WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?: Roe v. Wade and The Overturn by The Supreme Court

On Friday, the Supreme Court overturned the Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973, allowing states to ban legal abortion access.

The decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade has been finalized. On Friday (June 24), the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Americans no longer having the constitutional right to abortion, dismissing the Roe vs. Wade decision of 1973. Now, states will have the right to ban access to abortions.


Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote an opinion for the 6-3 ruling, joined by five other conservatives on the high court. According to CNN, Chief Justice John Roberts opposed the majority, supporting the Mississippi law of banning abortions after 15 weeks.

“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 stated on behalf of the majority. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences.”

Since 1973, Roe vs. Wade has permitted abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy. Now, at least 21 states can abide by laws or constitutional amendments that give them the ability to ban abortion. 13 states – including Texas, Louisiana and Utah – have “trigger laws,” which grant outlawing abortion following the reversal of Roe vs. Wade. Just 5 of those 13 states make exceptions for situations of rape or incest.

Following the ruling, three liberal justices — Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — wrote a joint dissenting opinion, stating: “With sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection — we dissent.”

In response, Alito wrote: “The dissent is very candid that it cannot show that a constitutional right to abortion has any foundation, let alone a ‘deeply rooted’ one, ‘in this Nation’s history and tradition.’ The dissent does not identify any pre-Roe authority that supports such a right — no state constitutional provision or statute, no federal or state judicial precedent, not even a scholarly treatise.”


It’s also worth noting that, in a concurring opinion from Clarence Thomas (who has been against Roe for decades), the justice said that the Supreme Court should also reconsider the rulings of landmark decisions that protect contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage.


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