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High Court Reverses 50 Years of Precedent by Overturning Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court rules there is no constitutional right to abortion, a rare reversal of long-settled law that will fracture the foundations of modern reproductive rights in America.
High Court Reverses 50 Years of Precedent by Overturning Roe v. Wade

On Friday, the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade case, which granted women in the US the right to terminate a pregnancy. A reversal of this magnitude is almost unprecedented, particularly on a case decided nearly 50 years ago, writes the Guardian. As a result of the reversal, states will again be permitted to ban or severely restrict abortion, changes that will indelibly alter the national understanding of liberty, self-determination and personal autonomy.

The supreme court just overturned Roe v Wade – what happens next? (Guardian)

Excerpt from the Guardian: The extraordinarily rare move will allow more than half of states to ban abortion, with an immediate and enduring impact on tens of millions of Americans. The court decided there is no constitutional right to abortion in a case called Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In reaching that decision, the conservative-majority court overturned Roe v Wade, from 1973. Historically, the court has overturned cases to grant more rights. The court has done the opposite here, and its decision will restrict a constitutional right generations of Americans have grown up taking for granted.
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The court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization upheld a law from Mississippi that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, roughly two months earlier than what has been allowed under Supreme Court precedent dating back to Roe. A deeply divided Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion, overruling the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and leaving the question of abortion’s legality to the states, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminates Constitutional Right to Abortion (Wall Street Journal)

Excerpt from the Wall Street Journal: In siding with Mississippi, the court’s conservative majority said the Roe decision was egregiously wrong in recognizing a constitutional right to an abortion, an error the court perpetuated in the decades since. "The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision," Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court. "It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives," he wrote. The court voted 6-3 to side with Mississippi, but 5-4 on the broader question of whether to overrule Roe.
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In a related story, while the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was written by Justice Samuel Alito, a concurring opinion in favor of the conservative majority by Justice Clarence Thomas raises fears that rulings protecting contraception and same-sex marriage could be overruled as well in the near term, according to Fortune.

Justice Thomas hints gay rights and contraception at risk after conservative majority overturns Roe v. Wade (Fortune)

Excerpt from Fortune: "In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents," Thomas wrote, pointing to Griswold v. Connecticut (contraception), Lawrence (same-sex marriage), and Obergefell (same-sex marriage). "Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents." The dissenting opinion, by liberal Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, warned that more personal liberties could be at risk. "No one should be confident that this majority is done with its work," the dissenting opinion reads. "The right Roe and Casey recognized does not stand alone. To the contrary, the Court has linked it for decades to other settled freedoms involving bodily integrity, familial relationships, and procreation."
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