The Supreme Court has sided with the state of Mississippi and overturned Roe v. Wade.
The opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito.
Alito asserted that Roe was “egregiously wrong” and “on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided.”
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Samuel 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 Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
Laws related to abortion will now be returned to the states to decide.
Justice Alito added that the Roe court “usurped the power to address a question of profound moral and social importance that the Constitution unequivocally leaves for the people.”
Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan filed a joint dissent.
“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,” the dissenters wrote.
The case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was filed after Mississippi enacted HB 1510, the Gestational Age Act, in 2018.
The law banned abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, except in medical emergencies and in the cases where there was severe fetal abnormality.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization provides abortions up to 16 weeks and filed a lawsuit immediately after the law went into effect.
The abortion clinic was successful in the lower courts and injunctions were put in place to prevent the law from being enforced, based on the 1992 decision in Casey v. Planned Parenthood, which barred states from enacting abortion bans prior to fetal viability.
Mississippi took the case to the Supreme Court, arguing that both Roe and Casey should be overturned. They cited evidence that fetuses can feel pain as early as ten weeks. Oral arguments were made before the court in December, 2021.
On May 2, 2022, a draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked to Politico. In the opinion, he wrote that “it is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
The leak prompted a wave of protests and backlash against conservative justices, including the firebombing of pro-life pregnancy centers and a foiled assassination plot against Justice Brett Kavanaugh.