U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

File photo courtesy of © CanStockPhoto.com/zimmytws

In a decision that has sent shockwaves across the United States, the country’s highest court has overturned the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, effectively allowing states to outlaw abortion.

CNBC reports the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision Friday morning in a case related to a highly restrictive abortion law in Mississippi. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, centred on the Mississippi law that banned nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

The court also tossed out a 1992 Supreme Court decision that upheld abortion rights in a case known as Planned Parenthood v. Caseys.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in Friday’s majority decision. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely — the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Justices Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Chief Justice John Roberts were the six votes in favour of upholding the Mississippi law. Roberts, however, wrote that he would not overturn Roe v. Wade or the Caseys case.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan were the dissenting votes.

In their dissent, the three justices criticized their conservative colleagues in the majority, saying their ruling removes a woman’s right to control her own body.

“Today’s Court, that is, does not think there is anything of constitutional significance attached to a woman’s control of her body and the path of her life,” they wrote. “A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs.”

Since 1973, Roe v. Wade had allowed women in America the right to choose whether to carry a pregancy to term or terminate a pregnancy within the first two trimesters.

It’s expected that several state legislatures will soon move to prohibited abortions in their states.