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The Supreme Court of the United States has overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, ending a 49-year-long interpretation that abortion is a constitutional right. Now individual states have the power to allow, limit, or ban the practice altogether.
“We end this opinion where we began,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the 6-3 opinion (PDF). “Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”
The case decided today was Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which focused on a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The state asked the Supreme Court to strike down a lower court ruling that stopped the legislation from taking effect.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett joined Alito’s opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts agreed with the result but filed a separate opinion. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan filed a joint dissent.
In addition to ending Roe (1973), today’s decision also overturned Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which re-affirmed abortion as a constitutional right.Published in