The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion.
The opinion is the most consequential Supreme Court decision in decades and will transform the landscape of women’s reproductive health in America.
Going forward, abortion rights will be determined by states, unless Congress acts. Already, nearly half of the states have or will pass laws that ban abortion while others have enacted strict measures regulating the procedure.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his majority opinion. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
The vote was 5-3-1. In a joint dissenting opinion, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan heavily criticized the majority, closing: “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 opinion represents the culmination of a decades-long effort on the part of critics of abortion seeking to return more power to the states. It was made possible by a solid six-member conservative majority — including three of Donald Trump’s nominees.
At least 21 states have laws or constitutional amendments already in place that would make them certain to attempt to ban abortion as quickly as possible, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which favors abortion rights. And an additional four states are likely to ban abortions as soon as possible without federal protections.
Comment: Virginia has a rather liberal abortion law- doctor performed on demand in first trimester -doctor in hospital performed on demand in second trimester, [erformed in 3rd trimester if woman’s life is endangered. pl