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US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

By: Tosimaeʻa Tupua


The US Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step. The decision essentially means the states will have authority over abortion policy in the US. Friday night’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the US states.

It puts the court at odds with a majority of Americans who favored preserving Roe, according to a report by Washington Post.

Alito, in the final opinion issued Friday, wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong the day they were decided and must be overturned. Authority to regulate abortion rests with the political branches, not the courts, Alito wrote.

Joining Alito were Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The latter three justices are Trump appointees. Thomas first voted to overrule Roe 30 years ago.

The ruling is expected to disproportionately affect minority women who already face limited access to health care. Furthermore, many in the LGBTQ community are now fearful of what may happen next, given what Justice Clarance Thomas wrote, “in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.” Those three past rulings protect contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage respectively.

Thirteen states, mainly in the South and Midwest, already have laws on the books that ban abortion in the event Roe is overturned.

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