching protesters gather outside the Supreme Court. "I'm getting — watching the women there — it's emotional." The Supreme Court ruling claimed that "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start" while overturning the judgment. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. 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,” read the decision, reiterating the court's stance from a leaked opinion published by Politico earlier this year. 



 


White House anticipated ruling
Sources claimed that the White House expected the ruling and was mulling various ways to help people access abortion. Among the options include using executive actions and FDA regulatory steps to expand access to medication abortion pills, and declaring a public health emergency through the Department of Health and Human Services to shield doctors from legal liability if they treat patients in states where they are not licensed.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: Abortion rights activists protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building on June 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Court announced a highly-anticipated ruling on gun rights from New York, but activists continue to wait on the potential overturning of Roe vs Wade. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

 

Same-sex marriage could be next
The decision could potentially create an opening to overturn same-sex marriage, and contraception among other things hinted the liberal justices in their dissent. “No one should be confident that this majority is done with its work,” wrote the liberal justices. “The right Roe and Casey recognized does not stand alone. On the contrary, the Court has linked it for decades to other settled freedoms involving bodily integrity, familial relationships, and procreation. Most obviously, the right to terminate a pregnancy arose straight out of the right to purchase and use contraception. In turn, those rights led, more recently, to rights of same-sex intimacy and marriage.” The justices concluded, "With sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.”



 

 

Michelle Obama: I am heartbroken today
"I am heartbroken for people around this country who just lost the fundamental right to make informed decisions about their own bodies. I am heartbroken that we may now be destined to learn the painful lessons of a time before Roe was made law of the land-a time when women risked losing their lives getting illegal abortions. A time when the government denied women control over their reproductive functions, forced them to move forward with pregnancies they didn't want, and then abandoned them once their babies were born," wrote Michelle Obama. "This horrifying decision will have devastating consequences, and it must be a wake-up call, especially to the young people who will bear its burden."



 

 

Pelosi: American women today have less freedom than their mothers
"The hypocrisy is raging, but the harm is endless. What this means to women is such an insult. It's a slap in face to women about using their own judgment to make their own decisions about their reproductive freedom," said Pelosi. “Today, the Republican-controlled Supreme Court has achieved the GOP’s dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions," said Pelosi said in a statement. "Because of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Party, and their supermajority on the Supreme Court, American women today have less freedom than their mothers."

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