U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Roe V. Wade
In a widely anticipated move, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday issued a decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion for nearly fifty years.
The 6-3 decision comes roughly two months after a leaked draft of an opinion indicated the court’s conservative majority’s intent to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito notes the U.S. Constitution makes no reference to abortion and argues no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
“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,'” Alito wrote. “The right to abortion does not fall within this category.”
Alito argues the decision in Roe v. Wade was “egregiously wrong from the start,” calling the reasoning behind the decision “exceptionally weak” and claiming it has had “damaging consequences.”
“Far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division,” the Republican-nominated Justice wrote. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
Alito was joined in the decision by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett as well as Chief Justice John Roberts.
The decision puts the issue of abortion back into the hands of the states, including many that plan to restrict or outright ban abortions.
The court’s liberal wing, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, unsurprisingly dissented, arguing the decision says a woman has no rights to speak of from the very moment of fertilization.
“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,” they wrote.
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