Supreme Court rules there is no constitutional right to abortion; overturns Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) released its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24, in which it held there is no right to abortion under the U.S. Constitution. The court’s decision explicitly overturned its previous rulings in Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey (1992). The decision in Dobbs came nearly eight weeks after a draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion was leaked on May 2.

In a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Alito, the court reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit‘s decision and upheld the Mississippi abortion law at issue in the case. In a 5-4 vote, the court found there is no constitutional right to abortion and overruled Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion in 1973,and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, which upheld that decision with some restrictions in 1992. Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett joined Alito’s majority opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts concurred in the judgment upholding the Mississippi law but did not join the vote to overturn Roe and Casey. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan jointly filed a dissenting opinion.

The court has issued decisions in 57 cases this term, which leaves seven cases yet to be decided. The court is scheduled to release more opinions on July 27.

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