With the pro-life movement’s long-awaited win, abortion will soon be essentially outlawed in more than 20 states, as the US supreme court overturns Roe v. Wade in a historic ruling.
The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case was finally decided (read below) by the US Supreme Court on Friday, upholding Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, overturning Roe v. Wade, and giving the pro-life movement its most significant victory since Roe paved the way for nationwide abortion-on-demand in 1973.
With Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett joining him, Justice Samuel Alito announced the court’s opinion. According to the decision, Roe was “egregiously wrong from the start.”
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“Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”
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“Roe’s constitutional analysis was far outside the bounds of any reasonable interpretation of the various constitutional provisions to which it vaguely pointed,” Alito continued. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
In a separate concurring opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts stated that while he backed keeping the Mississippi ban in place, he would not have overturned Roe. A combined dissent was submitted by the three Democratic court appointees.
The long-awaited judgment was teased in early May when Politico posted a leaked draft of Alito’s opinion, which sent ripples across the political scale. Pro-lifers cautiously rejoiced, pro-abortion politicians and activists reacted angrily, and many speculated that the leak might’ve been designed to urge judges to turn their votes (or to stir up hatred and threats against them).
Because of the majority of the justices’ adherence to the belief that “we can’t be an institution that can be bullied into giving you just the outcomes you want,” which Justice Thomas stated in May, the choice to overturn Roe stood firm despite months of left-wing intimidation and violence.
The decision has significant long- and short-term effects. More than 20 states currently have laws on the books that, if Roe were to be overturned, would effectively outlaw abortion within their borders. These laws range from pre-Roe abortion bans that were not enforced to “trigger laws” that would not go into effect until a decision similar to the one that is being made today. Abortion will no longer be permitted in those states.
There are legislation safeguarding abortion in 15 additional states plus the District of Columbia, three of which specifically codify the procedure as a “right.” While abortion will continue to be lawful in those states and the others that have not yet made their positions clear, people of states without the Roe decision now have the power to vote on the matter themselves or to push their elected officials to modify the legislation in either manner. A nationwide ban on abortion is now also a possibility for pro-life lawmakers in Congress.
One of the decision’s most significant long-term effects is a renewed feeling of urgency for pro-life initiatives. Abortion-related legislative and lobbying efforts will undoubtedly increase significantly across the nation as the issue becomes even more important to both activists and voters now that abortion policy can be directly decided by the elected branches of government and politicians can no longer use the judiciary as a justification for inaction.
The pro-life triumph is also the most satisfying outcome of former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court selections to date for conservatives, and it is almost certain to become one of his supporters’ most powerful talking points should he seek for office again in 2024.
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