Roe V. Wade Overturned
WASHINGTON D.C. – June 24, 2022 – The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued perhaps the most important decision since 1973. The Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling which created a women’s constitutional right to abortion.
The Court, in a 6-3 ruling upheld a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The vote was 5-4 to completely overturn Roe, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing separately to say he would have upheld the Mississippi law without taking the additional step of erasing the Roe precedent altogether.
The ruling restored the ability of states to ban abortion. 26 states are either certain or considered likely to ban abortion. Mississippi is among 13 states with so-called trigger laws to ban abortion with Roe overturned.
The justices, in the ruling written by Justice Samuel Alito, held that the Roe decision that allowed abortions performed before a fetus would be viable outside the womb, which occurs between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, was wrongly decided because the “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” He is correct.
Justice Alito went on to say, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey (a case that supported Roe) have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in a concurring opinion, made it clear that the ruling does not let states bar residents from traveling to another state to obtain an abortion, or retroactively punish people for prior abortions.
Joseph Biden urged Congress to pass a law protecting abortion rights. However, he did not seem to understand that SCOTUS would simply overturn that law as well.
Britain and France called the ruling a step backward. The Vatican praised it, saying it challenged the world to reflect on life issues. However, our judicial system is not based on the opinions of European entities.
Additionally, Walt Disney Co., AT&T and Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. said they will cover employees’ expenses if they now have to travel for abortion services.
As expected, the Court’s three liberal justices – Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan issued a jointly authored dissent.
“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.
As a result of Friday’s ruling, “from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A state can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs,” the liberal justices added.
Current House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, denounced the decision, saying that a “Republican-controlled Supreme Court” has achieved that party’s “dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions.”
Since I was a boy, I have always struggled with the abortion issue for two reasons.
The bottom line is that if a woman wants to abort her child, she can still legally do so. While there will be some travel cost, a woman can travel to a state that will allow her to get an abortion.
This decision does not “outlaw” abortion. It just takes away a right that was never provided in the Constitution.