Outrage and disappointment swept the US following the supreme court decision overturning the constitutional right to an abortion, upending federal reproductive protections set nearly 50 years ago in the landmark Roe v Wade case.
Democrats decried the opinion as a major blow to rights for millions.
Barack Obama wrote: “Today, the supreme court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues – attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.”
Abortion rights advocacy groups also vowed to protect reproductive rights despite the ruling.
The non-profit Planned Parenthood tweeted its disappointment and frustration: “We know you may be feeling a lot of things right now – hurt, anger, confusion. Whatever you feel is OK. We’re here with you – and we’ll never stop fighting for you.”
It used Twitter to share an aid hotline for those trying to access abortion.
Many Republicans celebrated the opinion, with some conservative lawmakers already taking steps to outlaw abortions in their states.
The Republican House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, wrote: “Every unborn child is precious, extraordinary, and worthy of protection. I applaud this historic ruling, which will save countless innocent lives. The court is right to return the power to protect the unborn to the people’s elected representatives in Congress and the states.”
In Missouri, shortly after the supreme court announcement, Eric Schmitt, the state’s Republican attorney general, signed an opinion ending abortions throughout the state.
“Following the Scotus [supreme court of the United States] ruling overturning Roe v Wade, Missouri has just become the first in the country to effectively end abortion with our AG opinion signed moments ago. This is a monumental day for the sanctity of life,” tweeted Schmitt following today’s opinion.
Other conservative states have signaled that they will follow suit, with at least 26 states expected to ban abortion immediately or as soon as practicable.