The US Supreme Court has officially overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a constitutional right to an abortion. Now the matter will be settled on a state-by-state basis, with 22 states likely to quickly ban all or nearly all abortions.
The road to the decision began when the state of Mississippi enacted a law banning nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The state’s law violated the Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) that pregnant people have a right to terminate their pregnancy up until the point when the fetus is “viable.” But Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturns that standard and Roe.
Alito’s opinion is similar to a draft opinion obtained and published by Politico in May — a largely unprecedented leak that rattled the Court and the nation. But even before the leak, the conservative supermajority on the Court had repeatedly signaled they were willing to overturn Roe and allow states to ban abortions.
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