🏥 Welcome to a Post-Roe America
Last week was a colossal week of rulings for the Supreme Court — the most historic one, of course, being the overturning of Roe v. Wade, ending about a half-century of constitutionally-protected abortion rights for women across the United States. The ruling had been expected for a few weeks now, as a leaked draft of the ruling was initially published by POLITICO back in May. Even still, the 6-3 decision struck the nation hard (regardless of which side you're on), with consequences being felt almost immediately.
The majority opinion, written by Justice Alito, says the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling had no basis in the US Constitution. He adds, “Roe and Casey are overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”
The 3 justices comprising the dissent (Justices Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor) wrote their opinion concurrently, without a named author — a rare move. They said that the majority's ruling creates a nation in which, “from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of.”
According to the Washington Post, some 8 states saw abortion procedures banned immediately with the overruling of Roe as a result of trigger laws, with an additional 5 states set to ban abortions within 30 days of the ruling. In states like Wisconsin and Texas, abortion providers have already begun calling patients to cancel their upcoming abortion appointments.
Writing in a concurring majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas signaled that Roe's reversal (and the court's reasoning) may mean more landmark cases could soon fall. “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” writes Justice Thomas, notes The Verge. “Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.”
It's been a shocking few weeks for SCOTUS — between the unprecedented Roe leak and its fall. Women across the country are already grappling with their new reality in which they have fewer rights than they did just last week. No doubt that the fight over abortion access isn't over, but just entering a grizzly new phase.