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US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade, eliminates constitutional right to an abortion

The three democrat-appointed justices, Stephen Breyer (appointed by Bill Clinton), Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan (both appointed by Barack Obama) have opposed the move

In a historic decision, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established the constitutional right to an abortion in the country. The ruling was 6-3 in favour of overruling the judgment.

Justice Samuel Alito backed by 5 other justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. 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 of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

The three democrat-appointed justices, Stephen Breyer (appointed by Bill Clinton), Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan (both appointed by Barack Obama) have opposed the move but they were in minority.

After the Court’s decision, individual states are free to set their own abortion laws in the United States, without the fear of running afoul of the federal government. Since 1973, abortions during the first two trimesters were permissible following the Roe v Wade judgment. This verdict has made it possible for individual states to ban abortions even before the completion of the first trimester.

Announcing the decision, the court said, “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, which was leaked in early May by someone working within the Supreme Court, means that abortion rights will be rolled back in nearly half of the states immediately. The much divisive issue of abortion is now set to become the focal point of the mid-term elections later this year, and indeed during the next presidential elections.

What was Roe v Wade verdict

n 1973, The U.S. Supreme Court in the Roe V Wade case made a landmark decision protecting a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The decision struck down many U.S. federal and state laws relating to the abortion of the foetus. In this case, ‘Roe’ is the listed name of the 22-year-old pregnant Norma McCorvey whereas ‘Wade’ was the defendant Henry Wade, the district attorney from Dallas, Texas.

With abortion for pregnant women becoming legal, several laws that made abortion illegal in states across America were struck down by the Supreme Court decision. At the time of the Roe v/s Wade Judgement, the foetal viability was around 28 weeks or 7 months. With advances in medical science over time, the threshold has now been brought down to 23 or 24 weeks (around 6 months) in many cases. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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