In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade on Friday, June 24. This ruling revokes the constitutional right to an abortion, which was originally passed in 1973. Five of the six conservative justices voted to overturn Roe while the three liberal judges along with Chief Justice John Roberts voted to uphold the ruling.
Justice Alito stated, “the Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” This ruling not only affects abortion but other major previous rulings as well. Justice Thomas wrote in a solo concurrence, “in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.” This statement refers to rulings that established a right to contraception for married couples, overturned criminal sodomy laws, and recognized same-sex marriage.
It is important to note the impact a president can have on the nation’s Supreme Court. During Trump’s presidency, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, and Brett Kavanaugh were appointed, Kavanaugh and Barrett replacing justices who previously supported abortion rights.
As a result of overturning Roe, twenty-two states are ready to immediately ban abortion. Some states still had abortion bans in place from before Roe, while others passed trigger laws. These trigger laws were set to outlaw abortion when Roe overturned. Many states banning abortions include criminal penalties for providers and even patients involved in the procedure.
Conversely, progressive states have created laws to protect the procedure. These laws include new financial supports for low-income individuals and those traveling to obtain an abortion. Select lawmakers are also attempting to expand the workforce of abortion providers in recognition of the predicted influx of patients due to neighboring states’ restrictions.
Studies predict that the overturn of Roe will cause maternal mortality to increase by a minimum of 20 percent. Meanwhile, it is believed, through another study, that 94,000 to 144,000 individuals who want an abortion will be unable to acquire one in the year following this ruling.
As more information is released, Creative Benefits will provide updates.