The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision Friday, saying the constitution “makes no reference” to abortion rights.
The 6-3 majority decision on the 1973 ruling argued that abortion rights were different than other rights withheld by the 14th amendment.
“The constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” the court’s voting majority wrote Friday. “Until the latter part of the 20th century, such a right was entirely unknown by American law.”
In a 66-page dissent, Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor wrote that although some states will still allow abortions, women who cannot afford to incur the costs of going to another state for an abortion will “suffer from today’s decision.”
“Whatever the exact scope of the coming laws, one result of today’s decision is certain: the curtailment of women’s rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens,” the dissenting justices wrote. “As of today, this Court holds, a State can always force a woman to give birth, prohibiting even the earliest abortions. A State can thus transform what, when freely undertaken, is a wonder into what, when forced, may be a nightmare.”
President Biden addressed the court’s decision, calling Friday a “sad day” for the U.S.
“Now, with Roe gone, let’s be very clear, the health and life of women in this nation are now at risk,” Biden said. “The court’s decision… will have real and immediate consequences. State laws banning abortion are dramatically taking effect today, jeopardizing the health of millions of women, some without exceptions.”
On the west coast, multiple states, including California declared a “commitment to reproductive freedom” following the Supreme Court’s announcement.
The governors of California, Oregon and Washington joined to saying their states would continue to provide reproductive healthcare.
“The Supreme Court has made it clear – they want to strip women of their liberty and let Republican states replace it with mandated birth because the right to choose an abortion is not ‘deeply rooted in history,'” California Governor Gavin Newsom said. “They want to turn back the clock to a time when women had no right to make decisions about their own bodies, when women had to seek care in the shadows and at great danger, when women were not treated as equal citizens under the law. This is another devastating step toward erasing the rights and liberties Americans have fought for on battlefields, in courthouses and in capitols.
The court’s decision came weeks after a Supreme Court opinion leaked from Justice Samuel Alito, suggesting that the decision would be overturned.
After being authenticated, the leaked document led to nationwide protests, and swift responses from pro-abortion states.
As of this writing, pro-abortion organizations such as Rise 4 Abortion Rights are planning a protest and march in front of the Los Angeles federal courthouse on West 1st Street.
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