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With Roe V. Wade Overturned, the Supreme Court Has Given the Green Light to the States

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

On Friday, June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States voted 5-4 to overturn Roe Vs. Wade, a moment. that many of us have waited nearly fifty years to see happen. This decision has cleared the way for dozens of states to now decide whether or not they will ban abortion. With that being said, the country has also now been tossed into uncharted political, legal, social, and medical turmoil this country hasn’t witnessed for half a century.

The monumental decision is likely to affect elections across the country as governors, attorneys general, and other states and local leaders obtain the power to decide when abortion will be permitted, if at all, and who will be prosecuted and possibly incarcerated when bans take effect. The Supreme court’s vote to overturn nearly five decades of court rulings upholding a right to end a pregnancy won the support of five of the court’s six conservative justices, while Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s three liberal justices opposed overruling Roe Vs. Wade. 

The majority opinion was authored by Justice Samuel Alito.  Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were both long-standing precedents that prevented the states from banning abortion before the point of the fetus surviving outside of the womb.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, “ Alito wrote. “This Court cannot bring about the permanent resolution of a rancorous national controversy simply by dictating a settlement and telling the people to move on.”

Alito argued that history demonstrates that there exists NO tradition in the United States of a right to abortion, and the absence of these protections subverts the Supreme Court’s conclusion 49 years ago that abortion rights were inherent in a constitutional right to privacy. There is no constitutional amendment that grants a woman the right to abort her baby. There never was. You can read the decision here. 

The court’s five-justice majority who overturned Roe made it abundantly clear that their historical decision to retreat from Roe does not in any way mean that other court decisions grounded in privacy rights are in jeopardy.

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“Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion,” Alito wrote.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, who represent the liberal wing of the Supreme Court warned that the action by the court’s majority was unwise and disruptive.

“Withdrawing a woman’s right to choose whether to continue a pregnancy does not mean that no choice is being made. It means that a majority of today’s Court has wrenched this choice from women and given it to the States,” the liberal justices wrote. “Women have relied on Roe and Casey in this way for 50 years. Many have never known anything else. When Roe and Casey disappear, the loss of power, control, and dignity will be immense.”

In response to the overturning of Roe Vs. WadeArchbishop William Lori of Baltimore stated his appreciation but warns that we need to look to the future and the need to double down on  church efforts to support women and couples who face unexpected pregnancies, as well as opening the hearts and minds of those with different perspectives.



“My first reaction was to give thanks to the Lord for bringing about this day. It’s a day that many people have worked and prayed very hard for, and it is a day in which I think we can engage in the debate anew in our country, but hopefully also a day in which we will redouble our efforts to create a just and compassionate society where no mother has to choose between her child and her future,” he said.

 

I am overjoyed, as many others are, to have been able to witness Roe Vs. Wade overturned by the United States Supreme Court. To me, it is symbolic of a much-needed reset that is resounding all around the world. The United States just might still be the “Beacon of Hope”.