On Friday morning, the Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that protected abortion rights across the country.
"Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. 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," wrote Justice Samuel Alito in the 6-3 ruling. "It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives."
As a result of the decision, the right to abortion is no longer protected at a federal level and states will be legally allowed to ban access. It undoes 50 years of precedent, and will impact millions of women and families across the country. Those seeking an abortion will be forced to travel to states that protect the right, or seeking out other potentially dangerous avenues.
GOP-led states such as South Dakota or Texas have trigger laws that will ban abortion either immediately or within the coming weeks and months. Alongside Alito, Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett voted in favor of the ruling. The three liberal justices, meanwhile, dissented.
The official decision comes over a month after a leaked draft showed the Supreme Court’s plans to overturn Roe v. Wade. The ruling that arrived today appears to mirror the draft that went public, which prompted outrage across the country. It is expected that at least 25 states will introduce new laws or reactive old laws that will make it illegal to access abortion, whether that be with surgery or pills.