Initially instated in 1973, the court ruled Roe v. Wade had the purpose of protecting a woman’s right to an abortion. However, on Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court overturned it and abolished the constitutional right to receive an abortion in the United States. This means that states have full authority to determine if an abortion is legal.
So far, 13 states made abortion illegal with swift action since the decision; some of those states include Texas, Louisiana, and Wisconsin. Nine other states have set what is known as “trigger laws”, where they can ban abortion within 30 days after the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Those states include Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Four other states plan to ban abortion as soon as possible.
Expectedly, both rage and celebration were seen today and yesterday across the country, as pro-choice protestors and anti-abortion commemorators flooded the streets in mass numbers.
"It's a betrayal against women ... it's a giant step backwards ... It opens the door for other rights and freedoms to be threatened," says Natasha Mitchell, a pro-choice protestor interviewed by CNN in Denver. In Eugene, Oregon, over 10 arrests were made during protests on Friday night, as protestors gathered outside a medical building and ended up blocking entrances and roadways. In Phoenix, Arizona, supporters of abortion were hit by tear gas by Phoenix police as they were reportedly seen pounding on the doors of the Senate building.
President Joe Biden, a supporter of abortion, describes this ruling as a “sad day in the United States”. Despite being the president, Biden had no power in this decision, as three of the current Supreme Court justices were appointed by former president Donald Trump, and two others were appointed by former president George W. Bush. Both presidents were heavily anti-abortion throughout their presidencies and their appointed judges are as well.
As this milestone decision has been revoked, many voiced their concerns about the Supreme Court not stopping here. After the ruling, Supreme Court judge Clarence Thomas stated the legalization of gay marriage should be reconsidered. Concerns about LGBTQIA+ rights and perhaps even more women’s rights being revoked have skyrocketed in the last two days.
Despite over 70% of the United States population supporting Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion won last Friday. It brings into question the legitimacy and the fairness of the current justice system, as judges have become more politicized and less bipartisan.
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