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Supreme Court Reverses Roe v. Wade Ruling: Abortion Laws Are Up to Each State

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The Supreme Court finally decided to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, an action that leads at least 20 states in the country to ban or severely restrict access to abortion.

“Held: 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,” says the court’s ruling.

A Supreme Court draft was released by Politico in May, and with it, the indication that the Court was likely to overturn previous rulings. Now that it is a reality, the ruling gives lawmakers the green light to limit or ban abortion.

The decision comes after the Court heard arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson, which debated the constitutionality of a Mississippi law that makes most abortions illegal after 15 weeks. The state of Mississippi asked the Court, dominated by the so-called “conservative wing,” to strike down the previous rulings of Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, so that each state would have the power to decide whether abortion should be legal or not, which the Court rejected.

The Court’s move came after weeks of protests, threats, and persecution against the justices who had previously decided in a leaked draft to reverse Roe v. Wade, leaving the regulation of abortion to each state.

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What does the ruling upholding abortion mean?

The Court’s decision will weigh on more than 20 states that have worked to ban or restrict abortion. Now, the criminal liability of a woman seeking an abortion or a physician facilitating an abortion will depend on the abortion policies her state implements following the Supreme Court’s decision.

The Roe v. Wade legal decision allowed abortion rights at the federal level beginning in 1973. States could regulate it, but not prohibit it before 24 weeks gestation.

The 1973 decision was a watershed in the discussion of abortion in the United States and, from its origins, was a highly controversial ruling. Since the 1970s, pro-life activists and conservative politicians have campaigned to overturn Roe v. Wade, arguing that such a controversial and important decision should be discussed within democratic institutions and not decided by a group of unelected officials. Pro-abortion activists, on the other hand, argue that Roe secures a fundamental right for women and that overturning it would be a setback for gender equality.

Threats and persecution against judges and pro-life activists

Prior to the ruling, the Biden administration increased security for Supreme Court justices after a man, apparently angered by anticipated conservative rulings on abortion and guns, traveled to the Washington suburbs from California with the intent to kill Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

In addition, since the Supreme Court draft was leaked, at least 17 pregnancy help centers, maternity homes, and other pro-life organizations around the country have been attacked by pro-abortion groups.

The most recent of the vandalism attacks occurred on Monday, June 13, when unknown assailants set fire to the office of Andrew Barkis, a Republican who represents Olympia in the Washington state legislature.

Add to this that Jen Psaki, former White House spokeswoman, went so far as to encourage continued protests outside judges’ homes by pro-abortion groups who were demonstrating against the leaked draft.

“I know there’s outrage right now, I guess, about the protests that have been peaceful to date, and we certainly continue to encourage them, outside judges’ homes. And that’s the president’s position,” Psaki said during her regular press conference.

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