WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion, ending a half-century of precedent on one of the nation’s most controversial issues.
The decision was met with cheers from pro-life advocates outside the Supreme Court. The ruling will now see the states get control and currently over half of the states say they will now move to ban abortion as soon as 30 days.
Supporters of Roe v. Wade have been bracing for this day since May when a draft memo was leaked, prompting the Senate to vote to advance legislation that would guarantee access to abortion nationwide. That bill was blocked in a party-line vote.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the court’s decision in Roe “sparked a national controversy that has embittered our political culture for a half-century.”
“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,” he wrote in the majority opinion, which was supported by conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.
Meanwhile, Kavanaugh said the states will now retain the power to limit or grant the right to an abortion.
“After today’s decision, all of the States may evaluate the competing interests and decide how to address this consequential issue,” he wrote.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined conservative justices in the 6-3 vote but said in a concurring opinion he is against going further.
“Surely we should adhere closely to principles of judicial restraint here, where the broader path the Court chooses entails repudiating a constitutional right we have not only previously recognized, but also expressly reaffirmed applying the doctrine of stare decisis,” he wrote.
Liberal justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a statement the decision by the court was made “because the composition of this Court has changed.”
“Today, the proclivities of individuals rule,” they added. “The Court departs from its obligation to faithfully and impartially apply the law.”
“With sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection — we dissent,” they concluded.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the decision was “outrageous and heart-wrenching.”
“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. 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,” Pelosi said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the ruling was “courageous and correct. This is a historic victory for the Constitution and for the most vulnerable in our society.”
The ruling came down due to a 2018 law passed by Mississippi’s Republican-controlled Legislature to ban abortions after 15 weeks. In the law, which has made exceptions for medical emergencies or cases of severe fetal abnormality but not for rape or incest, was put on hold by lower courts.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said he was “deeply disappointed” by the ruling and called out Kavanaugh and Gorsuch for voting to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans,” Manchin said.
Now, half the country will see abortion be banned. Texas is one of about two dozen states that were considered certain to ban abortion once the Supreme Court’s abortion precedents were overturned. Meanwhile, abortion will remain legal in states such as California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.