Supreme Court votes to overturn Roe v. Wade

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This article was written by the 2022-2023 editorial board: Online-Editor-in-Chief Irene John and Co-Print-Editors-in-Chief Ella Gohari and Nithisha Makesh.

The Supreme Court reversed the decision of Roe v. Wade Friday, June 24, officially eliminating the constitutional right to abortion and erasing nearly 50 years of history.

Jane Roe — a fictional name created to protect the real plaintiff, Norma McCorvey, — was a pregnant single woman who wished to receive an abortion. However, “Roe” was unable to obtain a legal abortion in her home state of Texas because the pregnancy did not actively threaten her life. Additionally, she was prohibited from traveling to another state to get an abortion. It was then that she decided to sue Henry Wade, the district attorney of her county, to protest against these restrictions. 

Eventually, the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court. On Jan. 22, 1973, the justices voted 7-to-2 to guarantee the constitutional right to abortion, thus eradicating laws in states such as Texas that banned the procedure. According to the court, states could not ban abortion procedures prior to fetal viability, or the point at which fetuses can survive independent of the womb.

 However, now in 2022, the court decided to overturn the decision made in 1973 by a 6-to-3 vote. 

Justice Samuel Alito was the one to draft and deliver the official statement that overturned the case. In his opening segment he wrote: “Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.” He went on to state that “we [the court] therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.” 

Justice Clarence Thomas also voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. Since 1992, he has been very vocal about his opposition to Roe v. Wade, publishing numerous articles and statements declaring his dissatisfaction. More recently, Justice Thomas came under fire for releasing a separate opinion piece where he suggested that the Supreme Court should look to challenge other matters such as same-sex marriage and contraception. 

Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan voted to maintain Roe v. Wade. Although they were unsuccessful, they released a joint statement expressing their concerns regarding the ruling. Their statement read, “[the majority] eliminates a 50-year-old constitutional right that safeguards women’s freedom and equal station. It places in jeopardy other rights, from contraception to same-sex intimacy and marriage. And finally, it undermines the Court’s legitimacy.”In Florida, abortion is still legal, but the Florida Legislative recently passed a law that bans abortion after 15 weeks that goes into effect July 1. States such as California are actively taking measures to protect abortion access in their state, while others, such as Kentucky, put in place abortion trigger laws that banned abortion as soon as Roe v. Wade was overturned. Ultimately, since Roe v. Wade was overturned, determination of abortion laws depend on midterm elections as each individual state legislature can make their own decision on this matter.

Comprised of the Online-Editor-in-Chief and Print-Editors-in-Chief.