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Roe v. Wade overturned by Supreme Court; States can ban abortion

Nearly 50 years of federal abortion rights were overturned today by the Supreme Court, removing women’s right to abortion.

The Roberts Court, April 23, 2021 Seated from left to right: Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor Standing from left to right: Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett. Photograph by Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court on Friday declared in a 5-4 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade,  the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion in the U.S. in 1973.

The court’s controversial ruling gives power back to individual states, giving them the final say on whether or not abortion will be permitted during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.

The ruling came more than a month after the leaked draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito. It indicated the court was prepared to take this momentous step in throwing out Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. These cases made in a 1992 Supreme Court decision were in favor of abortion rights.

According to CBNC, almost half the states are expected to implement strict abortion laws or rule it out completely.

The laws are expected to affect millions of people across the country who may need to cross their own state lines to seek reproductive health care.

Alito, in the final opinion issued on Friday, wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were wrong the day they were decided and must be overturned.

“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 wrote.

“That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ and ’implicit in the concept of ordered liberty,” he added. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

According to data compiled by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, they say more than 90% of abortions take place in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, and more than half are now done with pills, not surgery.

The Biden Administration and other defenders of abortion rights warned that this decision to overturn Roe would also threaten other court decisions in favor of gay rights and even potentially, contraception.

The decision now, to uphold or restrict abortion rights, is at the state level.

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