Breaking: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in landmark opinion

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Reported by: Daily Mail

  • The Supreme Court overruled the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision Friday morning by upholding Mississippi’s restrictive abortion ban 
  • ”The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled,’ the decision said 

The Supreme Court overruled the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision Friday morning by upholding Mississippi’s restrictive 15-week abortion ban.

‘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,’ the decision said.


Tensions over the future of abortion rights in the country have been running high since a draft opinion of Dobbs was leaked – and showed that the high court’s conservative majority was poised to push whether abortion was legal back to the states.

The 6-3 conservative majority made good on what the draft said, with liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer dissenting.

Tensions over the future of abortion rights in the country have been running high since a draft opinion of Dobbs was leaked – and showed that the high court’s conservative majority was poised to push whether abortion was legal back to the states

There are 18 states that have near-total bans on their books, while four more have time-limit band and four others are likely to pass new bans if Roe is overturned

Security fences and a ‘police line do not cross’ sign are outside the Supreme Court Friday morning, as more decisions – including Dobbs – are expected to come out mid-morning

On Thursday, the court stuck down a New York law that required ‘proper-cause’ to carry a concelaed weapon, a ruling that could result in an increase in the number of guns in public places. It also ruled law enforcement officers can´t be sued when they violate the rights of criminal suspects by failing to provide the familiar Miranda warning before questioning them.

In a signal that the Biden administration is at least preparing for bad news, Vice President Kamala Harris convened seven state attorneys general at the White House Thursday to discuss strategies to combat any such ruling.

‘I have asked these attorneys general to meet with us knowing that they have a pivotal role to play in defending women’s reproductive freedom and their rights to make decisions about their own body,’ Harris said at the top of the meeting.

She said the attorneys general may have to challenge any Supreme Court ruling.

‘As reproductive rights are being restricted around our country and potentially by the Supreme Court soon I think we believe and we’ve started prelimianry discussions about how Attorneys General have the power, may have the power at the very least, to issue guidance to ensure that the people of their state know their rights, that they have the power to assess and potentially challenged the constitutionality of laws that are being passed in their states,’ she said.

Harris has taken the lead for President Joe Biden’s administration on defending abortion and reproductive rights.

If the Court does strike down Roe, the administration will be forced to rely on law enforcement, potential executive actions, and other measures to try to ensure access to abortion rights in states that have been whittling away at the practice for years.



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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration would also push Congress to codify Roe into law.

‘If this happens, one of the things that I can say right now that we will do is call on Congress to restore Roe,’ she said during an interview on ABC’s The View.

Even with Democratic control of Congress it is unlikely an abortion-rights law would pass the 50-50 Senate, where any legislation needs the support of at least 10 Republican senators to move forward in the legislative process.

The meeting with Harris was attended by the attorneys general of Wisconsin, Nevada, Illinois, California, Delaware, New York and Washington state.

State attorney generals will likely be the front line of defense should abortion be outlawed.

They are the top legal officers in their states and could bring additional lawsuits regarding reproductive rights.

Biden is a lifelong Catholic who was opposed to Roe in the early days of his career and has only later come to embrace abortion rights.

He was critical of the leaked draft opinion.

Protesters on both sides of the contentious issue have been gathering outside the court daily during the final days of the court’s term, which usually ends in late June.

The building is surrounded by a tall fence that went up after the draft leaked last month.

The political debate on abortion reignited last month when Politico published a draft majority opinion that showed Roe v. Wade being struck down. In it, conservative Justice Samuel Alito writes: ‘Roe was egregiously wrong from the start’ and must be overturned.

If judges haven’t switched their positions since Alito authored the draft, it would result in the overturning of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which provides for abortion rights.

Currently, there are 18 states that have near-total bans on abortion already on the books.

They are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

On the other side of the spectrum, 16 states and the District of Columbia have laws that protect a person’s right to an abortion.

With public attention focusing on the court, where conservatives hold a 6-3 majority, Congress passed legislation to provide security protection to justices, after an armed man was arrested outside Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home.

 

Roe v. Wade: The landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a woman’s constitutional right to an

 abortion nationwide but divided public opinion and has been under attack ever since.

 abortion in Roe v. Wade. The landmark ruling legalized

The case was filed in 1971 by Norma McCorvey, a 22-year-old living in Texas who was unmarried and seeking a termination of her unwanted pregnancy.

Because of state legislation preventing abortions unless the mother’s life is at risk, she was unable to undergo the procedure in a safe and legal environment.

So McCorvey sued Henry Wade, the Dallas county district attorney, in 1970. The case went on to the Supreme Court, under the filing Roe vs Wade, to protect McCorvey’s privacy.

Supreme Court Decision

The Supreme Court handed down the watershed 7-2 decision that a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions, including the choice to have an abortion, is protected under the 14th Amendment.

In particular, that the Due Process Clause of the the 14th Amendment provides a fundamental ‘right to privacy’ that protects a woman’s liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

The landmark ruling saw abortions decriminalized in 46 states, but under certain specific conditions which individual states could decide on. For example, states could decide whether abortions were allowed only during the first and second trimester but not the third (typically beyond 28 weeks).

Impact

Among pro-choice campaigners, the decision was hailed as a victory which would mean fewer women would become seriously – or even fatally – ill from abortions carried out by unqualified or unlicensed practitioners. Moreover, the freedom of choice was considered a significant step in the equality fight for women in the country. Victims of rape or incest would be able to have the pregnancy terminated and not feel coerced into motherhood.

However, pro-lifers contended it was tantamount to murder and that every life, no matter how it was conceived, is precious. Though the decision has never been overturned, anti-abortionists have prompted hundreds of states laws since then narrowing the scope of the ruling.

One such was the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act signed by President George W. Bush in 2003, which banned a procedure used to perform second-trimester abortions.

Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe)

Following the ruling, McCorvey lived a quiet life until the 1980s when she revealed herself to be Jane Roe.

McCorvey became a leading, outspoken pro-abortion voice in American discourse, even working at a women’s clinic where abortions were performed.

However, she performed an unlikely U-turn in 1995, becoming a born again Christian and began traveling the country speaking out against the procedure.

In 2003, a she filed a motion to overturn her original 1973 ruling with the U.S. district court in Dallas.

The motion moved through the courts until it was ultimately denied by the Supreme Court in 2005.

McCorvey died at an assisted living home in Texas in February 2017, aged 69.

Shelley Lynn Thornton (Baby Roe)

Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe)  gave birth to Shelley Lynn Thornton in Dallas in 1970 – a year before the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade case was filed. Shelley was the single mother’s third pregnancy. She gave her up for adoption the day after giving birth, then continued fighting for the right to abortion afterwards.

Shelley’s identity became public last year. She waived her right to anonymity, speaking out in multiple interviews about the landmark case.

She says that Norma used her for ‘publicity’, only trying to make contact with her when she was a teenager and for the wrong reasons.

‘It became apparent to me really quickly that the only reason why she wanted to reach out to me and find me was because she wanted to use me for publicity. She didn’t deserve to meet me. She never did anything in her life to get that privilege back.

Baby Roe: Shelley Lynn Thornton, a 51-year-old mother of three, has spoken out for the first time on camera. Her biological mother Norma McCorvey was Jane Roe, whose landmark lawsuit Roe vs Wade won women across America the right to have abortions


 

‘She never expressed genuine feeling for me or genuine remorse for doing the things that she did, saying the things that she did over and over and over again,’ Shelley said last year.

Shelley has refused to say whether or not she agrees with abortion, for fear of weaponized by either side of the debate.

‘A lot of people didn’t know I existed. It doesn’t revolve around me, I wasn’t the one who created this law. I’m not the one who created this movement. I had nothing to do with it. I was just a little itty-bitty thing and, you know, circumstances prevailed.

‘My whole thinking is that, ‘oh God everybody is going to hate me because everyone is going to blame me for abortion being legal.’

 

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