US Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Ending Right to Abortion

The US Supreme Court has overturned the Roe v Wade ruling, stripping millions of women of the right to abortion.

The controversial decision, partly leaked early in May, is the most important court ruling on women’s reproductive health in recent years. It means that abortion rights can be reversed in almost half of the country’s states immediately.

Judge Samuel Alito wrote for the court’s majority, saying: “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,” he added.

Justice Alito explained that the 1973 Roe decision’s arguments were “exceptionally weak,” claiming that they were so “damaging” that they amounted to “an abuse of judicial authority.”

The US Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn the 50-year-old Roe ruling. Most justices who sided with Justice Alito’s opinion were conservative, mainly appointed by Republican presidents like George Bush and Donald Trump.

Justices tied to Democratic administrations, mostly appointed by President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama, filed a joint dissenting opinion, criticizing the decision to overturn the pro-abortion 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 said. “Young women today will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers.”

The court’s ruling means states can determine abortion rights unless Congress acts. So far, half of the US states have passed or are set to pass laws that ban abortion or strictly regulate the procedure.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, at least 21 states currently have legislation or constitutional amendments that would force them to try to outlaw abortion as soon as possible. Also, four more states are certain to criminalize abortions without federal protections.

US president Joe Biden criticized the Supreme Court’s decision, saying it put the lives and health of the nation’s women at risk.

Speaking from the White House, he said: “It’s a sad day for the court and for the country” and blamed former president Trump for the outcome.

“It was three justices named by one president, Donald Trump, who were the core of today’s decision to upend the scales of justice and eliminate a fundamental right for women in this country. Make no mistake, this decision is a culmination of a deliberate effort over decades to upset the balance of our law,” he went on.

Mr. Biden also called for Congress to codify the right to get an abortion, describing Roe’s overturning as “a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error of the Supreme Court.”