US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade abortion rights ruling

Norma McCorvey in Roe v Wade
Norma McCorvey (left) and her attorney Gloria Allred standing near the US Supreme Court in 1989. (Source: CNN)

The Supreme Court of the United States of America has overturned a 50-year ruling of Roe V Wade which guaranteed abortion rights.

In a 6-3 decision on 24th June, 2022, the court ruled that the 1973 landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade as well as a 1992 Supreme Court ruling in Planned Parenthood v. Casey are unconstitutional.

Justice Samuel Alito, in expressing the majority opinion wrote that “The constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders or Roe and Casey now chiefly rely – the Due process Clause of the 14th Amendment…..It is time to heed to the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives”.

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The ruling was on case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organisation in relation to the Mississippi 15-week abortion law which effectively bans abortion after 15-weeks of pregnancy.

The dissenting opinion which was written by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan read “The majority has overruled Roe and Casey for one and only one reason: because it has always despised them, and now it has the votes to discard them. The majority thereby substitutes a rule by judges for the rule of law….The majority would allow States to ban abortion from conception onward because it does not think forced childbirth at all implicated a woman’s rights to equality and freedom.”


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