In a landmark decision that overturns fifty years of constitutional safeguards on one of the most contentious and passionately contested subjects in American political life, the US Supreme Court on Friday abolished the right to an abortion.
According to News24, the influential “Roe v. Wade” ruling from 1973 that upheld a woma right to an abortion was overturned by the conservative-dominated court, which declared that now it is up to individual states to allow or forbid the operation.
“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” the court said.
In the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito said “abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.
“The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion,” he said.
Dissenting were the three liberals on the court.
The ruling will likely set into motion a cavalcade of new laws in roughly half of the 50 US states that will severely restrict or outright ban and criminalize abortions, forcing women to travel long distances to states that still permit the procedure.
The opinion shredded the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling by the nation’s highest court that said women had the right to abortion based on the constitutional right to privacy over their own bodies.
Alito’s opinion largely mirrors his draft opinion that was the subject of an extraordinary leak in early May, sparking demonstrations around the country and tightened security at the court in downtown Washington.
Barricades have been erected around the court to keep back the protesters gathered outside — after an armed man was arrested on June 8 near the home of conservative justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The court’s ruling goes against an international trend of easing abortion laws, including in such countries as Ireland, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia where the Catholic Church continues to wield considerable influence.