The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday morning overturned Americans’ constitutional right to abortion in a landmark ruling that polling shows goes against the will of more than two-thirds of the country’s citizens.
The 6-3 decision — which was led by Justice Samuel Alito, who was accompanied by the five other conservative-leaning Supreme Court Justices — ends the legal right to an abortion after the nearly 50 years since Roe v. Wade determined in 1973 that American women had the constitutional right to make their own decisions about terminating pregnancies.
Reproductive rights advocates decried Friday’s opinion that also reverses the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision and paves the way for states to ban abortion.
“While the specifics of the court’s ruling will be dissected over the coming hours and days, this much is clear: The court has shown its contempt for the overwhelming majority of Americans who support legal abortion and Roe v. Wade,” Gina Rozman-Wendle, President of Chicago National Organization for Women (NOW) and activist with Chicago For Abortion Rights, said in a statement emailed to NewsOne. “The court has confirmed people’s fears that the majority of its justices, rather than following sound judicial principles of the right to privacy and bodily autonomy versus heavy-handed government control, have chosen to side with the most extreme anti-abortion zealots.”
A’shanti F. Gholar, president of Emerge, which recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, emphasized the devastating effect Friday’s decision would particularly have on Black and brown women.
“About half of our states have laws that are beginning to go into effect right now, closing clinics and restricting access to a wide range of reproductive services. Poor people and people of color who already lack access to health care and economic resources will bear the brunt of this impact,” Gholar said in a statement emailed to NewsOne. “We cannot let this step backward from justice and equity in our country stand.”
Noting the political implications of Friday’s decision, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Deputy Executive Director and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Jessica Knight Henry singled out Black women as being among those disproportionately affected and rallied Black voters, in particular.
“Stripping away a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion and to make our own health care decisions will have especially dire consequences for Black women and women of color across our country,” Henry said in a statement. “With Roe overturned, the stakes of this election have never been higher – and Black voters will stand with Senate Democrats against Sen. McConnell and Republicans’ agenda that would make abortion illegal, and impose new, cruel, and punishing restrictions on women of color and their families.”
The ruling came more than a month after a draft of the decision was leaked, sparking an uproar among reproductive rights activists and organizers.
A poll published last month found that 64% of Americans opposed overturning Roe v. Wade.
Friday’s ruling came one day after the Supreme Court overturned strict gun laws in New York that effectively make it easier to carry concealed guns in public. Associate Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that majority opinion in a case that is also expected to make it harder for other states to restrict guns amid an ongoing national gun violence crisis.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.