US ends abortion: What is Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973 which US court overturned to end abortion rights? - Today Quizzes

US ends abortion: What is Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973 which US court overturned to end abortion rights?

US ends abortion rights: The United States Supreme Court has ended the constitutional protection for abortion in the country that had been in place for nearly 50 years. In the latest decision, the conservative majority of the US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade to change US women’s constitutional rights which is expected to lead the abortion bans in roughly half the states of the country. The decision was taken on June 24, 2022.

US Supreme Court made the judgment of ending abortion rights in the US after deciding that there was no constitutional right to abortion in a case called Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health Organisation. The Supreme Court judgement has not only attracted criticism from the US Government and President but also from countries and leaders all over the world. The move has also triggered doubts about liberty and even personal autonomy in the United States.

US ends abortion rights

The decision of ending abortion rights in the US, which was unthinkable few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents. The move was made possible by an emboldened right side of the US Supreme Court that has been forfeited by the three appointees of former President Donald Trump.

The ruling has come more than a month after the leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating that the US Supreme Court was prepared to take this momentous step.

Justice Alito, in the final opinion issued on June 24, 2022, wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong the day they decided and must be overturned.

Joining Alito were Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The latter three justices are former President Trump’s appointees. Justice Thomas first voted to overrule Roe 30 years ago.

US ends abortion rights: What is Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973?

Roe v. Wade refers to the name of the lawsuit that had led to the landmark verdict of the US Supreme Court and had paved the way for the establishment of a constitutional right to abortion in the United States. At the time, the majority opinion found an absolute right to an abortion during the first trimester of the pregnancy.

This case of 1973 is often referred to as just ‘Roe’ which comes from Jane Roe,  a pseudonym for Norma McCorvey. She was a 22-year-old unmarried, unemployed and pregnant for the third time. That’s when she decided to have an abortion in Texas, however, by the time US Supreme Court ruled in her favour, in a one-of-a-kind decision, McCorvey had already given birth to a girl who she had placed for adoption.

On the other hand, Wade refers to Henry Wade who was the district attorney of Dallas County, Texas and it was his job to enforce a state law banning abortion even though as per Roe, it endangered her life.

Therefore, Wade was sued by McCorvey when she sought an abortion in a state prohibiting the same.

US ends abortion rights: What was the landmark ruling by Supreme Court in 1973?

The 22 years old McCorvey had alleged that the Texas Law banning abortion was unconstitutionally vague and it also violated her constitutionally protected right to personal privacy. The court decided in her favor after the jury was posed with the questions of the US Constitution recognizing a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy by abortion.

With a 7-2 majority, Justice Harry Blackmun had delivered the opinion of the court that it was a woman’s constitutional right to carry on with abortion.

In the 1973 landmark ruling, the conservative-leaning court said that a woman’s decision to have an abortion during the first trimester, three months of the pregnancy, must be left to her own discretion.

US ends abortion rights: Why Roe v. Wade ruling was overturned after 50 years?

Just weeks after a draft opinion from conservative Justice Samuel Alito was leaked, the US court ruled on June 24 to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling of 50 years.

In an opinion dated in February 2022, Alito had written that the US court hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.

It must be noted that Alito’s opinion was already backed by the four other conservative justices in the panel- Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. The draft opinion by Alito was written in the ‘Dobby v. Jackson Women’s Health Organisation’ case. The case challenged Mississippi ban on abortion after 15 weeks.

US ends abortion rights: Which of the states are to be among the first to restrict abortion?

As now Roe v. Wade has been overturned, the legislation banning abortion is ready to come into effect in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Idaho, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah, Kentucky, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wyoming, and Louisiana.

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