BREAKING: Supreme Court Overturns Roe V. Wade

Zinger Key Points
  • Abortion access decisions have been returned to the states.
  • Nearly two-dozen states have trigger laws to prohibit or limit abortion access following this ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision establishing the constitutional right to abortion in a 5-4 decision Friday.

What Happened: The court’s action was expected since a draft of the decision was leaked to the media last month. Justice Samuel Alito, the draft’s author, wrote the majority decision, which gives the authority on abortion access to the states.

“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled,” said the syllabus of the opinion, also referring to the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, “and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

In its ruling, the majority of justices determined that the “Constitution makes no express reference to a right to obtain an abortion,” adding that “the right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition.”

The ruling was based on the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which challenged a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks. The court upheld the Mississippi law in a 6-3 decision.

What Happens Next: Nearly two dozen states have so-called triggered laws designed to limit or prohibit abortion access in the event Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Since the leak of the decision’s draft, pro-abortion demonstrators have marched outside of the homes of the court’s conservative-leaning justices, with one weapon-carrying demonstrator being arrested near the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The Supreme Court grounds are closed to the public, with the judicial branch's website noting the action is "out of concern for the health and safety of the public and Supreme Court employees." 

This story is breaking, so please check back to Benzinga for updates.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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