The U.S Supreme Court today (Jun 24) overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalised abortion, in a move that is likely to have far-reaching consequences on the country's politics, society and jurisprudence.
The ruling upholds a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks to take effect. The court’s ruling gives individual states the power to set their own abortion laws without concern of running afoul of Roe, which had permitted abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.
“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito as Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 majority.
Justice Alito was joined by Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, and Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority. The court’s three liberal justices — Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer — dissented.
“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,” the dissent states.
Supporters of abortion rights immediately condemned the ruling, while abortion opponents praised a decision they had long hoped for and worked to ensure.
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