Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

By: Sierra Wells

Managing Editor

The Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey court decisions on June 24, igniting a flurry of mixed reactions across the nation.

Issued in 1973, Roe v. Wade ruled pregnant women had the constitutional right to choose to undergo an abortion.

When the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case brought up questions about the authenticity of Mississippi’s ban on most abortions past 15 weeks of pregnancy, the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of Mississippi.

Justice Samuel Alito expressed the majority’s reasoning in the opinion of the court.

Justice Samuel Alito
Photo courtesy of Oyez

“And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito said.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer produced the dissenting opinion, which detailed their opposition to the final outcome.

“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 said.

States will now have the authority to pass their own laws and restrictions on abortion. 

Texas is one state that already put restrictions on abortion. In 2021, Texas passed the Human Life Protection Act, making the performance of an abortion a felony, unless the life of the mother is at risk.

This Texas abortion ban will take effect approximately 30 days after the overruling of Roe v. Wade.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reacted positively to the Roe v. Wade news on Twitter.

“SCOTUS just overruled Roe & Casey, ending one of the most morally & legally corrupt eras in US history. Praise the Lord. Abortion is now illegal in Texas. And today I’m closing my office—and making it an annual holiday—as a memorial to the 70 million lives lost bc of abortion,” Paxton said.

Former President Barack Obama also shared his opinion on Twitter; however, he was not in favor of the court’s decision.

“Today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans,” Obama said.

Roe v. Wade may not be the last case to be questioned and potentially overturned. Justice Clarence Thomas indicated in his concurring opinion that he thought the court should investigate other cases, such as Obergefell v. Hodges, which allows same-sex couples the right to get married.

“For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell,” Thomas said.

For more information about the Supreme Court’s decision, visit https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1392_6j37.pdf

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