In a groundbreaking abortion decision, the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
Many states are postponing any major decision until the next legislative session
Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade
On Friday, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, thereby eliminating recognition of a constitutional right to abortion and providing individual states the ability to permit, restrict, or outright outlaw the operation.
Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a case centering on Mississippi legislation that restricted abortion beyond 15 weeks of pregnancy, resulted in the ruling.
Mississippi's Republican-led state asked the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision that had temporarily stopped the 15-week abortion ban.
In response to Roberts' concurrence, they contended that such an approach "would only postpone the day when we would be required to face the matter we now resolve."
The court emphasized that the Roe decision did not specify where the right to abortion arose, but rather identified other portions of the Constitution that may conceivably confer such a right.
Alito contended that the Casey decision "did not support this unfocused interpretation," instead anchoring the right in the "liberty" granted by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The right to abortion
The Court cites "a handful" of state and district court decisions from "shortly before Roe" and "a limited number of law review papers from the same time period" as the earliest references establishing the right to abortion.
Alito cited Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor's dissenting opinion, stating it "is very clear that it cannot prove that a constitutional right to abortion has any foundation, much alone a 'deeply embedded' one, in our Nation's history and culture."
"The dissent's failure to cope with this historical legacy is devastating to its case," Alito stated.
The American people's conviction
Concerning reliance, the Court observed that such an interest often emerges "when advance preparation of considerable accuracy is most plainly required."
According to Alito, Casey "agreed that such conventional reliance interests were not involved since having an abortion is often 'unplanned behavior."
Concerning Casey's argument that people make relationship decisions based on the availability of abortion, the Court stated that this is not precise enough, and that "this Court is ill-equipped to examine 'generalized statements about the public psyche.'"
"The American people's conviction in the rule of law would be damaged if they lost respect for this Court as an institution that resolves important issues based on principle, not social and political forces,'" Alito said.
While acknowledging that there is a "particular danger" that the public may interpret a judgment in this manner, Alito argued that "we cannot allow our conclusions to be influenced by any extraneous considerations such as worry about the public's reaction to our work."
How certain states may react
The opposition accused the majority of violating a woman's freedom to choose her own childbearing decisions.
"It asserts that from the moment of conception, a woman has no right to speak. A state can force women to carry a pregnancy to term, even if it means suffering significant personal and familial loss."
Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. "A State will be able to force its moral judgment on a woman and pressure her to have a child in a variety of scenarios," they said.
Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, and South Carolina all have laws that prohibit abortions beyond six weeks, which have been deemed illegal but will almost certainly be reconsidered if Roe is reversed, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion research group.
Pro-choice campaigners, on the other hand, will have to seek to codify Roe or obtain lighter abortion limits through state-level legislation.
New York enacted a law in 2018 to codify Roe, and other blue states are anticipated to follow suit in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision.
Sen. Joe Manchin strikes again
The voting on the Women's Health Protection Act was presided over by Vice President Kamala Harris.
It required 60 votes to progress but perished in a 51-49 vote, with West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin voting nay along with all 50 Republicans.
Democratic campaign arms have already indicated that abortion would be a prominent issue in the midterm elections, galvanizing their base.
Republicans are mostly confident that "sanctity of life" concerns would rekindle support for conservative candidates in state elections.
Online Chronicle is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.