The Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, striking down the precedent that found that legal access to abortion is a constitutional right. After fifty years, American women’s right to abortion – as limited and basic as it was – has been wiped away.
The verdict has international implications; we’ve seen the rise of pro-life rhetoric in the UK government and in society at large; we know that women’s right to choose is in danger. Here’s what we know about the Roe v. Wade verdict, so far:
On Friday morning, the Supreme Court released the long awaited decision—in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court ruled this way:
“Held: 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 majority opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito. The case was decided six-to-three with justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Barrett, Thomas, and Roberts in the majority. Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan dissented.
The ruling was expected: In a bombshell leak in May, Politico obtained a draft of the majority decision, which Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed is authentic. It feels hard to imagine that it could get worse. It will. “This is one of the largest public health crises in history,” Sharmin Hossain, campaign director at Liberate Abortion, told GLAMOUR US at the time.
What can a women’s magazine say on the day when it is announced clear that women and pregnant people don’t have a constitutional right to determine their own bodily choices? For any American who believes in basic freedoms, this day is a waking nightmare. But activists, medical professionals, and progressive politicians say that this day is also another opportunity to continue the fight for safe, legal, accessible abortion any time, anywhere.
Abortion is healthcare. The right to one’s own body is the most basic expectation of being human. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other. Let’s absorb the news we can. Abortion news can be hard to follow, between state laws and Supreme Court cases. Pro-forced-birth lawmakers are banking on us feeling discouraged and distracted.
Let’s grieve, get our facts straight, and get to work.
Where is abortion still legal?
The moment Roe is overturned, at least 26 states are “certain or likely” to ban abortion, according to analysis from the Guttmacher Institute. People living in states, such as Texas, where abortion is essentially banned have been experiencing this emergency for months. Already in parts of Texas people seeking abortion have to travel over 1,000 miles to get to the nearest clinic. If you live in the USA, use this interactive map from the Guttmacher Institute to get the most up-to-date changes in your state.
You should NOT assume that your abortion appointment is canceled, or that a new appointment can no longer be made, because you are in a state with trigger laws set to ban abortion. Call your local clinic and ask, first. Or start with INeedAnA.com.