The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, eliminating federal abortion protections after 49 years. What happens now?
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday. The Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization eliminated federal abortion protections after 49 years. What happens now?
- Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion (which leaked in May), joined by four other conservative justices. The three liberal justices dissented.
- Chief Justice John Roberts agreed with the decision to uphold the Mississippi’s fifteen-week abortion ban, the law at the heart of the decision while disagreeing with the majority’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
- The end of Roe returns abortion policy to the democratic process and allows states to legislate on the procedure. The Constitution is silent on abortion.
- In the hours after the decision, 10 states quickly banned abortion as their “trigger laws” came into effect.
- Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, South Dakota, West Virginia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Alabama prohibit abortion, while Ohio bans it after six weeks.
- Clinics in other states have stopped performing abortions amid the uncertain legal environment.
- Abortion will be on the ballot in November in several states with divided governments, most notably Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is the largest state with a divided government and hosts highly competitive gubernatorial and Senate elections this fall.
- The New York Times called June 24, 2022 “the day Chief Justice Roberts lost his Court.” Roberts’ preferred incremental approach, much criticized by conservatives, proved powerless in the face of a five-justice majority ready to return abortion policy to the democratic process.
- CNN predicted a “cascade of consequences” stemming from the Supreme Court’s ruling, calling it a “legal, political and societal thunderbolt” and predicted Dobbs opponents would need to engage in a “generational struggle” to reverse the Court’s decision.
- The Intercept accused the ‘radical’ Supreme Court of “declaring war on the 14th Amendment.” The author claims that the 14th Amendment’s purpose, “to address the particular horrors of slavery,” implicitly included the right to abort one’s child.
- Fox News broke down the “ten key quotes” from Justice Alito’s opinion. Alito wrote in strong, clear language, stating: “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 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.”
- National Review declared the Dobbs ruling “the greatest victory in the history of the conservative movement” and the culmination of decades of “institution-building and bare-knuckles politics.”
- Commentary wrote that an era where “voters and their representatives could enjoy the courage of their convictions on abortion without the associated repercussions” is over, and Americans now must return to self-governance and legislate on abortion.
© Dominic Moore, 2022