The Supreme Court has issued a bombshell ruling officially eliminating the constitutional right to abortion in the United States, undoing nearly 50 years of precedent.
In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Friday abortion is not a constitutional right and that the 1973 ruling guaranteeing that right, Roe v. Wade, is overturned. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the majority opinion, and he was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and John Roberts.
"Roe was egregiously wrong from the start," Alito wrote. "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 [Planned Parenthood v. Casey] have enflamed debate and deepened division."
Alito added that "it is time to heed the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives." Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a concurring opinion stating he would have only upheld Mississippi's law banning abortion after 15 weeks and that the majority's "dramatic and consequential ruling" was "unnecessary to decide the case before us."
In May, an initial draft opinion leaked and revealed the Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, and protesters gathered in Washington on Friday in anticipation of the final decision.
The court's liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, dissented, writing, "Whatever the exact scope of the coming laws, one result of today's decision is certain: the curtailment of women's rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens."