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As Expected, High Court Overrules Roe v. Wade, 6 to 3



The Supreme Court overruled the historic 1973 Roe. v. Wade decision granting abortion rights, potentially criminalizing the procedure in many states.


Justice Samuel Alito wrote for a 6-to-3 majority, "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 ... now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.


"That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be 'deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition' and 'implicit in the concept of ordered liberty," Alito wrote, citing a 1997 high court ruling. "The right to abortion does not fall within this category."


In a concurring opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh said, "This Court has held that the Constitution protects unenumerated rights that are deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, and implicit in the concept of ordered liberty. But a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in American history and tradition."


The decision upheld a Mississippi law saying that “[e]xcept in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality, a person shall not intentionally or knowingly perform . . . or induce an abortion of an unborn human being if the probable gestational age of the unborn human being has been determined to be greater than fifteen (15) weeks.”


Dissenting justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonio Sotomator said, "Even in the face of public opposition, we uphold the right of individuals—yes, including women—to make their own choices and chart their own futures. Or at least, we did once."


"With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent," the three justices said.


Friday's ruling was foreshadowed by a leak of Alito's draft opinion that was obtained by Politico. The ruling issued on Friday largely tracked the leaked draft.


The decision placed the U.S. among a select few countries that have severely curtailed access to the procedure in the 21st century, the Washington Post reports.


The 1973 decision found that the constitution protected the decision to terminate a pregnancy as a fundamental matter of privacy. It set nearly five decades of legal precedent but was never codified into federal law.


At the annual National Right to Life Convention in Atlanta, beng held this weekend, cheers erupted when someone shouted “Roe’s been overturned!” at 10:10 a.m. Eastern Time.


“We are all excited,” Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, told CNN. “Of course, everybody here is erupting in tears of joy that this has finally happened. We are going to be celebrating for the rest of the weekend.”


Tobias acknowledged: “We have a long battle ahead of us. Abortion is not going to be illegal because of this decision. The elected officials are now going to have to determine what the laws will be – federal and state levels. There’s a lot of work to do. And we need to build a culture that’s pro-mom, pro-baby, pro-life. We certainly know this is not the end.”

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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