On Friday, June 24, the US Supreme Court voted to overturn the historic Roe v Wade ruling, therefore removing the constitutional right to abortion in the country. Abortion laws will now be decided on individually by each of the 50 states, giving conservative leaders a chance to restrict or ban the procedure across the nation.
The Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the US, voted 6-3 in favour of overturning the ruling which had legalised abortion nationwide up to the point of fetal viability for the past 50 years. Both pro-choice and anti-abortion campaigners gathered outside the court in Washington DC to hear the decision, with polar opposite reactions coming from each side.
“We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion… and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives,” the judgement reads.
Roe v Wade is dead.
It is no coincidence that we are watching abortion rights fall the same year the most anti-trans/lgbt laws have been passed in history.
These are two sides of the same coin in the same fight and the same people are fighting with the same justifications.
— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) June 24, 2022
At least 25 states are expected to introduce bans or limitations on abortion in the US. Thirteen of which, including Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, have already passed so-called trigger bans, meaning that the practice will be automatically outlawed following the ruling.
One of the Supreme Court justices in favour of overturning Roe v Wade was Clarence Thomas, who also said that the liberty to buy and use contraceptives, the legality of same-sex sexual activity and the right to same-sex marriage should also be reconsidered.
In his concurrence with overturning Roe v Wade, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas namechecks three other previous court rulings that should be reconsidered;
The liberty to buy and use contraceptives
The legality of same-sex sexual activity
The right to same-sex marriage pic.twitter.com/RokDFGuBNT
— Rob O'Hanrahan (@RobOHanrahan) June 24, 2022
The news comes almost two months after a leaked draft opinion published first by Politico revealed that the court had allegedly voted to overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling, along with another judgement from 1992 regarding Planned Parenthood v Casey. The document was dated February 10, 2022, and was drawn up following a case heard late last year surrounding a challenge to abortion restrictions introduced in Mississippi.
The Supreme Court is currently made up of a conservative majority, including three justices appointed by former president Donald Trump. Despite 55% of Americans identifying as “pro-choice” according to Gallup, Planned Parenthood now estimates that abortion is to be cut off for around 36 million people across the country.
© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.