Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade

Conservative majority rules that the landmark law protecting abortion rights is unconstitutional
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2022 9:15 AM CDT
Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade
Police officers patrol on bicycles past the Supreme Court building in Washington on June 13.   (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

(Newser) – Roe v. Wade is no more. The Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 ruling that protected abortion rights nationwide in a decision released Friday, reports the AP. The ruling is in sync with a draft opinion that was leaked in May. It's now up to individual states to decide whether abortions can be provided, and under what restrictions. The New York Times expects the ruling to lead to "all but total" abortion bans in about half the states. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion, which was joined by Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Chief Justice John Roberts filed a separate opinion, per SCOTUSblog, in which he agreed with the decision to uphold Mississippi's abortion law (the case in question) but said he would have preferred "a more measured course" that stopped short of overturning Roe.

  • Majority: "We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled," wrote Alito, referring also to Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 case that affirmed the Roe decision. "The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision."
  • And more: "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division," wrote Alito, per the Washington Post. "It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives."
  • Dissent: "With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent," wrote justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan in a joint dissent.
The case out of Mississippi is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392. (Read more Roe v. Wade stories.)

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