Laurel Duggan on June 24, 2022
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision Friday, sending the authority to regulate and restrict abortions back to the states.
The majority of justices upheld Mississippi’s 15-week abortion limit at stake in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case which directly challenged Roe’s ban on most abortion restrictions before fetal viability. Mississippi’s sole abortion clinic filed a lawsuit against the state’s chief health officer, Thomas Dobbs, alleging the restriction was unconstutional.
“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the
people and their elected representatives,” the court wrote in its opinion.
Justice Samuel Alito authored the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas and John Roberts.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
The Roe precedent made abortions legal nationwide until fetal viability, or the point at which a child is able to survive outside the womb, which is generally determined to occur at around 24 weeks’ gestation. States can now restrict abortions at any point in pregnancy.
A draft version of the majority opinion was leaked to Politico and published May 3, revealing that the majority of justices had agreed to overturn Roe in a non-binding vote after oral arguments in December.
Following the release of the draft decision, pro-life organizations and crisis pregancy centers were attacked by pro-abortion activists, with some buildings being firebombed by Molotov cocktails. Pro-abortion protesters also picketed outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices, and a man was arrested for attempting to murder Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated
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